5 top tips for a successful first day in a virtual new job

Day one. New job. Exciting! Congratulations!… but there is no fan-fair, no warm, in-person welcome, no shaking hands and no lunch on day one.

This is the new pandemic-style onboarding. Welcome to your new job.

You spent months applying for roles and finally get to start that new job, yay! A few healthy nerves of excitement… but wait. You are sat in the same chair and in the same room as last week when you were job hunting – How strange is this? Many of the key moments we have come to expect from a first day are no longer relevant (for the time being at least) and so we can feel a little lost when it comes to settling in.

Here are my 5 top tips for joining your new company in a virtual world.

1) Be patient: Every company will have some form of induction plan for you – but it may not include how to join remotely. That wasn’t a reality when they wrote those induction plan templates. So, find out what the company’s plan for you is, and then be pro-active – you’ve got your own 306090 day plan, yes? (If you haven’t, I can help you with that!) And don’t worry or get frustrated because your laptop and phone didn’t turn up yet, or you don’t know who is who, or no-one has given you any work yet. Be patient. Do what you can to help them help you, use the time to read any documents about the organisation and how things work around here. The main thing is, do something.

2) Change your physical workspace around: You have everything you need, you are in your home-work area, but something feels off. Of course, it does! you are in the same physical space as you were when you were job hunting and that had its ups and downs, right? So change things around. Be creative, set up your home workspace with a nod to your new job – maybe a picture or upbeat saying on the wall near you. Change your desk around, add some flowers (if that’s your thing, I’ve added plants and they make me feel good), or buy yourself a new notebook and pen. Just make it look different, so you feel different.

3) Use time wisely: Just because you aren’t being shown around the office building, shaking hands here and there and being treated to lunch on day one (those were the days!) doesn’t mean you need to twiddle your thumbs and wonder what you should be doing – that feels horrible doesn’t it? Ask your new boss who are the key people you should say hello to in your first week and then call them. Better yet, make those a video catch-up by having an online coffee for 20 minutes to introduce yourself. Be proactive.

4) First impressions still count Even virtually. It’s day one and you are in your PJ’s at work – yes we all do that, but you don’t know these people and they don’t know you, so build rapport with your new work colleagues before you lapse back into the PJ’s look. You don’t need to be suited up, just be comfortable, do look smart, smile, be friendly and watch out for your video background. Washing hanging up in the background might have been alright in your previous job when everyone knew you but think about first impressions and tidy up your background.

5) Don’t keep quiet – say hello! If you have actioned all the above and it still feels strange starting in your new job remotely, tell someone. Your new boss or your HR contact can support you, so be open and say how it feels. After all, this is new for companies too, so they will appreciate knowing how you feel and working with you to help you feel comfortable as you settle in.

Need help transitioning into a new role? Or perhaps you are looking for outplacement and career transition support for your employees? Connor’s personal approach to means we are there to support and develop you and your people every step of the way during your job search, for as long as it takes. To find out more about how Connor can support you and your organisation, click here.


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