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10 TIPS FOR STARTING A NEW CAREER DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Resonance

9 November, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has been more than just a health crisis. Covid-19 has touched not only every individual but every industry, from retail to technology, and is continuing to detriment society as it evolves. However, it’s not all doom and gloom. In a time of mass unemployment, some of us have been fortunate enough to find work.

We, Lavinia and Savan, have been a part of the Resonance family for a combined time of 14 weeks. As new starters, we know it can be tough. Starting a new job amidst such chaos has been somewhat challenging, especially whilst working from home. To make the transition a little smoother, we have compiled a list of 10 tips and tricks in which we hope to impart our wisdom.

  1. Ask questions

Asking questions is one of the best ways to learn. The best way to get up to speed quickly is to always ask about things you don’t understand. This shouldn’t just be a rule of thumb for your first week though, as professional development should continue throughout your career

Asking questions also demonstrates your curiosity – a valuable asset for your new employers.

  1. Create a routine and schedule time for yourself

Whether you’re digital or old school, keeping a personal schedule or to-do list is a really useful way to stay organised. Chances are, starting your new job involves a lot of training, workshops and new projects that will keep you very busy. We found that scheduling a day in advance has helped us to stay on top of it all.

The most important time to schedule however, is time for yourself. Starting a new job can be overwhelming at times, but especially so during a pandemic. Consider scheduling short, regular intervals throughout the day where you can get out of your chair and away from the screen to take a breather. It will help you to stay motivated and productive and give you time to focus on your wellbeing.

  1. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes

Making mistakes is a natural part of learning. It’s okay to take risks and mess up. Always double check with your line manager if unsure, but don’t be afraid to try something new. Sometimes, with a lack of experience comes a fresh perspective. Think outside the box. You might just surprise yourself with the results. 

  1. Reach out if you’re struggling

It’s easy to want to figure things out on your own but you must reach out if you’re struggling to keep up, whether that’s in a personal or professional sense. Your new team is there to support you so make sure to speak with someone if you need help managing your workload, for example. We can assure you that you will feel better afterwards.

At Resonance, we’re lucky enough to have weekly coaching sessions where we receive feedback and discuss our progress. These sessions have been invaluable to us, offering a scheduled time each week to express any concerns or worries we may have, whilst receiving guidance on how to improve and reassurance that we are doing a good job.

  1. Get to know your team

Starting a career at a time when you can’t go for after-work drinks with colleagues is obviously far from ideal. We recommend getting involved in any fun work activities and using technologies like Slack, Zoom and Microsoft Teams to keep in contact throughout the day.

Luckily for us, Resonance has a virtual away day once a month where we participate in creative training activities and team building exercises and even receive gift hampers with goodies. The day is rounded off with a game and a few drinks which has been a great opportunity for us to get to know the team in an informal setting.

  1. Get familiar with internal processes

Every company has its own book of unwritten rules and processes. The best way to get acquainted with how it all works is to pay close attention to your colleagues and superiors. Don’t take it to heart if you get it wrong sometimes, it’s all a part of your journey.

  1. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself

It’s hard to start a new job without wanting to prove your value. After all, you probably spent a large part of your interview process explaining why you are the right person for the job and now that you’re in the role, you don’t want to disappoint. Remember that no one will expect you to understand everything straight away. Make sure that you don’t either.

  1. Reflect on your achievements and believe in yourself

It’s easy to focus on mistakes and what could have gone better but doing so will put you in a negative headspace and work against your progression. Make sure that no matter how insignificant, you reflect on your achievements and believe in your own abilities. It’s only the beginning - you will improve with time. 

Resonance uses an app called Bonusly which enables us to give points to our team members for doing something great. At the end of each month, we can convert our points into rewards like vouchers or even a donation to charity. The person with the most points is also sent an award from our managers, Tom and Claire. We’ve found it a really positive way of supporting each other and acknowledging the hard work and achievements of others.

  1. Have a buddy

Working from home can make you feel isolated, so we have really appreciated the buddy system at Resonance. As soon as we joined, we were assigned buddies to have one-on-one meetings with each week. Having a buddy or someone that you can go to with ‘silly’ questions really boosts your confidence, especially in the early weeks.

  1. Ask for feedback

 You can’t expect to be good at everything immediately. Receiving constructive criticisms and words of encouragement are usually exactly what you need to improve. It also demonstrates to your team that you are eager and willing to adapt and develop in your role.

Our final thoughts

We hope that these tips are useful to anyone else starting a new job from their home. We are all trying our best to adjust to a fast-changing world, and that is all we can do. We, Lavinia and Savan, know it can be challenging at times, especially during a national lockdown, but if things get tough please remember to take a step back and read over our tips. 

For businesses reading this, we advise taking a look at this article on Forbes which offers guidance to companies on how to best onboard and support employees during this ongoing pandemic.