Anyone else started a new role during lockdown?

So I started a new job in April (during lockdown), and it’s really been challenging at times trying to make friends. I’m constantly the one reaching out and making connections, while the people who have been there for a longer time are just putting their heads down and trying to get through it. xD I’ve been organising biweekly after work video calls for socialising, and joined the Culture Club to try and be part of team activities etc, and messaging people with anecdotes and jokes, but I still feel very isolated from the team.

For those who have started new roles, do you feel like you’ve made friends in the company? What have you been doing to build connections and really become part of the team?

And people who have always worked remote, how do you do it also?

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I started my new job one day before we were all told to work from home by Boris.

I saw my desk and waved at a few people, but practically it’s all been remote since. It has been really tough reaching out to people, especially where the company was not prepared for any kind of WFH, and as such inductions haven’t happened, and neither have introductions.

I’ve worked hard at introducing myself to people, but have you ever tried Skype for Business? I feel like one of my main strengths in previous jobs is that I feel like I am very personable, but I haven’t felt like I have been able to do it so well remotely. It has been a huge learning experience for me. I have been able to share little nuggets of what I am about, do remote whiteboarding, pairing and such. But I still miss actual in person interactions!

And since then there have been two furlough windows and a redundancy window. I have now applied for voluntary redundancy and will start a second job in lockdown!!

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When I started in MoT (my first fully remote role) @mcgovernaine and I would have a cuppa and a chat scheduled in once a week. Basically like getting in your tea break in an office job but remotely. We’d just chat about things and get to know each other.

As the team expanded, meeting up at the UK events (so arriving a good bit before the big day) and co-working in a space or having dinner together or even sharing an apartment together really helped us all to get to know each other better.

Obviously with all of this waves hands, meeting in person isn’t possible any more. So when lockdown started, we scheduled 1 hour for online cards. We kept it strict to the 1 hour mark because with already being remote, you get a bit tired of all the virtual calls if they span the whole day. We’ve talked about having a crochet evening with myself, @mcgovernaine and @dianadromey maybe teaching some stitches to others who are interested but we haven’t gotten around to that just yet. Our random channel on the bosses Slack is getting a good bit more use though!

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Oh yeah, having somewhere to have a virtual coffee break is a really nice thing to do. When I left my old job, one of my colleagues there had suggested keeping the timeslot that we had weekly for a coffee together, but do it over a call.

During this lockdown I have not only discovered the Virtual Coffee MoT Slack channel, but also the Tester Hangout that Lee Marshall (@nufenix) set up.

My line manager did set up informal calls twice a week on Zoom that were optional to join, they were nice and possibly the only place where I got to see my colleagues in non-work mode.

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Greetings!

I’m moving on from my Test Engineering role. I’m starting in a Data Analyst role at the beginning of August.

Joe

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I ended up writing about my experiences in my new role in lockdown:

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