“You got the job.” These are words that everyone is excited to hear.
When I learned I was chosen for the new Account Manager position at 19 IDEAS, I counted down the days until my start date. I even bought a new outfit! And then I started to hear the word “coronavirus” with increasing frequency. I had hoped that the disease was far away and that its accompanying quarantining would never become my reality. That turned out to be very far from reality.
A few days before my start date, I received a call from 19 IDEAS letting me know that employees would be working from home for the foreseeable future – at least the next two weeks. Management was confident that we could proceed with my start date as planned and assured me that we would collaborate together so I could work remotely with the rest of the team.
Yikes. Not exactly how anyone imagines starting a new job. Then, the weekend before my first day, schools started to close. Double yikes. I was now quarantined at home with three kids for whom I had to help provide educational instruction while still being present and productive at my new job.
But so far, I have learned so much about myself and about my new employer while working remotely. I realized I have a ridiculous love for leggings and comfy sweatshirts — forget that cute dress I was going to wear on my first day. Also, who eats three meals a day? I have become a champion snacker.
As for work, I am forever grateful for video conferencing. It has been a blessing to still be able to have face-to-face conversations with my coworkers even though we’re apart. We’ve even had virtual happy hours. How cool is that? And as an added bonus, video conferencing gives me the extra boost I need in the morning to at least shower before I “show up” for work. I’ve learned that scheduling and creating a routine is crucial — as is the ability to “walk away” from work at the end of the day.
This will definitely be a first week to remember. As our agency’s founding partner and president Katie Krawczyk said, I win the award for weirdest first day ever. But if anything, going through a public health crisis has brought me into the fold of my new work family quicker. Although we are all doing our best in uncertain times and navigating working from home, we are delivering great work together.
This time has reminded me how much I love working in an agency. I miss the creativity and energy within those four walls. But I know we’ll be together soon, and that this will all be a distant memory.
But for now, stay healthy, friends, and wash those hands!