5 essential tips to start a new job remotely

Photograph: Dillon Shook/Unsplash

If you're one of the lucky few to have landed a new job smack in the midst of this pandemic, here's what you need to know

Jobs may not have been easy to come by for several sectors these last few years. Now, with the pandemic taking the air out of global economy, landing a new job is almost impossible. But if you’ve been fortunate enough to land yourself a new role, you are likely going to face the prospect of starting up remotely. Starting at a new organisation can be difficult as it is – you have to spend some time getting to know people, understand team dynamics etc – but starting out remotely is perhaps even more difficult. You don’t get to see the people with whom you’re working; processes that have been put into place for years have all gone out of the window and everyone’s probably as lost as you are. So how do you start a new job remotely in these difficult times? We have some tips for you:

1. Be open to the fact that your role may have changed

With the global pandemic hitting us, it is likely that the role you’ve been hired for may have evolved itself. For instance, if you’re hired for creating engagement among employees, you’ll have to quickly start coming up with a plan of how to shift gears and plan your engagement activities online. You may not have any experience in doing that but you have to be flexible enough to shift lanes, quickly.

2. Be proactive

This is key; it’s easy for your team (and sometimes even your boss) to forget that you even exist because they’re so caught up trying to cope with this new work culture. So it is important that you be proactive and make yourself seen. If there’s a conversation of which you are a part, make sure you have something valuable to add to it. That way people will notice you and give you work.

3. Be available (but also set your boundaries)

As a new employee, you are bound to want to prove yourself but you also run the risk of being bulldozed by your boss or your other colleagues. As far as possible, make sure you’re available on call/email/text but also let your team know when you go offline. If your workday ends, let your team know that they could reach out to you via text so and to give you a little time before you’re available again. This will ensure you are not tied to your laptop at all times.

4. Be in touch with your boss

Understand that your boss is probably fighting multiple fires and while this may be a terrible time for you to ask for attention, try and schedule a weekly check-in so they know what you’ve been up to and you get a sense of what they’re working on and how thing stand in the organisation. Importantly, it will also help you get a sense of what they think of you and your performance in the team.

5. Try taking an online course

There is a good possibility you will have some free time on your hands, given that you’re new and everyone’s working remotely. Consider taking up an online course on Udemy, Coursera, LinkedIn Learning etc. You can select the course depending on what skills you want to build up or on what challenges your organisation is facing. You can then summarise and share key points that you think will be most useful to the team.