Week 1: I have no idea what I’m doing and very limited toilet paper. The reality of starting a new job in the current climate has hit.
I’m breaking all of the new job rules because of it.
I’m spending lunchtime alone…
I can barely remember what the office looks like…
And getting to know my new team isn’t easy when they’re blurry shapes on a video call.
But amongst the weirdness, this has been a great new-job-week at Gloo.
I’d like to say it’s because I’ve mastered how to use a new tool.
Or because I’ve created an awesome piece of work.
But the reality is…I just haven’t messed anything up yet. And that seems like a bigger achievement when you’re at home.
Does that mean I’m qualified to give advice on starting a new job from home? Questionable.
But right now, we need to be there for each other more than ever. So, if you’re nervous about a new job, or just curious, here are some top tips on how to make your life easier in your new world of work.
1. Give your brain a break
Get ready for the new-job information overload, turned up to 11. There’s likely new tools and processes to learn, new technology you may have to use and lots of company information to take onboard. All of which are that bit tougher to learn without support in-person. As you take it all in, be sure to stick to a routine. Get up, ditch your PJs and have a good breakfast. And don’t forget to take your breaks. Get moving. Go outside (if you can). You’ll feel so much better for it. And you’ll find yourself becoming more productive, more quickly.
2. Use quiet spells wisely
Making a good first impression works differently when you’re stuck at home. You can’t make an impact with the team like you can in person. And while your clients also adjust to working at home and their marketing plans being thrown up in the air, it’s likely that some projects will be delayed or put on hold. Make the most of this time. Think of some ideas to make working from home smoother. Think of processes you liked at your last job that could be applied to your new one. Make suggestions, it’s a great time to be proactive.
3. Communicate in the right way
The reality is that your new team is used to you not being around. Don’t expect to be instantly included in social groups and chats online. The key to building relationships is balance. It’s important not to disappear into work—you need to maintain an online presence with your team. But equally, it’s important not to be too pushy. Try asking for a catch up with your manager at least once a week. And another with your team over video call—it can be pixelated, awkward and a bit clunky but it gives you a chance to share concerns, ask those important questions and get to know the people in your team.
4. Unstiffen your upper lip
Don’t try to power through if you’re struggling with something. In some ways, starting a new job now is a great opportunity. Why? Because right now, every single person is out of their comfort zone, levelling the playing field. Everyone is going through a change and has questions. Seize the opportunity to join in, get involved. Everyone can take comfort from being in the same boat. You might even have the upperhand from your past experience.
5. Don’t panic
It’s ok to be worried. Starting a new job is especially stressful with unprecedented events becoming a daily reality. But there’s no need to panic. Your new co-workers and managers will be sympathetic about the tough circumstances and are likely to go above and beyond to put your mind at ease.
Everyone at Gloo has been incredibly supportive and understanding so far, it really does take the pressure off. We’re all experiencing a new learning curve, so there’s a great sense of team morale, even if it is only virtual for now.
So, if you’re like me, you picked a pretty tricky time to start a new job. But as you can see, there are some real opportunities to come from it.
Have you started a new job recently? Or are you just getting used to working from home? Let us know what your experience is so far. We’d love to hear from you.
Looking for more tips on how to deliver your best when working from home? Check out WFH: the new normal.
Posted by John on 15 April 2020