Joining a Business Mid-Pandemic

Author Cat Cumming 4 min read time

When starting a new job many feelings surface leading to your first day; worries about if you will fit in, did you make the right decision, excitement about where your new job is taking you. These feelings affect everyone from the 18-year-old just out of school to the 50-year-old with a whole wealth of knowledge. 

Starting a new job is a challenge which I like to think I would hit straight on but I would be a liar if I said that starting a job in a pandemic wasn’t a completely different experience, one which I have now experienced.

Joining a company in a national pandemic is becoming part of the new norm. We need to all start learning how to adapt or be left behind, as the spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle quoted ‘Evolve or Die’. At Overdrive Digital their evolution has led to success over 2020 which has seen the company grow and have the opportunity to hire some new faces, a very fortunate position to be in! I was one of these lucky faces to join at the start of December 2020. 

On my first day, I met the team (some virtually), got to know my new equipment, office practices were explained and my next three weeks and three months were laid out in detail ahead of me. With clear guidance on my days to come, being thrown once again into a lockdown became less daunting. As reality was shut down, virtual quickly took over once again. Luckily this was not Overdrive’s first attempt at a lockdown, nor their second either, third times the charm.

My Top Tips:

1. Plan your day in advance

We use a software called Asana where you can track, organise and plan your work as a team. Your colleagues can quickly set out your tasks and collaboration is easy to do- especially virtually! 

2. Listen to music or Overdrive Digital’s podcast ‘Marketing Freaks’

Shocking self-promotion I know! But having some sort of music or podcast to drown out the neighbour’s children screaming,  your dog barking, or your significant other in all day meetings, which is often how my day looks, is helpful in keeping focus. 

3. Catch up with your colleague

9 am sharp my colleagues and I are on a group call chatting about the day or week ahead. How we can help/support each other and sometimes general chitchat. On a Friday after work, we also enjoy a virtual drinks catch-up whether that be a cup of tea or a pint of beer.

4. Keep your work structure

DO NOT roll out of bed to your desk at 9 am! Get dressed, not into your joggers, but into work attire (doesn’t have to be a shirt and tie). Use that extra time you now have in the morning to go for a walk, enjoy a cooked breakfast or do some reading- things you might not have a chance to do on your morning commute. 

5. Remember to switch off at the end of the day! 

Turn off your computer, close the screen, and walk away. 

There is a famous rule that only 7% of communication is verbal and 93% non-verbal. This 93% of non-verbal communication can be broken down into 55% body language, and 38% tone of voice. With this in mind, a video call just doesn’t cut it. Yes, I can see the person, yes, I can hear them, but how do I get a realistic idea of who they are or how they work.

That’s why the final step and maybe the most important one that you might forget to do is talk to everybody! As a new member of the team you need to work out how you fit in, what interests do people have, and get to know everyone other than on the other side of a zoom call. You have a voice, so use it! 

I am one of the lucky few who has had the opportunity to join a new company like Overdrive Digital with the ability to expand in these unprecedented circumstances. As the world changes and virtual onboarding becomes the new norm take my tips from above to make your transition easier in 2021.