5 Things I Learnt Starting a New Job in a Global Pandemic

Hi, I’m Michelle – a new starter here at Dentons Digital. 

Like many others I found myself made redundant during the first Covid lockdown; a frightening situation. I didn’t know where to begin looking for a new job in a challenging job market compounded by a global pandemic.

Fortunately my journey proved fruitful, and in fact I ended up learning some valuable lessons along the way.

Here are five positive things I learnt while searching for a job:

1. Companies are Still Hiring

Even though our generation have never navigated through a global pandemic before, and there is a lot of negative press around the job market at the moment, it’s not all doom and gloom. There are still a lot of companies (like Dentons Digital) that are hiring, and because of remote working having become more the norm, everyone’s horizons of where they can be based and where they can work have broadened. 

2. Your Interview is Going to be Very Different

The interview process has changed dramatically from a year or so ago. We’re now searching out the best spot in the house for signal for a phone interview, and we pray that we don’t have to stand up for any reason on a video call in case the interviewer gets a glimpse of your pyjama bottoms! 

I was lucky enough to be able to arrange a face-to-face interview, but even that process has changed. No hand shaking, wearing a face covering and sitting socially distanced are all the new norms. Despite all of this, I was made to feel welcome and comfortable in the interview, although of course the situation was new for the interviewer too.

3. Take the Time to Build Relationships

In our life pre-covid conversations with colleagues in a new workplace would happen naturally. We’d get acquainted passing each other in the corridor or while making a cup of tea. 

Starting a new job in lockdown though has been odd. I haven’t met 75% of my colleagues face-to-face. Communication is all be done over Teams or phone calls,  but I have managed to get to know people just as I would if we were all still in the office.

I’m sure I’ll probably still feel like the “new girl” when everyone comes back into the office, at least I’ve put in some groundwork and broken the ice.

4. Expect to Face Technology Issues

Bad connections, fuzzy screens and people not realising they’re on mute are some of the few technology challenges that everyone is facing at the moment as we all communicate using screens. Even though these problems during important calls are frustrating, it helps to remember that everyone is in the same boat.

On the plus side people’s names appear on the screen next to them, so no awkward misnaming errors while getting to know who is who.

5. Take Your Time to Learn the Role

There are always mixed feelings when starting a new job; it’s an exciting yet anxious experience for many. So, make sure you take your time to learn the role. Communication is key, even if it is via Zoom. 

Though my on-boarding process at Dentons Digital hasn’t been the typical start most people would have previously experienced, I wouldn’t change it for the world. It has given me time to really understand the role and thoroughly learn the processes that my job entails. It has meant I have learnt new ways of communicating with colleagues and truthfully, I can’t wait to finally meet everyone!

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