“I wanted to call my supervisor and ask for more direction, but it was like, ‘Am I going to bother her?’” Ms. Pogrob said. “I didn’t feel comfortable really talking to co-workers like, ‘What’s the deal, what’s the office climate like, who do I talk to, who do I not talk to?’ I felt like I was out on my own.”
In ordinary circumstances, starting a job is an act of showcasing both professional expertise and social prowess. Onboarding virtually, especially during a coronavirus pandemic, can feel distant and impersonal. In normal times, Zena Everett, an executive coach and the author of “Mind Flip: Take the Fear Out of Your Career,” typically advises recent hires to take their time getting acclimated to a new position and to resist the pressure to make a splash.
“Now it’s the opposite,” she said. “You need to get in and start collaborating really quickly.”
While the office as we know it may be on its way out, you can transition into a different role, both logistically and culturally, if you’re cordoned from your organization’s work space and fellow employees. It’ll just take a little more legwork.
Nail virtual onboarding
Onboarding is a monthslong acclimation period that goes beyond just filling out paperwork. Before you even accept a new role, you should have an idea about what to expect during virtual onboarding, Adunola Adeshola, a career strategist, said. She suggests asking about the onboarding process in light of Covid-19 and what changes have been made to ensure that new hires are successful after they join the team.
Since you’ll be learning about your new role and your team through a computer screen, it’s important to give the technology you’ll be using a test run before your first day, Sherry Sims, a career strategist and the founder of the Black Career Women’s Network, said. Make sure you’re up-to-date on the company’s preferred communication tools, which may include Slack, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and other digital-collaboration products.
Read More: How to Start a New Job During a Pandemic