The past year has been the year of virtual. Virtual celebrations, parties, weddings, meetings and, of course, the virtual employee. Shifting away from a traditional workplace has been an adjustment for most, but this shift presents unique challenges for those who have started their careers during the pandemic.
Remote work can sometimes feel isolating, and even more so when you’re just getting started at a new company at the beginning of your career. Through my own onboarding experience, I’ve developed some tips that have helped me succeed as a virtual employee during this untraditional transition.
Raise Your Hand
Working from home can sometimes feel isolating, so make sure you’re connecting with your coworkers. Raise your hand when you have important questions, to get involved on new projects or even to ask someone you don’t regularly work with for a virtual coffee chat to get to know them better.
The more you get involved or make yourself heard, the easier it will be for you to connect with your new teammates and gain confidence in your role.
Assigned a task you’re unfamiliar with? Dive right in! Getting your hands dirty and trying to figure out your own way to complete a task isn’t only a great way to show initiative, but you may discover a new and improved path for getting the job done.
Of course, don’t take for granted the trainings and insight from seasoned team members. But for me, and I’m sure many others, it isn’t until we tackle a new task firsthand that we fully understand how to do it ourselves.
With all the additional distractions that come with working from home, it’s important to stay on top of all you have to get done. Ensure success as a virtual employee by keeping track of your trainings and tasks via the art of list making. Create lists (yes, plural) of your to-dos.
It’s been helpful for me to organize my tasks by day, week and then longer-term items. When I have the capacity to work ahead of schedule, I already know what’s coming down the pipeline and I can use that time productively to get ahead. This way, when I’m pulled into exciting new projects, or as my workload ramps up, I don’t find myself playing catch up.
If you have the new job jitters, you aren’t alone. But the unique experience of being virtually onboarded gives you the opportunity to push the boundaries, as you're officially no longer confined to the walls of an office. In one of Next PR’s onboarding videos, our CEO, Heather Kelly, says, “Lean into what’s hard,” and that’s exactly what virtual employees have to do.