I think you can view the start of a new job as beginning from when you first see the ad. It’s from these early engagements that your begin to build up a picture of the organisation and get a sense whether it ‘feels’ right for you. The job ad for DWS Associates looked interesting as it seemed to meet many of the things I had been looking for. It was a young company with ambitions to grow and develop, and the role was broad based with diverse elements - I didn’t think I would get bored! From sending off my CV and covering letter the team at DWS came back quickly and offered me an interview. My initial impressions were that the organisation was professional and the tone of the emails indicated that they were relaxed and personable.
The interview put my problem-solving skills to the test straight away. I was asked to complete a brief research project to evidence my understanding of the economy of Argyll and Bute by completing a SWOT analysis. This provided me with the opportunity to not only display my research skills, but also my ability to present information in a compelling and interesting manner. The virtual interview with the Directors , David and Anne, was constructive and reinforced my view that the organisation was proficient and capable.
Following my acceptance of the job, the company continued to provide me with information. They kept me up to date on projects I was going to be part of and the steps they were taking to make sure everything was ready for my start date. This ongoing communication has given me confidence and laid the foundations for what I hope is a positive time working with the company.
The support I got from job ad to starting my first day, sitting in my home office, 95 miles from the company office made things a lot less daunting. I already felt like part of the business - I had received a clear job plan, I knew about the projects that teams were working on and I had met members of the team.
All organisations are having to learn new ways of working. This journey that I have been on has shown me that it is possible to enjoy a positive induction process even when the current situation prevents all the ‘normal’ methods of engagement. It may just take more time, planning and thinking to ensure that the candidate feels valued and is the centre of the process.
Working from home can hamper finding a productive work-life balance. Having a one bedroom flat meant my workspace is shared with my living space. Therefore, creating a dedicated workspace where I could be productive during working hours but feel relaxed during my down time was important to me. Using a small desk, I was able to turn one corner of my living room into my home office.
I wanted my home office to have personal items that would be conducive to effective working. For me these were: Tea, Candles and Plants. According to the UK Tea and Infusions Associations as a nation we consume 156 million cups of tea a day, I am proud to contribute at least four cups to that grand total. Candles produce a calming environment and allow me to really settle into my work. Finally, plants can offer multiple benefits, when it comes to the workspace these are: increased creativity, reducing stress, higher levels of productivity and even cleaner air.
With a dedicated workspace, it was time for my first week to begin. I quickly realised that the DWS Associates provided a flexible and encouraging working environment. This was paired with daily contact from David, allowing me to ask questions and receive feedback on pieces of work. On my first day, I spent time familiarising myself with the business and began to understand our values and motivations. With this information in mind, I embarked on planning my week identifying manageable daily tasks that would contribute to completing broader objectives.
As the week continued, I was brought in on one of our ongoing projects and felt energised by my initial experiences of client-based work. I also began working on our visual image, I created mood boards to stimulate discussion on our brand imagery. This process was thought-provoking and allowed for conversations that explored exactly who DWS is.
I concluded my week with a constructive meeting with Rene Looper about how DWS can harness CRM tools to better manage our current network.
Whilst starting a new job remotely can seem daunting, it can be made welcoming and encouraging. David and Anne have exemplified this, through effective leadership and frequent communication I now feel prepared to contribute to this exciting and developing organisation.