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3 Things I Learned From Starting a New Job During a Global Pandemic

2020. What a year, right? On top of all of the trials and tribulations that this year has brought with Covid-19, many of us also started new jobs in 2020.

Whether that was just with a new company, or an entire career change, 2020 brought new beginnings to many of us professionally. I started a new job in the midst of Covid and learned a few key lessons that may be helpful for anyone making a professional move during the pandemic.

1. Be intentional about building relationships with your coworkers and learning the company culture

Many of us are working from home or may go into the office from time to time, but may not be spending 8 hours a day, 5 days a week with our coworkers anymore. You may not be able to grab lunch like before, but reaching out and engaging with them is still very important to build that team rapport.

Schedule a Zoom call for a quick chat over coffee, check in and see how they are doing, send pictures of your dog, who may be the only ‘coworker’ you see the most at this point. Be intentional about building a relationship virtually if you are not in the office. This time is weird enough, so having a team you can bond with is a must.
And if you are back in the office, go to lunch! Grab a coffee with a coworker! Pick their brain on how to succeed in your new role. Just remember hand sanitizer, a mask, and keeping that 6 ft distance.

Getting to know your colleagues will help you understand the overall company culture as well. You also should be intentional in studying what the biggest company values and mission are, and how to implement that into your work. This will probably mean more intentional 1:1 time with your new boss, and not just at the end of your first day or week; schedule frequent time to make sure you’re on track.

2. Compassion is key

If anything good can come of 2020, it is hopefully us all having more understanding, flexibility, and compassion in the workplace. Whether that is with clients, coworkers, our bosses, and if you’re in the recruiting world, candidates, everyone can use a little extra grace right now.

Everyone has had to make some changes and adjust this year. Things come up. Some people are working full-time while being full-time teachers to their children. Some are trying to get their company and departments in alignment and figuring out what the new ‘normal’ is. Some of us couldn’t find toilet paper or Clorox wipes for a while….again, it’s a weird time!

The bottom line is, we all are feeling the effects of this year and a little kindness can go a long way. In a world where we don’t get to have normal interactions with people, being the person who gives others the benefit of the doubt will go a long way to building and maintaining strong relationships in addition to increasing productivity.

3. Have a daily routine

Some of us are working virtually quite a bit, and some are back onsite. When you’re onsite, you typically have more of a set schedule. Working from home, though, can throw schedules out the window. Studies have shown us, though, that making a few key decisions can radically improve productivity.

If you are working from home, it is important to have a daily schedule set to stay motivated, focused, and help acclimate to your new role. Block out your calendar for certain tasks, schedule those breaks, and when it’s time to wrap up the day, do it and then spend your time doing something relaxing or that brings you some joy in this odd time we are in.

Starting a new job is exciting and there is so much to look forward to. Build relationships, have compassion, and set a schedule to kill it in your new role!