The diary of a new start & 3 top tips
You’ve gone through the interview, you’ve got the call back, you’ve got the job! But this is only the beginning of a new adventure. Although it’s a time of exhilaration, starting a new job is also a time of uncertainty, even in normal times. These feelings of anxiety mingled with excitement can be, and likely will be, exacerbated by the pressures and limitations of the pandemic which is currently causing disruption to many aspects of our lives, including work.
I started a new job in August. The initial disruption of normality had subsided somewhat, and in many ways, I had adjusted to lockdown life. Then came the phone call that my interview was successful and I would be starting my new job. A rush of elation and trepidation flowed through me simultaneously. What would a new way of working look like working remotely? Many doubting thoughts crossed my mind, but I threw myself into the challenge and picked up skills whose utility will outlast the pandemic.
My first piece of advice is to never be afraid to ask for help. If you were starting a job in normal times, when you would have a physical presence in the office, asking questions about things you were not 100% sure on would feel a lot more natural. When working remotely you will have the same amount of questions to ask, if not more, however there are now barriers to communication. When asking for help remotely you can either communicate through text (Emails, Teams Chats, messaging software etc.) or a call. Both have advantages and disadvantages, and each are appropriate in certain situations. Although it may seem at times as though you are being annoying or intrusive, it’s important to ask questions whenever you are unsure of something! This may seem obvious but it’s important to remember, and it brings me to my next hint: establish strong relationships.
Just because you are not physically next to your co-workers does not mean you can neglect good working relationships. It is perhaps even more important to maintain these relationships remotely as the stresses of the pandemic and life can make you feel more isolated. Get to know your team, share your interests and listen to theirs, have a laugh. If you are struggling ask for cameras to be turned on occasionally, if not all the time, so you can get a better association of who’s who and to show who you are. If you can build strong relationships with the people you work with you will be more comfortable asking for help, better equipped to face challenges at work, and happier all around.
My final piece of advice is to maintain your work life balance. Studies into working patterns of the pandemic show that the distinction between work and home life have become blurred, and that even time saved commuting does not make up for the extra time workers are devoting to work beyond normal office hours. Whether you are in a job where you are expected to work extra hours or not, it is important to maintain a distinction between work and life. In other words, work hard, but remember, there’s more to life than work! Burnout is a very real problem, and if you don’t take care of yourself you will find your productivity slipping and your mental health deteriorating, so practice self-care for a more sustainable and holistic working life.
Further reading https://www.nextsteps.biz/building-resilience/