I am 23, working in marketing and this is my experience starting a new job in lockdown...
It was mid-March when I accepted the role of Social Media Manager here at Twiin. With my notice period left to go in my previous role, I don’t think any of us had any idea what would change in those two weeks. I had started wearing a mask on my commute, thanks to my partner’s family’s concern for us, but I remember discussions in the office of no one really worrying much about Covid. 1 week later and I’d been put into an Uber along with my work desktop computer. I had no leaving drinks, of course, said goodbye to my ex-colleagues over Zoom and had the computer sent back to a now locked down office.
Nonetheless, being stuck at home made the new job excitement even more prominent, and it was pretty amazing to only have to worry about the top half of my first day outfit. I did have a little extra anxiety over meeting new colleagues over zoom, but it was fine after the initial awkward introductions. We’re a small team at Twiin which meant no crazy 30+ people calls, and thankfully everyone was actually able to chat! The strangest part has to be seeing the living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens and pets of people I’ve never met face-to-face, and I’m excited for the day when we can all finally be back in the office together again.
The thing I definitely found the hardest was not having a ‘connection’ with my colleagues, whether that’s small talk, lunch breaks or drinks after work. I’ve learnt that these small things always lift my spirits and help to inspire me whilst I work. I’ve tried my best to have small video calls to try and replicate all of this and have really enjoyed the weekly morning catch up calls that maybe don’t quite stay on topic! Overall joining the company completely remotely was definitely a challenge for me. Looking back, I feel like maybe I didn’t come across as well as I would’ve liked to initially, partially because of nerves but also just plain awkwardness for this strange and intense situation we all found ourselves in!
One of the things I’m most thankful for is the patience and understanding the Twiin team had for me as a new starter. Not only had they already, rightfully, moved the entire team to work from home, but they also gave me plenty of time to familiarise myself with the team and all of my tasks. There was no pressure to hit the ground running and they continually understand that not everyone can work at their best when working remotely.
With a job that is already fully reliant on the internet, I know this pandemic has definitely changed my way of working forever. Whilst I enjoy the office atmosphere, I now see that it definitely isn’t necessary for my job with screen sharing and video calls meaning we can connect no matter where we are. I know that going forward, this flexibility will mean that myself and my colleagues will be able to focus on a happier work life balance and be able to spend time with our families a little more often - especially those of us with families outside of London. This is realisation of changing priorities that I think a lot of us will carry forward from 2020.
As thankful as I am to have started in this role during such uncertain times, I just can’t wait to speak to my colleagues without seeing my own little face in the bottom corner the entire time!