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How to start a new job remotely

Starting a new job can be daunting even at the best of times but throw in a global pandemic and not being able to go into the office to meet anyone and the situation could be even more unnerving.

I have been incredibly lucky to start a new job as a Retention Marketing Executive at Dennis Publishing during these ‘unprecedented times’ but initially I was quite apprehensive to leave behind a job I was comfortable in, for a team I’d never met in person, and an office I’d never been inside. Thankfully, looking back it was the best decision I could have made and I wanted to share a few tips to the Become readers in case any of you are starting a new job remotely.

1. Be visible

My manager very kindly set up intro calls with everyone in my team on my behalf, but if yours hasn’t I would highly recommend arranging these. At first the idea of several calls a day with people I’d never met was nerve-racking, but actually it was incredibly insightful to speak to people rather than just see their profiles on Slack. Make a list of key questions you want to ask before each call so you’re prepared and keep a list of who does what job so you don’t lose track. Some calls were 10 mins, others were 45 mins and some people I haven’t spoken with again, but it really made me feel welcomed and part of the wider team.

2. Create a productive workspace

Having gone from one remote job to the next, I found rearranging my desk was one of the few ways I could mark the occasion. If you haven’t worked from home before make sure your wifi connection is stable, I had to buy a booster to reach my desk, and you have good lighting. There is nothing more frustrating and awkward than trying to make a good first impression and your connection keeps breaking up.

3. Say ‘yes’ to everything

Working from home means you don’t get casual, non-work related conversations that you would have during your lunch or when you’re making a cup of coffee so really try and get involved with everything. During my first 3 months I’ve organised a doughnut decorating social and even signed up for the Euro’s Sweepstake despite having no interest in football! An easy way to get involved in large team meetings is to offer to take the minutes of the meeting and share them around afterwards.

4. Make the most of it

There are some situations where being behind a screen can actually be to your advantage. Recently I had to do a presentation to 45 people which is something that normally I would have found very daunting. However, being able to do it from the comfort of my own home and only being able to see a few people after I shared my screen made the whole experience much easier. I also found my first few weeks mentally exhausting trying to be on my best form at all times so it was quite a relief that I could have a few minutes to recharge by myself before the next call.

For anyone starting a new job in this current situation, firstly congratulations on securing that job offer, and secondly I hope this offers you some reassurance on how to make it that little bit easier!