Navigating the Start of a New Job in the Virtual World

Emma McMillen  Follow

Hiring numbers are continuing to rise. And while that is exciting for many reasons, for many job seekers, starting a new job while still in the remote world can bring enough anxiety to defer them from even entering the process! 

To be honest, I was one of those people. The thought of leaving the comfort of a job I knew to start everything fresh, all while working from the same desk at home, seemed daunting. Long story short, the stellar team and exciting opportunities at Prosek Partners convinced me to overcome my fear of the unknown—and I am so glad I did. This has been a life changing move for me in more ways than one!

While starting a new job virtually definitely has some challenges, luckily, my experience has been overwhelmingly positive. For those thinking about making a move (hint, Prosek is hiring!), here is some advice.

  • Take a break and clear your mind before starting your new gig. This is top of mind for me, particularly during Mental Health Awareness Month. COVID-19 has brought heightened awareness to communications and PR programs across the board. And while this brings a plethora of opportunity, it also means that many of us are—for lack of a better phrase—burnt out. Starting a new job provides an opportunity to take a breath and reset before diving in. It also provides an opportunity to think about what you’re looking for in your career, and to really make that happen for yourself. For me, a strong, positive culture was key, but for others it could be finding an opportunity to determine a new specialty or industry.
  • Establish your new normal. This could mean anything from designing a better workspace to establishing new boundaries. For me, this literally meant something as simple as switching my workspace to the opposite side of my dining room table. It also meant restructuring my morning routine to shift away from the habits that were developed over the early days of the pandemic and back to a more normal start to the day. Starting a new role allows the opportunity to hit refresh and make changes that are necessary to succeeding in both your new role and in your personal life.
  • Virtual coffees are key to relationship building. While meeting new coworkers and getting facetime with senior leadership can seem impossible during these fully virtual times, I’ve actually found that having a universal remote workplace can make access that much easier, because it removes the physical barriers of setting up meetings.
    I’ve been so thankful to have the opportunity to have many coffee dates throughout my first few months at Prosek. These coffees have proven to be key in getting to know my colleagues across the firm. Setting up 1:1 time and getting to know your teammates more personally is incredibly valuable and makes a huge difference in feeling connected to a company’s culture. This is also essential to learning working styles and just generally what people have going on at home, which is now also their office. Starting a new role virtually does mean missing out on the proverbial water cooler conversations, so taking intentional time to have these meetings is very important. 
  • Be patient with yourself! We are all continuing to navigate these challenging times and the learning curve of starting a new role can feel that much steeper when starting virtually. Being patient with yourself and giving yourself the time to learn is essential to avoiding feeling overwhelmed!

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