July 28, 2020

Starting a New Job During COVID-19: Tips for Success

Daniel Larner

Starting a new job is stressful. You want to show your stuff, be enthusiastic, and integrate into your new team and company as quickly as possible. Onboarding can be confusing with all the new administrative systems to get used to and who to contact if you have questions. Starting a new job remotely can be even more of a challenge. There’s no face to face interaction (except everyone’s favorite, Zoom), no happy hours, no spontaneous coffee breaks. And to make things even more difficult, toss in a pandemic.

How SingleStone made starting a new job easy despite COVID-19

Luckily for me, onboarding at SingleStone has been a breeze. The process was well adapted to a remote version, so the first week was filled with the regular introductions and meetings that would happen were we to be in the office together. I was able to virtually say hi to nearly the entire company on our firm Friday call, a weekly meeting SingleStone recently started in response to COVID-19 and remote work.

Integrating into a new job and team remotely during a pandemic is a challenge for anyone. So, I've taken what I've learned in my first week of onboarding virtually and created these tips that you can use to make your onboarding experience a success.

Starting a new job in your home office
  1. Stay patient. Sometimes new hires can feel as though they need to start contributing on day 1. While that’s the right attitude to have, it might be best to get acclimated and ramp-up at a steady pace to avoid burn out.
  2. Send one Slack message (or message service of your choice) introducing yourself to someone new each day. No one is in the office so meet and greets must be virtual. Let people know you’re here and excited to get started. Think of it as the virtual way of you waving and smiling as you pass someone in the office hallway.
  3. Set up your workspace. You may have been working remotely previously, as pretty much everyone has during this time, but taking the time to set up your workspace can save a headache down the road. A designated workspace can also serve as your "escape" from regular home life.
  4. Set up goals (personal and with your manager) for short, intermediate, and long-term time frames. This will keep you focused and have something to aim at even when so much is up in the air.

Starting a New Job Remotely: Our New Normal

In a technology-based role, like a DevOps Engineer, onboarding may be easier than most. Even before the pandemic, companies were moving toward more remote work, and COVID-19 has certainly sped up that process. For other roles not directly associated with technology, this has been a large-scale experiment in the ability to work from home (or not in a traditional office setting). Much has changed since the beginning of the year and companies have had to be creative and adapt, and how they respond will continue to change for the near and distant future.

Beginning a new job is stressful, but our current situation makes it even more trying. We're all getting used to this new normal. Hopefully, my tips will help you have a smooth experience as well.

Have questions about what it’s like working here? Feel free to send me a message or comment below. Plus, we’re hiring! Explore our open roles and come work with me.


Daniel Larner

Software Engineer
Go to bio