Joining a company as a new starter is always a little nerve racking, with so many unknowns. There are anticipations, doubts and worries, along with a whole host of questions we ask ourselves; Will the role be what you hoped for? Will you fulfil your employer’s expectations? Will you work well with your new line manager? Will you fit in with the team?
The list can go on, and most of the time these questions are typically answered within the first few months of starting, as you get a good feel for your role in the new office environment, interacting with the people you work with.
But what if you join right in the middle of a Pandemic, when the country is shutting its doors, and even your new office is off limits?
Imagine this; your last interaction with your potential employer was an interview by video call, it may have been your second or third now, and you're never quite sure how you came across. Luckily you receive an offer - the one you hoped for and you accept and look forward to the exciting new road ahead- relief!
I was thrilled to be employed by Lokulus in April as Head of Projects. My role is to oversee Project Delivery by Professional Services, Support and Customer Success Management, and was ready to take on the challenge of starting a new job in a new company, from my home.
I was ready to get started, but even the logistics of gaining access to the necessary IT equipment was a new experience for me while in lockdown - how do people do this? Navigating the practical and personal elements of being a new-starter in this situation was a new challenge. So how did that go?
When I joined the team at Lokulus, they had everything ready for me. It all began when I collected my new laptop from the Head of IT’s front garden, which he had carefully propped up against his campervan of course! Now set up and ready to go, it was time to meet my fellow colleagues. They had organised meet-and-greets, an HR induction and various handover meetings.
It's of course, not quite the same as being in the office, and I, much like a lot of us out there, miss being able to even walk around an office and interact - even the little things like getting a tutorial on the coffee machine can be part of the experience.
Lokulus have pulled out all the stops to ensure I was welcomed, included and feel just as much integrated with the team and the work that we do as if we were all together in the office.
We do team challenges, have our weekly Quiz from our Head of Sales, Victor, lunchtime games and even virtual pub nights on a Friday.
I do have one slight advantage perhaps over others in a similar situation to myself, where I had previously worked for Lokulus 6 years ago and had already worked with a number of colleagues beforehand.
In some ways, it made it all the more interesting, as I had to navigate my way around re-engaging with the people I already knew who in some cases had different roles, but also start new working relationships with those I had not met beforehand, albeit remotely by video calls.
Was it odd? I would say it was strange, but because of Lokulus’s strong focus on the importance of culture and the approach they have to how we work together, it has been truly brilliant! The team have been very welcoming and it feels as if I have never been away.
Since the lifting of lockdown, I have now been shown around our physically-distanced office, used the new fancy coffee machine, met a few more people new to me, had a couple of valuable meetings face-to-face and even grabbed a sandwich with some old work colleagues!
Despite things looking a little gloomy, I look forward to one day returning to a fuller office, and re-connecting in a less virtual way!