“Starting a new role during lockdown” … my experience

When I joined The Niche Partnership I was full of energy, optimism, and excitement…then within 2 weeks COVID hit 🤦‍♂️

The team went straight into full-time home working- we were gutted because the office had only just been renovated too! We left behind our brand new desks with dual screens, our new meeting room and had to do without our regular trips to Debbie’s café for breakfast wraps (to be fair my waistline might have appreciated that one!)

So, there I am working full time from home, figuring out a brand new role – let’s just say it was an adjustment! 😅

Do you know what though…I was relieved at how easily TNP transitioned into home working. I guess it’s because the guys there have always done this for part of the week, but genuinely it was super straightforward. We quickly adapted to life over MS Teams and even managed to keep the banter flying back and forth – albeit virtually.

All this was great…but what wasn’t so great was the job market. I think it’s fair to say this had ground to a halt. Being in recruitment, it was a bit of an issue 😬. This, I found to be my biggest challenge…

The many difficult conversations with people who had been furloughed or let go were tough. Also, as someone who naturally likes to be busy, I found the pace of the job market frustrating. Recruitment is known for being a bit of a rollercoaster, but the ups and downs during COVID have been so extreme it’s tested me!!

Then, gradually…the market picks back up (thank god!) and all my hard work over recent months starts to pay off. Suddenly I’m working multiple roles, doing late nights and making placements – I’m back 💪

Now during lockdown 2.0 I’m reflecting on what I’ve learnt from my time so far at TNP. Having been there, I find myself offering advice to candidates who are starting a new role during this second lockdown, here are my top tips…

Establish a routine

Starting a new role often means starting a new routine, i.e. your commute may have changed / your working hours might be slightly different etc. When your first day commute is from your bed to your dining table the routine can be a little different 🤣 I encourage you to set out some healthy habits early on. Continue your usual morning routine, i.e. having your breakkie and getting ready as you normally would. Try and take a lunch break and get out for a walk – do things to keep you focused and motivated.

Expect tech issues

Has anyone ever started a new role and not had tech issues?! When starting remotely, I can confidently say you’re likely to have at least a few technical blips! If you’re anticipating these, they will be easier to overcome. Try and think on your feet where you can, and identify early on the best point of contact for when the “turning on and off” method fails you.

Be as social as possible This seems strange to say given we’re in a lockdown, but stay with me on this one. Lucky for me, I’ve known Matt and Ben for years, so adapting to home working was easy for us. However, for those people starting a new role, having never met their teammates – I can imagine this would be strange! My advice – join regular video calls to try and stay as connected as possible. Establish good working relationships early on and then these will solidify further when you eventually meet in person!

Don’t be scared to ask questions

When it means picking up the phone to ask your question (rather than simply leaning over to the desk next to you) you may feel less inclined to ask. Don’t fall into this trap! When you start a new role the first few weeks are crucial for your learning, so you have to make the most of it. Be brave and ask as many questions as you need to!

I really hope the tips help others, as joining a new team during these challenging times can be difficult. I’m grateful that the guys at TNP have been so supportive throughout the entire pandemic, and instead, I found my challenge to be the turbulence of the recruitment market – which “touch wood” now seems to be steady!

Good luck to everyone starting new roles! If you need any further advice, you know where I am….

Kai.

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The Niche Partnership

The Niche Partnership

We specialise in the recruitment of accountancy and finance professionals across the South. Contact us for more information or to submit your CV.

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