An initial public offering (IPO) is when your company has their public debut in the stock market. IPOs exist in two broad categories: direct listing IPOs, which give you the freedom to start trading as soon as your company goes public; and traditional IPOs, which usually entail a lockup period that typically lasts six months after the IPO, during which you can’t transact any of your equity.

Employees anticipating IPOs should watch out for a few things: The settlement of double-trigger restricted stock units varies in timing depending on the company, so be mindful of how your company executes their IPO and how that affects your settlement. You also want to identify your first trading window during which you’re allowed to sell shares. Once you get past the first trading window, they usually occur quarterly and span four to six weeks each, typically following earnings calls.

IPOs are much more than a one-and-done event. Think of your IPO as the start of many events that go on for years. You’ll have a lot of planning to do and decisions to make down the line, so treat this opportunity like the long-term engagement it is.