As 2020 drew to a close, the Resonance team welcomed two fresh faces, with Sofia and Freddie joining our ranks. Sofia recently completed a master’s degree in Early Modern History, whilst Freddie has spent the last year working at a tech start-up. As we enter 2021, we sat down for a chat to find out how they’ve settled in.
How have you found starting a new role remotely?
Sofia: This is my first job after graduating, so it’s a new start on several fronts. I never expected to be starting my first graduate job remotely, but it has been as easy as it could have been given the circumstances. Having team meetings twice daily has really helped me feel more involved and connected to the team. Being on Slack also helps a lot as you can contact anyone in the team directly if you need help or have any questions.
Freddie: My main concern with remote work was getting lost in the machine and failing to get to know my co-workers beyond a name in an email. These fears were quickly laid to rest. Every member of the team has taken the time to have a chat about work, life, anything at all. I feel that despite having only met virtually, I can talk to everyone in the team about anything, which can be a pretty rare thing even under more normal circumstances.
Any zoom related faux pas?
Sofia: Apart from trying to speak a few times while on mute, nothing drastic yet… there’s always time!
Freddie: There have been plenty! There’s always the inevitable palaver with the mute button, and my dog likes to pick the most inopportune moments to burst into my office and demand attention. Everyone is understanding about the situation though and accepting that canine intrusions are one of the occupational hazards of working from home.
How have you managed the work/life balance?
Sofia: I think it’s really important to make sure your work schedule is sustainable and works for you. Before starting at Resonance, I was doing a walk every day to make sure I got out of the house. Now that I’ve started, I’ve maintained that routine by waking up a bit earlier to get my walk in before work. After work, I tidy my desk and put work things away to keep a bit of a barrier between work and home life.
Freddie: It’s always a learning process about what works best for you. I quickly realised a brief walk midway through the day really energised me and helped provide perspective. The team were great at offering suggestions on how to find a balance, and appreciative that everyone has their own personal way of achieving this.
What support have you received in starting your new role?
Sofia: The support at Resonance comes from lots of different directions. The whole team is really friendly, and everyone is open to answering any questions I’ve had. For issues specific to work I’m doing for a client I can go to the account manager and other team members, and for any silly questions I can go to my assigned buddy. I’ve found it really helpful knowing where I can go to get advice.
Freddie: I’d assumed support would be trickier given the fact we were starting remotely, but it’s been the opposite. There’s a personalised training schedule that factors in both short and long-term goals, whilst also being collaborative and encouraging me to raise any areas I’d like to focus on. On an informal level, the team is open to any type of questions and always provide detailed feedback, which has been so helpful in making me feel confident and settled.
If you could go back and give any advice to yourself in your first week, what would it be?
Sofia: I think my main piece of advice would be not to worry if you don’t understand everything yet! When you start a new role, it’s only natural that it will take some time to get accustomed to the work and to understand exactly what your role in the company is. Devote some time to understanding the business and make sure to ask lots of questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help with anything, especially if it’s something you’ve never done before. I wrote my first ever press release on day one, which I could never have done if I didn’t have the appropriate guidance and examples to help me along.
Freddie: Don’t be afraid to speak up and share ideas. Especially with virtual meetings, it can be easy to slip into the background and keep ideas or suggestions to yourself. We’re encouraged to be as creative as possible, from finding an alternative news angle to proposing a left-field way to help promote a client. If you never share an idea, you’ll never know if it’s a good one!
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