Have you started, or are planning to start, a new job during the pandemic?

Navigating a new job at any point in a professional career can often be intimidating or overwhelming and doing so during a global pandemic obviously heightens these feelings even more. Thousands of people have started new jobs over the past year, and are working remotely having never been to their new workplace or having never met their new colleagues in person. Starting a new job is daunting, but navigating a new role under these difficult circumstances can be stressful.

Below are three key elements that can significantly help you to not only learn and succeed in your new job, but also to grow in your personal and professional health during a time of extreme uncertainty ie. a pandemic.

  1. Have Patience

Starting a new job, at any time often requires patience with processes. Anything from HR checklists to having the IT department establish your computer system to even getting an identification card to enter your office building often takes time. Training and onboarding have been very difficult for employers over the past year and every person starting a new job remotely has been very much thrown into the deep end.

During a pandemic, simple problems or teething issues, can take much longer to resolve that before. Rather than getting frustrated about minute details (especially in the first few weeks of your new job), ask your supervisor/manager to help you develop an effective plan to accomplish many of the smaller tasks required to start the job. From there, reach out to internal departments, such as HR, Operations and IT, to gain a better understanding of who can best support you in your new role and who is best to contact should you have any issues with your working from home set up.

  1. Be Flexible

Before starting a new job, people often have an ideal or dream of how their position and the professional environment will be. But flexibility is almost always required in order to strive toward this vision. While you shouldn’t completely change who you want to be in your professional role, some ability to adapt is required.

As we have experienced during a global pandemic, priorities and tasks are often changing, sometimes within hours or minutes. Therefore, it’s best to try to narrow your tasks down in a way that best works for you, such as by priority or ease of achievement. Along with asking your manager for clarification of instruction or priorities, that will enable you to accomplish tasks while remaining flexible as needed.

  1. Communication is Key

Throughout the new job search and hiring process, communication is vital. From first establishing interview times to negotiating and accepting an offer, clear communication is needed from both you and your employer.

As already mentioned, patience and flexibility are highly valued, both in times of standard business practices and crises. But while those qualities are important, the need to communicate your limits and needs to your manager and co-workers is equally so, notwithstanding the current global crisis. By clearly articulating as a new employee those limits and needs to your manager or co-workers, you will create clear boundaries that will help you sustain your career over the long haul, while also being mindful of your personal health.

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