Starting any new job is an exciting but daunting experience and if you’re doing it all remotely, you may feel those new job nerves even more.
Those first few days and weeks on the job are all about learning the ropes, meeting your new colleagues and understanding how the company operates. Doing it all via a computer screen can be challenging, but the good news is there are steps you can take to ensure it all goes smoothly.
Here are our top tips to set yourself up for success when starting a new job remotely:
1. Sort out your setup
A good home office setup will help you feel prepared and confident and is key to getting and staying ‘in the zone’. Your new employer will usually make sure you have everything you need before your first day, including your work laptop and any other techy bits.
You may receive instructions on the software you need to install or profiles to set up: make sure you do this all in advance. Spend some time familiarising yourself with the digital tools you’ll be using on a daily basis such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Trello too. The more prepared you are, the less overwhelming those initial stages will feel.
2. Know what to expect
You will usually be given an induction plan outlining the first week or so when you start. If not, ask your manager about their expectations of you and how you will be spending your time. It’s also worth finding out how people prefer to communicate. For example: if you have a question, is it best to send an email or chat message or call someone? Gaining this perspective will allow you to feel more in control and less like you’re being thrown in at the deep end.
3. Get to know your colleagues
Building positive relationships with your new colleagues is key to making you feel included and happy in your new role, but since you’re only able to interact with them virtually, it will take some more time and effort. Your induction plan may include meetings with people from different teams and, in some cases, you may be assigned a ‘buddy’ who you can ask questions and who can introduce you to others. However, try to reach out to people on your own too. Virtual coffees, lunches or after work drinks are all great ways to get to know people. Don’t forget: many people are missing the social side of work right now and would be happy to meet their new colleague for a chat!
4. Ask questions
When starting any job, it’s important to ask questions. Not only does this help you to understand your new role and company, it also shows that you’re keen to learn and get stuck in. The trick is knowing when and how to ask. Bigger questions that warrant some discussion or explanation may be better answered via a (video) call, so don’t be afraid to suggest it. If it’s a quick query, a message is usually fine. Also keep track of any general questions you may have throughout the day so you can bring them up during one-to-ones with your manager.
Starting a new job is hard enough, let alone doing it remotely. So, above all: be kind to yourself. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to do everything perfectly and embrace the learning process for what it is. A little trust and belief in yourself will get you a long way.