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As the six-month mark approaches for our product owner, Donato, he’s got a few pearls of wisdom he’d like to share about his initial experiences with the Oval team, and how it has helped him change and grow professionally.

Even if you’re not a professional Ovaler, it’s perfect for anyone starting a new job and is looking to succeed in the workplace. From late night hackathons to sunny seaside retreats, this collection is one of a kind advice that you can make your own.

Learn the language

When moving to a new company it always takes a little time to understand the new “language” of the place. This isn’t just a reference to the official working language of the company - although I do remember a few difficult phone calls in English when I first started! The language of a company also means the ethos, the policies, and the everyday working acronyms and buzzwords used around the office.

I think that the faster you learn this subtext, the faster you can really form close working relationships with your colleagues and make professional progress.

Get to know your colleagues

Whether you’re coming into a position at the top or the bottom of the office, knowing and valuing the people you work with is the key to successfully meeting your goals.

Getting to know my team really changed everything. I’ve seen how clever software engineers are able to solve issues in minutes thanks to (really) new technologies, I’ve seen copywriters excel at creating original content, and I’ve seen designers utilising their creativity to create some truly unique work. I’ve even had the opportunity to work with our legal and compliance teams.

By getting to know them and working closely with them, my colleagues have also taught me several new concepts that have helped my professional development.

Hit the ground running

From the very first minute walk into the office ready to take on the world. Really establish yourself as someone who is willing to go 110% for your team.

To be honest, these last six months have seemed to flow so fast that it’s been like living on a roller coaster. I’ve grown used to living with that feeling of working under pressure that gives you so much adrenaline that you actually learn to miss it when it’s gone.

Take on projects that may be half done and make them your own, and always make sure you learn from each new experience. It’s not always going to be a picnic, in fact I’ve drunk an infinite number of coffees since I started here and I’ve definitely used more than an infinite number of new and creative curse words, but it’s all combined to create an incredible and intense six months that have changed me both personally and professionally.

Make your mark

Have confidence in your ability, and once you’ve understood the culture of your new job don’t be afraid to push yourself and your ideas to the forefront.

Since I’ve been here we’ve released our new Fitness Step that helps you get financially fit, and we’ve redesigned the entire homepage of the app. Not only that, we’ve also opened our investment marketplace with nine great investment products… with even more to come!  These have really changed the face of the app and I'm proud to put my name to them.

Welcome feedback on your performance

It’s a new company and new role, so expect a learning curve and always be ready to welcome feedback. It’s not personal and it will help you move forward professionally. If you respect your colleagues you should respect their feedback.

Enjoy and grow

Since I joined Oval I have had the opportunity to really live my true passion. This has meant a radical change in the way I face my day-to-day work life, as I know that everything I do is for the benefit of our customers and everything I do has a beneficial impact on their daily savings experience.

I have also been lucky enough to be part of the Oval annual retreat in sunny Sicily, to have taken part in awesome contact events with our customers in both London and Berlin.

My focus now is to make the next six months even better!

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