Just the Job: Tips to flourish when you’re the remote ‘newbie’

Q: I’ve been lucky; I’ve just landed a new job in a good company. Due to the current situation this office role is in a remote setting and it may stay that way. I was hired remotely. I am struggling to understand how I am going to be able to learn the job without a physical office or any real contact with colleagues. I understand they have an onboarding programme, but I’m not sure if that will be enough. Am I overthinking this? (BC, email).

A: First of all, congratulations on the new job – a great achievement in this new remote world. The company and hiring manager are confident you can do the job, so let’s see what you can do to ease the struggle, writes Ines Gonzalez, Career Coach, Sli Nua Careers.

You mention that you were ‘lucky’ to land the job. Maybe this is the first bit we should be concentrating on. That may hint at the existence of our old ‘friend’, the impostor syndrome - the feeling that you may not be 'good enough' and the extra remote ingredient is leaving you with many doubts.

But where do we start?

Building your confidence should be your first step.

Luck is not the reason you got the job; the real reasons probably include your likeability, understanding of the responsibilities, communication in the interview, past experience and achievements. And you managed all of that in a remote interview.

They want you there. But yes, it’s hard to be the newbie, particularly in a non-existent office.

Onboarding processes will vary greatly from company to company. I am sure there is someone at home in charge of that process scratching their head at the moment trying to find the way of better engaging new remote employees. So, I ask you to be patient.

In the meantime, please reflect on the following steps for a smooth start.

1: Remember, everybody was new at some point

It’s only natural to be self-conscious. But trust me; in general, your colleagues are preoccupied with their own issues, not thinking about you as the ‘new employee’.

Remember, you were hired because of what you can do and how you might fit into the organisation.

I have met many hiring managers and professionals over the years. They all agree on one thing; if you are a good fit for the team, they are not bothered about what you need to learn. They can provide the training, no problem.

2: Embrace the onboarding process

That may include some online training and remote meetings with managers and your team to get you up to speed.

Overcome the fear of asking questions. But be aware that people are busy and don’t want to be disturbed constantly. Try to compile all your questions so they can be answered in an efficient way. See if you can get a mentor, someone to go to for support.

3: Put forward your ideas and suggestions

‘I just started’ is not a good excuse. Remember you need a bit more visibility in a remote setting.

Questions to ask could include: what else I can be involved in? Am I getting this right? Would it be possible to get a bit more training on area x? Can I provide some ideas for the onboarding process?

Slí Nua Careers (www.SliNuaCareers.com) offer a full online service. Their services include CV preparation, interview training, job-searching strategies, public speaking and presentation skills, and career direction. For more details, visit www.slinuacareers.com

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