June 21, 2021

Starting a New Job During Covid-19


You’ve been able to navigate a challenging, unusual interview process and land that dream job. Now, you are preparing for day one at your new company. In today’s virtual zoom world, things will look extraordinarily different and it is essential that you have the tools and resources at the ready to be able to start your new job off on the right foot. With first-hand knowledge from hundreds of our candidates starting new jobs this year during the pandemic, we have some recommendations on what to expect and prepare for to make for a successful career transition.

Be Proactive. Take an active role in ensuring you have all the necessary information needed to start your new job. Ask your Hiring Manager and HR team about ways you can prepare before your first day. Can you schedule a virtual coffee/meet and greet with team members? Take an active role in orienting yourself through virtual meetings and being as visible as possible. Are there any applications or systems that you can familiarize yourself with that will help ease the transition?

Be Understanding. Much like you personally, the onboarding changes are likely new for your company so it is important to understand that things may not be as smooth as it would be pre-pandemic. Often, there are delays with technology setups, laptop deliveries, and onboarding items. Be willing to think outside the box to accommodate and that empathy will go a long way.

Stay Organized. Have a plan and stick to it. Ensure you have a proper way to organize what needs to be accomplished in starting your new job and have a to-do list of things you will need to do, setting aside time to accomplish them. Most people have their systems to stay organized, continuing to have them even while working next to your spouse or school-age child in today’s environment is imperative.

Learn the Culture and Know your Role. Make sure to meet with as many people on the team as possible. Personal interaction will help you meet people you’d traditionally see in the office, understand the organizational structure, and who you can turn to should you need any support. Seeking additional team members out, even for an informal meeting is an important way to get ingrained in the culture quickly.

Ask for Advice! Chances are, people in your network have started a new job during COVID, don’t be afraid to connect and ask for their advice and experience onboarding. What would they recommend? How can you best prepare to know what to expect going in?

Be Patient. Understand that things will take a little longer than normal and be clear on adjusted timelines. Practice patience when scheduling and getting things done in the first few weeks. This is an unusual time for all involved and everyone is trying to acclimate the best they can.

Communication. Overcommunicating in a remote work environment is essential. Without being to see your manager or team day in and day out, be sure to be clear on how communication should run, whether it be daily updates via email, zoom check-ins, or team huddles, make sure you know to avoid misunderstandings.

With 2020 behind us, we are truly entering a unique time where companies may continue to embrace virtual onboarding and work, while others attempt to return to normal. Regardless of what the future brings us, these tips are important while starting any position, but even more so when starting a new position in the middle of a global pandemic. Take a breath, you got this!

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