Starting a new job is very exciting. You are eager to start contributing, learn as much as you can, bond with colleagues and try to fit in. Commonly onboarding processes should last four to six weeks, but as the title already suggests that is not what happened to me.
When I started at Network Scientific the world was already talking about COVID-19, but the UK was still a normal place, so I had a normal start. Then things started to switch a bit from normal to pandemic-mode and in less than a month here I found myself working from home, still trying to learn as much as I could and already trying to contribute towards our client accounts.
How does one cope with the pandemic in this situation? I thought of a few things that have really helped me do well and adapt in these challenging times and would like to share them with you.
Communication is everything
I am lucky to have a great team supporting me at any time I need help. Video conferencing tools had a great part in this and helped me feel closer to people. Make sure you have great communication tools and that you interact daily on group chats from work become part of the team.
We set up daily catch-up calls just to see how everyone was coping and give support to one another. Even if there is nothing left to say, and we sometimes talk about random things it is still helpful to keep our team spirit in place.
Make sure you have everything you need
I had trouble with my internet provider at one point and was immediately assured help was on its way. I got an internet dongle sent over to me and it works beautifully.
The only way to be able to be effective at any job is if you have all the tools, systems and equipment needed. If something is not working as it should or you need anything, just ask.
Setting daily targets and building a routine
Having my targets clearly defined in my head was challenging at the start, however with our catch-up calls and knowing what is expected of me worked wonders to plan my actions for each day.
Make notes, understand what your part in each process is and discuss with team leaders if anything is not working out well for you so it can be adjusted.
Another very important part in planning your day while working from home is setting a routine – take breaks, go get more coffee and ‘leave’ work at the end of your day. Your mental health will thank you for it.
Ask and if still unsure ask again
Do not be afraid to ask about processes, how things work and ask for help whenever you need it.
One thing I find incredibly important in learning anything new is to listen carefully and repeat back key points to acknowledge if what was said it what you understood. You may not be keen on asking too many questions, but we are all adapting to a new normal and your team knows you are adjusting too.
Remember: you are not the only one
At the beginning I would be so worried that my dog would bark during a meeting or while speaking to a client until one time when speaking to a client over the phone I heard their dog barking too. This made me realise that we are all working from home and we all have uncontrollable things going on.
Everyone, especially your team, knows what is going on in the world and we have all been adapting. Working from home has created challenges for all of us and we should try to keep a ‘we are all in this together’ mentality.
Having a great support system in place at work really helps keep you to be motivated and succeed. My experience with Network Scientific has been great so far and I am so proud of how we have all been adapting and taking care of each other. As cheesy as it sounds, I really have found a family here.
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