Starting a new job is scary. Getting acclimated to a new company's processes and procedures, getting to know your new teammates, learning new tools and technologies, getting up to speed on new projects ... all of these take time and effort and can be very stressful. I'm excited for the journey that I am about to embark on, but I know that my first few days (or weeks) will be very difficult, and I want to make sure that I'm setting myself up for success.
Part of setting myself up for success is making sure that I feel good, and for me part of that is making sure I like what I'm wearing. When I start a new job, I like to buy a new outfit to wear. The problem is, I'm still not doing a lot of in-person shopping (although I have done some), so I wanted to try to find something I liked online first. The other problem is that I've never had a remote first day of work before, so I didn't know if I wanted to just find a new top and not worry about what bottoms I wore or if I wanted an entire new outfit, even though nobody would see most of it. I ordered a few things online that didn't work out, and while I did spend a little time on in-person shopping, I ultimately decided to wear something I already own but style it in a new way.
While finding the right outfit is an important part of getting ready for my first day of work, it's not the only thing I needed to do. Before starting this new job, I needed to make sure that all of the "paperwork" was taken care of. I've already completed my background check, sent in some introductory information to the company, and signed up for our HR portal. I got an email earlier this week to set up a password for my email, which I did, and I have an invite waiting in that inbox to set up my Slack account (which I plan to do at some point this weekend). I was also told that I would need to provide proof of ID and proof of eligibility to work, so I need to make sure I know where that is for day 1. I believe I've taken care of all of the paperwork and administrative things I need to handle to get started with my job, and I'm excited to have all of that off my plate and taken care of.
Another thing I need to do to be successful is ensure that I'm ready for my first meeting with my new manager (which hasn't been scheduled as of when I'm writing this, but I'm hoping will be on my first day). I want to make a list of things that I know I want to discuss in this first meeting (including my needing to take a day off in July to move) to be sure that we don't miss anything important. I also want to have some thoughts written down about my goals (both short term over the next few months and long term) and what kinds of projects I'm hoping to become involved with. I'm also hoping to get some insight from my manager as to where I fit in with the team and the company and what we can do together to help me be successful.
Leading up to starting my most recent job, I spent some time working on my technical skills, which I felt were sub-par. Going into this job, I'm much more confident in my technical skills, so I'm less focused on using this time to improve my technical skills. I know there will be some technical ramping up necessary, but I think I'm in a good place to ramp up to a new codebase (with help from my new team, of course). I was originally planning to work on some personal projects during my time off, both to keep up my skills and to finish a few things I never got around to doing, but unfortunately I haven't had time, so I have to hope that my coding skills haven't gotten too rusty in my two weeks off.
While I'm not very worried about getting up to speed on technology, there are some things I'm a little nervous about. I've never done a remote onboarding before, and while I know the company has been doing this for over a year (and has onboarded a significant chunk of their engineering team remotely), I'm a little concerned about how things will go and whether I'll have any struggles getting set up. I'm also not sure how structured my days will be during the onboarding process (I have most of my schedule already but there are gaps) or how much guidance I will get for what to do during my downtime. I'm concerned that if I don't have enough structure in my first few days, I'll struggle to get into a routine and will be lost once that structure is in place.
The thing that I am most concerned about is getting to know and forming relationships with my coworkers. I'm not great at social interactions and getting to know people in general, and I'm nervous that being remote will add an extra layer of difficulty to my attempts to cultivate relationships with my new teammates and coworkers. I've never been great with small talk and conversations, but I do pick up a lot from being part of others' conversations and have gotten to know teammates (and share some of myself) in that way, and I'm not sure how I can do that in a fully remote world. I was considering setting up 1:1s with all of my teammates in my first few weeks, but I'm not sure that I'd be comfortable enough with everyone to have a full conversation, and I'd rather wait a bit on that until I feel more comfortable having those conversations. I'm still trying to figure out how to balance my desire to get to know my teammates and my comfort level (or lack thereof) with getting to know new people, but I do know that I want to already feel comfortable with my teammates before I ever set foot in the office.
The last thing I need to do to be ready for my first day is to plan my schedule for the day. I'll probably wake up between 6:15 AM and 6:30 AM. I'm signed up for a 7:30AM livestream class with my favorite barre studio as a way to get some movement into my day and make sure I'm starting off on the right foot. I often eat breakfast at the computer while working, but I want to make sure I have 20-30 minutes set aside to eat breakfast at a table before work starts. My onboarding officially starts at 9:30 AM, and I'm hoping to be ready to sit down and turn on my computer before 9:15 AM so that I have some time to get oriented, make sure my camera angles are okay (my current work setup is in my bedroom, so I need to be very careful about where I throw my dirty laundry), and make sure I'm calm and collected before my first meeting. We're starting off with the people team, followed by a company-wide meeting, so I'm hoping to get a good sense of how things work in the company before needing to learn about the engineering org or our product/business. I have some team-related meetings on my schedule too, and I'm excited to meet my teammates, learn about our app, learn about my team's processes and procedures, and get set up to contribute to my team and help us complete our work.
Starting a new job is scary. It's hard to feel comfortable and ready to work when you show up on your first day, and being in a fully remote world doesn't make that any easier. But starting a new job is exciting too. It's an opportunity to meet new people, try new things, grow as a human being and an employee, and make a difference in a new way. It's important to put in the work to make sure you're as ready as you can be for this new opportunity, and hopefully the company has done their part to be ready for your arrival.
This has been a stressful two weeks between jobs (both because of the job change and some life things), but I do feel ready. I'm ready to "show up" at work on Monday and I hope this will be the start of an incredible experience.