I was on a break from work, dealing with morning sickness. Yes! I was pregnant with my first child. I didn’t know that the world consists of so many different smells and my baby dislikes 99% of them. After managing the first 3 months of puking almost all the time, I settled a little bit and started missing my work.
Then, I got a message from George that this company, Instrumentl, is looking for a new developer to join their team.
Little did I know that my life is going to allow me to work with a team that is too good to be true.
Next steps? George arranged an interview with Gauri, CEO and Co-founder Instrumentl. I was super excited and terrified at the same time because, first thing, I almost forgot in the last 3 months how I used to work, and second, I had never discussed in my previous interviews about the pregnancy. My local friends suggested I disclose it only when I am at least done with onboarding if all goes well in the interview. However, I was so sure to tell her in my very first interview that I’ll be asking for maternity leave soon in a few months.
Gauri welcomed this news positively.
My thought process was, ‘So it is natural, simple and such a straight-forward thing to discuss unlike how other people think it is - complicated and something to hide 'till you grab the opportunity’. I have seen people discussing not interviewing to-be mothers or women who recently got married because in both cases, maternity leave might knock at the door anytime. It sounds funny but you know what, it’s true in so many places.
Gauri took this so gracefully; congratulated me, and asked for my possible joining date. I felt as if she wanted to say - Richa, you’re going to love everything at Instrumentl, we’re here for each other at every step.
Guys, that’s the way to make your employees feel empowered!
Instrumentl is owned by 3 powerful women. Right now the team size is 9, out of which 8 are women. I feel like working with a bunch of Powerpuff Girls.
What I learned here well is: how to plan the projects so that there are no loose ends, and how to track the progress efficiently. Everyone is managing their part of work with absolute dedication whether it’s the Content, or the Product or Growth. It is a team that is working every single day to make the world a better place, who are committed to solving the problems of their customers, who respect every community that exists in the world.
The whole team meets every Thursday for All-hands and that’s the best 1 hour of the week where we share what we’ve accomplished as a team in the last week. I could not see even a single Thursday without progress in my last 1.5 years at Instrumentl.
Every week, we are making Instrumentl a little better and that’s such an amazing feeling that keeps us motivated.
Instrumentl’s core has two more rituals at All-Hands which are worth sharing here. A quick hangout session happens after the presentation, where we share what’s going on in our lives that we tag as a highlight, lowlight, gratitude, or kudos for other members of the team. This gives us a chance to celebrate/share our high/low moments.
We’ve celebrated our achievements together, prayed together for good nights of sleep who were dealing with insomnia, welcomed 3 instrumentl_babies (and eagerly waiting for welcoming the 4th one in a couple of months) and so much more. And we charge up ourselves at the end of the meeting with a cheer... Fired up, ready for ‘something amazing that’s gonna happen this week!’.
So much to share, but I can’t miss this part. We are a group of proud animal lovers. We keep getting a view of really cute cats and dogs in the background of our zoom calls. We had a virtual tour at SweetFarm during the lockdown to understand the story of SweetFarm and do our part to help them. I feel proud that I was a part of it!
Software development could be as boring as sitting in the front of the laptop every day and write x number of lines of code, or it could be as interesting as solving real problems and making a difference in other people’s lives. I am glad that I’m living the latter; coding at Instrumentl and helping the world, sharing love and care, practicing mindfulness, and empowering myself along with the team.
We support anti-racism, we respect life, we respect humanity, we find happiness in the achievements of the others, we love growth and I am loving this journey!
I still savor that moment; I’m thankful to George and Upstack for that ping, “Hey, Richa! We have an amazing opportunity for you!”. It is indeed an amazing opportunity!