4 things I’ve learned from starting a new job in lockdown….
…and how MAXX has made it so easy for me to find my feet so quickly.
Being completely honest, I was very nervous about moving into a new job. I was concerned that being in a remote working situation for an unknown period of time would impact my ability to fit in and find my feet with a new company.
Strangely enough I wasn’t nervous about the ‘normal’ things that you would be apprehensive about on a first week on the job, such as your first big project or your first client meeting. I was most nervous about building a rapport with my future colleagues and getting to know my surroundings.
As we all know by now, digital meetings make for great efficiency and productivity but don’t really make getting to know people for the first time easy.
I quickly found my feet.
Luckily for me, I quickly discovered that everyone at MAXX is so welcoming and easy to talk to. My line manager made it a priority for me to talk to everyone for at least an hour within the first week. This was important so that I got the fundamentals and process right to make my life easier further down the line.
As a result, I managed to demonstrate to everyone just how weird I am with my abnormally large soft toy collection! (note to self for next Zoom call).
Lesson one – making the effort.
Making an effort is key. I am very quick to become engrossed in my new projects and knuckle down with my tasks. But this isn’t always a good thing.
My department is really good at ensuring we have virtual catch-ups. We have our Monday morning stand-ups, but we also have catch ups throughout each day.
Getting stuck straight into these virtual meetings has given me the ability to speak up about things that aren’t always work related and create more of an organic way of building relationships.
Lesson two – don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Being the new guy in the office asking questions can be daunting but imagine trying to ask those awkward questions over email or Zoom.
I found being upfront and honest was the best policy. Leaving things unanswered can leave doubts in your head, which makes settling in very difficult.
It’s so important not to hide in the dark, (quite literally in my spare bedroom office with the soft toy collection!), and see the issues stack up.
Ask for help! It’s not a sign of weakness, it’s seen as a strength.
Lesson Three – you’re going to face teething challenges
Believe it or not this will actually be the reason why you are being unproductive. Be honest with yourself - what do you need so that you are set up to be the most productive on a day-to-day basis?
This question is sometimes missed by employers as there is normally a strict process of time management, hardware allocation and the like. But since working from home, this has shifted greatly.
I appreciate it’s uncomfortable shouting your demands on the first day, but you shouldn’t be afraid to speak up if something isn’t working. I quickly realised that the laptop I had been given wasn’t going to be up to the job so I had to ask for a replacement - having a new, fast machine is going to make the world of difference for me to do my job quickly and efficiently - so everyone wins.
Lesson Four – Don’t be afraid to take ownership.
And I don’t just mean ownership of your work.
On days that aren’t busy with meetings and clear-cut deadlines, I have learned to take full ownership of my time. The luxury of asking quick questions is now time consuming – so being efficient when you have time with your colleagues is really important.
I work from visual signals when working in an office; when to take breaks, to take lunch and even when it’s time to head off for the day. But it’s not so easy at home - I can’t be the only one that loses track of time when working at home. It’s important to become regimented with your time and to force yourself to stick to it. This all helps to be more productive but also to give yourself the breaks you need in a day.
So on the whole…
...working from home has been pretty great. I’ve learned a lot about what works for me and developed some personal skills in the process. Do you work remotely? How have you found it?
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