As a recent grad during COVID-19, you’re going to face a set of obstacles that most grads have not and most likely will not face in their lifetime. Businesses around the country are in all different stages of reopening. Some are only allowing a certain number of people into their establishments, while others are still wary and keeping their physical locations closed.
Depending on the company that’s offered you your new job position, your first day can vary. Some people may be starting their new job remotely and some may be going into the physical location.
No matter what the case is, here are some tips for people starting a new job during the pandemic.
Look and Dress the Part
We don’t tend to think about it, but first impressions are very important in the workplace.
According to a study done by Univia, 85% of the employees surveyed believed that appearance can affect your confidence. Essentially, if you look good, you feel good. However, it can be hard to feel confident and make a good first impression if you’re stressing about your physical appearance.
Despite the worry, there are ways you can improve your confidence if you do have insecurities.
Start by getting a fresh hair cut (as long as your state has reopened hair salons!). After months of quarantine grow-out, your hair could use the attention and knowing that it looks good can help boost your confidence and prepare you for your first day at your new job.
Our skin can also play a major role in how we feel about ourselves. Acne has been known to reduce one’s self-esteem and confidence, which in return can affect your productivity in the workplace. A couple of days before you start your new job, consider trying out an acne cream that will help your skin clear itself up, giving you the confidence you need to take on your first day!
And last, but not least, don’t forget about your attire. How you dress has the ability to influence what people think of you and in turn, how they act towards you. As with most people, the opinions of others can greatly impact our morale whether we like it or not. So pick out an outfit that makes you feel great as well as one that’s professionally appropriate for your new role.
Learn the Safety Rules
This applies to anyone who has to go into a physical location for their first day. Most companies have a set of safety precautions in place to protect you and the people you encounter from being exposed to potential infection. Some businesses are having their employees fill out health surveys before they enter the building while others are taking their worker’s temperature every day upon entrance.
Regardless of the protocol, it’s important that you make a point to ask about and learn what precautions your company has in place as it can influence how smoothly your first day goes. For example, some establishments won’t allow employees or customers inside without a mask, so be prepared. Social distancing measures are also in effect at most places, so you have to account for that too.
Even if you are working at an establishment that doesn’t require their employees to wear a mask at all times, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider wearing one anyway. If you would feel more comfortable working with something protecting your face, then let your supervisor know.
It’s important to ask your boss about wearing your own mask into work first as some companies have policies against it and would rather supply you with a company-issued one. If you are allowed to wear your own, a reusable cloth mask is a great option. Make sure to wash it daily to keep everything sanitary and clean.
Maintain Constant Communication
This is a good tip for anyone, but it’s especially important for remote employees. You will not be able to poke your head into your coworker’s office or seek out your boss to ask for help as you normally would. Instead, you’ll have to utilize whatever platform your company employs to make sure communication is still possible. This can be through email, a business communication platform such as Slack, or even a video chat tool like Skype.
Although you’re starting a new job and may feel hesitant reaching out to people you’ve just met, this isn’t the time to be shy. There are a lot of difficulties that can arise when working from home, so you want to make sure you’re addressing them. If you don’t speak up about any issues you experience, then doing your job will ultimately become harder.
Aside from technical difficulties, miscommunication can easily happen when you are messaging someone back and forth rather than talking to them face-to-face. There’s an even higher chance of miscommunication when you’re trying to explain an intricate and long situation to someone via an email. It’s also harder to tell a person’s true meaning since you cannot hear their voice or see their nonverbal cues.
Being a new employee adds another layer of difficulty to the situation since you haven’t yet built that rapport with their peers. That’s why it’s beneficial for recent hires to utilize video chats like Zoom more often than not to make sure everything is communicated properly.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, repeat what you’ve been told to ensure you haven’t missed anything, or ask for further clarification.
About Shonda: Shonda is a personal wellness writer that focuses on ways to better health and promote wellbeing. She believes everyone should have the tools and knowledge to live their best life possible. When she’s not writing you can find her reading the newest romance novel or cuddling with her dog.