- Test Your Equipment BEFORE Your First Meeting
- Get Ready in the Morning
- Create a Routine
- Figure Out Your New Team’s Communication Style
- Take Notes
- Take Breaks
Congratulations! You got a new job in the middle of a Pandemic!
Bad news – you have to start a new job in the middle of a Pandemic. Remotely.
We’ve all seen those posts on Instagram about ‘Best Work from Home Practices” … But something that has been seriously lacking in the WFH media furor is what the heck to do when you start a brand-new job from your living room?!
It goes without saying that starting a new job under normal circumstances can be daunting and downright scary. Throw in a global pandemic and the fact that you have to change out of your beloved tie-dye sweats AND create a functional workspace from your living room, kitchen table, or bed (no judgment, you do you!) it’s enough to send anyone into an anxiety spiral – with good reason! I mean, it is a lot, but don’t worry – I have tips on how to make your first days on your new *virtual* job a cakewalk!
First! A little backstory about how this blog post came to be and what makes me the most qualified to write about it. Last November, I was laid off from my job as an account manager due to a lack of work because of COVID-19. I can tell you unequivocally that I was dreading the virtual interview process and the subsequent starting of my new, remote job. All my fears and trepidation proved to be a complete waste of energy when I got my new dream job at Spectraforce Technologies. My supervisors and colleagues made the entire hiring and training process a dream. So, if I can do it, you can, too.
1. Test Your Equipment BEFORE Your First Meeting
As someone that has worked in staffing for a while, I cannot count the number of times someone told me that they missed their interview or was 15-minutes late because their microphone or webcam didn’t work. Or they had to download a program and it took ‘forever’. So please. Do yourself a favor and test your microphone, webcam, and connection BEFORE your first training of the day. You don’t need the stress.
2. Get Ready in the Morning
I can’t explain to you how much better I feel than when I put on some makeup, resist the trusty ole’ messy bun, and throw on a nice cardigan or blouse. Basically, anything that doesn’t say “Fleetwood Mac Rumors” on it. I feel like myself and feel ready to take on the day! Never underestimate the power of a strong liquid liner and some highlighter, trust me.
3. Create a Routine
This will be helpful after your training is over and you are immersed in the true day-to-day of your role. If you’ve been working from home since the beginning of this COVID Journey, this will be instinctual, and you’ll be able to structure your days around the duties of your role. Because I am not a morning person, my day starts hours before I turn on my work laptop. I make coffee, breakfast if I am feeling fancy, and to hype me up – I watch the news. I found early on in my WFH journey that I needed those couple of quiet hours before the emails, video meetings, and instant messages start to be the best and most productive version of myself.
4. Figure Out Your New Team’s Communication Style
This is a crucial step for any new team member to get off on the right foot at a new job, remote or not. I always tell people to set-up short and sweet touch bases with the people that they will be interacting with the most in their role to establish a relationship and ask how they prefer to be communicated with – I.e. Does your team have frequent check-ins, or are one-on-ones the norm? Is your supervisor available during normal business hours or is it better to touch base before or after work hours? Whatever the preference, it is an important thing to note when joining your new team, especially when face-to-face time is limited or nonexistent. You should also keep in mind that some of your co-workers may be working and juggling kids at the same time.
Regardless of what my exes say, I am a huge supporter of frequent and effective communication. One of the biggest setbacks of working from home is how to effectively communicate with colleagues, supervisors, and coworkers, especially for a new employee who is just finding footing at a new company. No one can read your mind – if you’re confused about any aspect of your new job… ASK. Don’t worry about bothering your supervisors or colleagues, that is literally what they are there for. And take it from somebody who has trained dozens of new hires, your supervisors would rather repeat something they said 10-minutes ago than you going rogue and taking a wild guess when you’re on the job.
6. Take Notes!
No matter how excited you are, you are taking in a ton of new information, new names, new processes. You are bound to forget something along the way, and you can’t just swing by your supervisor’s office to confirm something from 5-hours ago.
7. Take Breaks
As I stated previously, starting a new job in non-COVID-Times (remember those?) is exhausting. I don’t know about you, but I find 8-hours of Zoom Meetings to be equally if not more so tiring. I find myself overcompensating for the lack of readable body language with potentially overzealous head nodding. But! Working remotely does has many perks – one of which is the ability to take shorter but more frequent breaks; stand up, drink some water, do a quick downward dog, get a snack, do whatever makes you feel centered and ready to get back to work.
In case you haven’t heard by now, we are in unprecedented times’… and starting a new job from your living room is tough. But you got a job in the middle of a pandemic that has left millions unemployed. Be proud. Be grateful. And most importantly, be patient with yourself and the process. You got this!