Starting a new job is always exciting, especially in this exceptional time. All over the world, everything revolves around the fight against the COVID-19 virus and everything is “different” from normal. What is it like to start a new job in IT in times of Corona? Raquel Prosetiko from Solvinity explains.
Did you apply for the job in Corona time or were you hired just before the lockdown? And how did that work?
My application process started during Corona time. So all conversations were online: by phone or video. I never would have expected it, but even without meeting everyone in person, I could still form a good picture and experience a so-called “click”. Even without ever setting a foot in the office.
What is your position and what does this position entail within your company?
As a Marketing & Communication Specialist I am responsible for lead generation with a focus on our service portfolio. For this purpose, I set up online and offline campaigns.
How were you trained and how different was it from what you are used to?
On my first working day I visited the office to pick up my laptop. My manager and another colleague also came to the office that day for a face-to-face meeting. I also participated in a virtual introductory lunch with the rest of the team. It felt like a warm welcome.
Furthermore, 80% of the onboarding went through Teams meetings. Online meetings are very efficient, because you usually get straight to the point. On the other hand, you are more dependent on yourself because you work from home. So sometimes you can miss that one important detail . And of course you also miss the informal lunch and coffee talks! However, an advantage of working from home is that you can really focus and therefore read up well.
Have you been to the office at all recently or are you going for the first time soon?
We were allowed to work partially in the office since the summer. Due to the Corona measures, the work places are limited. We can book a workplace via an app. My team usually works at the office 1 fixed day a week. On these days it is easy, for example, to plan a brainstorm sessions or have meetings that require more dynamics and interaction.
How did you meet your colleagues?
During my application procedure I had already met five direct co-workers and I had an online introductory meeting with another ten colleagues. In my second week my team organized an informal welcome drink on a terrace in Breukelen, which fortunately was open again, and I met the whole team for the first time in real life. It was great to see people face-to-face, as it gives you that extra bit of interaction that you miss “on screen.” In my first month there was also a meeting with the entire sales and marketing department, which was only allowed to a limited extent at the time. Fortunately, I was able to see and speak a lot of new colleagues there.
Are there benefits in the way you have now been forced to start?
I have never before worked so efficiently! My focus is great and there is lessdistraction at home. In general, the combination of working from home with my family life agrees with me. Especially since I started a new job. There is less hassle with planning, because I have no travel time.
What are the drawbacks?
When working from home, you sometimes miss context in a conversation, because you don’t get the non-verbal part. That is also informative, as it forces you to be explicit during a conversation. You also miss the news in the grapevine. What cool, not yet formally announced projects are colleagues from other departments working on, for example? And in order to really get to know the culture of a company, it is also necessary to experience the activity and energy in the office.
Do you have tips for IT professionals starting a new job in Corona time?
Be entrepreneurial in your approach and take initiative. If possible, pick up a project where you have to work together with several colleagues and perhaps even with other departments. That way, you get to know people better and faster.
In addition, do not feel burdened to ask for time from your colleagues. For example, plan short meetings in their agenda. To ask for more information or explanation. My experience is that others are often very willing to help you on your way.