Hi PFM website, Shannon here! Earlier this month, I joined the account management team at Pilot Fish Media. Even though I had become accustomed to WFH life in my previous role, starting my new role was my first experience of working from home as a newbie.
It was a brand new experience and definitely intimidating at first. Luckily for me, I wasn’t the first to go through the onboarding process online, and the team was so welcoming. I am happy to report that my first few days with the team have been very smooth-sailing, and I am settling in quicker than I could have hoped!
We’ve all experienced the strange mixture of nerves and excitement that come with a first day in a new job. Overthinking your outfit so you look like you’ve made an effort, but not too much. Loitering casually outside for 45 minutes because you hugely overestimated your new commute. Sitting in on your first meeting and nodding enthusiastically while internally you struggle to figure out what on earth all these acronyms they keep using mean.
However, in many industries, first days are looking a little bit different in 2021. Many of us are taking new steps in our career without even stepping out of our front door. These new first days bring with them a whole new set of uncertainties and can be equally if not more daunting than that first walk into a brand new workspace.
Here are 5 tips to minimise the nerves and set yourself up for success when starting a new role remotely.
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Ask ahead of time what workflow and communication tools you will be using in your role. You might find you are using brand new systems or systems that you haven’t touched in a long time, so it’s a good idea to have them all set up and ready to go ahead of time. Spend some time in the days leading up to your start date familiarising yourself with them and making sure your computer is all set up properly. The last thing you need on your first day is unnecessary technical difficulties.
If this is your first time working remotely, you should also put a bit of thought into your at-home workspace. As tempting as it may be, working from the sofa is not going to be productive. Make sure you have a well-lit, comfortable space with as little disturbance as possible.
Make an effort to get to know everyone on your team. Group calls can be intimidating at first when you are just figuring out the dynamics and the team culture. Take initiative and set up 1-to-1 calls with as many of the team as you can in your first few days. Ask them about their roles and their experience with the company so far, but also just use the time to get to know them as an individual. These quick catch-ups are great icebreakers and will make participating in group calls a lot less intimidating.
Your first days in a new role are mostly dedicated to finding your feet and settling in. The likelihood is that at the start, you could find yourself with a lot of free time. When you’re working from home, this can be demotivating, and you might feel disconnected from the team when you aren’t experiencing the buzz of the office.
Solution: take initiative and ask for tasks and feedback. If you spot something that you could assist with, offer to help! You can’t learn and establish yourself within a team until you really start to get involved. This is also the perfect opportunity to ask your manager if there is any reading and training that you could be completing to help set you up for success in your new role.
Routine is Key
From day one, create a sustainable routine. This will allow you to feel productive but also make sure you’re establishing a great work-life balance from the get-go. When working from home, the lines between work time and downtime blur very easily. Try to time block your day, including a lunch break. If you get in the habit of sticking to a schedule from the beginning, it will be much easier to maintain this as your workload grows.
Gluing yourself to your desk will not allow you to be your best self. Take regular breaks and get outside!
And Finally, Relax!
Give yourself a pat on the back. You were hired for a reason, and it is completely normal to feel like a spare part in your first few weeks. As long as you show up, take initiative and give it your all, things will fall into place much sooner than you might think.