How to Start a New Job RemotelyIvy Gutierrez
Even though coronavirus sent unemployment rates in the US through the roof, people are still interviewing and finding or changing jobs during the pandemic. This is especially true for jobs in the IT sector, as this sector has had the luck to be able to easily adapt to working from home. If you are starting a new job right now, congratulations! You are probably facing new challenges in the process, depending on how well your new employer was able to adapt their onboarding process to remote work.
It’s up to you to be proactive and get situated in your new position, but not being able to see and bond with your coworkers will force you to put more effort into forming new connections. Since we at SwipeTrack Solutions have also hired several new employees during a pandemic, we wanted to share some tips on how to ease the transition into your new role.
Introduce Yourself as New
Ideally, your supervisor will make sure to introduce you in situations where you are just meeting your coworkers. For a small company, this is probably done quickly and swiftly, but if you are joining a larger company, your supervisor may not be thinking of introducing you at every meeting where you see unfamiliar faces/names.
Take control of your interactions and try to find a moment to introduce yourself. If you are having a team meeting on Zoom, try to join it early for a chance to chat informally with your new coworkers. If you have a speaking role in a meeting, start by making sure everyone knows you are new and what your role in the project will be. While this may be hard to do if you happen to be an introvert, it is important to establish these relationships.
Ask for Explanations and Information
Nobody will expect the new guy to be familiar with the language, projects, or know background information. However, they may not pick up on your confusion or that you have stopped following the meeting because you are trying to secretly google up the abbreviation someone used. It’s much easier to read these situations in person and online communication, even when it’s done on a video call, takes a toll there.
When you need help, speak up. Ask for help. Ask for clarifications or interpretations. People will want to help you and they understand your position because they have been there, too. After all, you were hired because they needed help in the company. The sooner you learn the ropes, the sooner you will be beneficial to your employee, so do not be afraid to pause the conversation and ask for clarifications.
Locate Your Mentors
Perhaps your mentor will be your supervisor, which is presumably the person you have already had the most contact with. But, that’s not necessarily the case. You may have replaced an old coworker that stayed within the company and will be willing to help you catch up to speed. Or maybe one of your coworkers who has been there for a long time can be a useful resource to you. Either way, you will need someone to explain to you how things are done in your new company.
Put some effort into figuring out who can help you get situated. Someone will need to give you access to the system, perhaps collect or loan out equipment to work from home, or get reimbursed for purchases you have made. Find someone to help you navigate your organization and point you in the right direction.
Connect With Your Coworkers Informally
Uuuhhh, another hard task for introverts. Sorry, introverts! It’s hard enough to adapt to new work culture in person, but doing so virtually is even harder. One does not need to become friends with their coworkers to fit in, but being friendly is definitely important. Without the chance to chit chat with coworkers while you wait for a new pot of coffee to brew or sharing your personality with your office/desk decor, you will have to manufacture these moments.
Look for ways to signal your personality and interests to others. If other coworkers don’t have their picture on Slack, choose as your avatar the character from your favorite show. If you often attend video conference calls, put some of your favorite books in the background to give someone a chance to start a conversation about it. Maybe you can wear your favorite sport’s team shirt if that sort of thing is fine where you work. Doing these little things will make it easier to form bonds and become a part of the team.
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