It’s safe to say lockdown hasn’t been easy for anyone. It’s been a unique experience with its unique set of challenges for every individual, whether you’ve been grappling with learning to work from home, having been furloughed (or worse, made redundant), or for me – getting to grips with starting a new role without ever having met the people you’re working with.
To most people, a global pandemic and a national lockdown doesn’t sound like the most ideal time to be looking for a new job (especially in the creative industries), but by some stroke of luck, I landed this dream job at Social. Some might say getting the job itself is the hardest part, but arguably today, I think it’s actually settling in and fumbling through those initial few weeks without being able to interact with colleagues in person. While we have the brilliant technology of Teams, it definitely doesn’t replace the face-to-face interactions with other people, where you can read each other’s energies in a room, bounce ideas off each other and simply connect on a deeper level. And in the office, there aren’t adorable fluffy Labradors running around and poking you with a chewy toy every 2 minutes to distract you!
But don’t get me wrong – while starting a job in lockdown has been challenging, it’s also been hugely rewarding. Perhaps this context means that I’ve ‘met’ people on my team that I wouldn’t necessarily interact with as much, or it’s in general made everyone more conscious of supporting one another, communicating more clearly and/or just being more present for a team member, if only virtually. You really need to hit the ground running when transitioning into a new role, never mind a virtual one, but it’s a really great, energising feeling. In lockdown, we’ve been so under-stimulated with just the lack of things to do and places to be, so being actually busy in a new role is exactly the thing I needed. Before, we’d have morning routines, our long (and generally, awful) commutes, our days at the office, our commutes home, combined with any other hobby-based activities or errands. Our days would be pretty chocka. But in lockdown, it’s quite literally the opposite: an unstructured or non-existent routine for most, with a 2-minute commute to the spare room – and that’s it. But I think this context applies mostly for jobs we’re familiar and comfortable with, jobs we’ve been in for years, as I was before.
Having started this new role, my first month has been brilliant and I’ve been out of my comfort zone for the first time in what feels like forever. I’ve been challenged but I’ve enjoyed every second. I’ve felt supported and welcomed and genuinely a part of the team, which is so difficult to convey through a 2d image on a screen. I’ve felt inspired by my work, excited for future projects and – now the world is slowly returning to normal – I can’t wait to be working with my team in the flesh and develop my co-working friendships even more.
With the company’s ethos revolving around being social and general wellbeing, it’s ironic to think that starting this role in the least social way possible in circumstances that admittedly aren’t great for one’s wellbeing, that I couldn’t have found myself in a better role at this time. Since finally meeting my team last Friday on a team building day, I can absolutely say that I can’t wait to be working in the same room as them, and truly live up to the company’s name and be (literally and figuratively) Social!
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It’s been a pleasure to work with the team from Social. It’s been a seamless process and the end product was exactly as we briefed.
Jonathan North, Digital Communications Manager, UK Sport