Graduates across Universities in Australia are experiencing tremendous anxiety and uncertainty when it comes to their employment prospects, as they are set to graduate during one of the biggest socio-economic crises the world has ever seen. Those who are fortunate enough to have an employment offer will be starting on their first job in January 2021. So, what exactly will your Day 1 and beyond look like and how can you prepare to thrive in the new normal?
Graduate onboarding and training process was extremely dependent on the physical office and in-person interactions. The first day orientation with documentation and paperworks used to happen at a physical office. The formal training classes, culture setting sessions and other training sessions were conducted using enterprise LMS in the office premises. The socializing with fellow colleagues, mentoring session for hands on learning and frictionless knowledge exchange was facilitated at the office premises.
How will things look like for you in the post-COVID world with no physical office and all your new coworkers just a face in a video call?
While experienced employees are still adjusting to it, it is going to be even harder on graduate hires. The anxiety and lack of social capital will affect productivity as well and make transitioning from a familiar University environment to a competitive professional world very hard indeed. Lack of instant feedback will also make the learning curve steeper and longer. Isolation is likely to impact mental health resulting in low motivation.
But now is not the time to give up. Time to thrive in your first job in the time of Covid. Here is some simple and practical advice to help you get started:
- Adopt to technology like Zoom and Slack — Communication and collaboration solutions like these are built to stay connected and collaborate with multiple stakeholders and deliver the assigned work on time
- Always keep camera on — Keeping camera on adds the human element to the conversation happening over collaboration tools like Zoom and Slack
- Make connections outside of meetings — Keep connecting and build your network. The more you connect with people inside your organisation, the better opportunities you might end up with
- Schedule regular meetings with the manager — It’s important to stay in touch with your reporting manager. A quick update or catchup call is all that it takes to make work smooth for you
- Schedule virtual Social events — Don’t forget that you are a human and human are social animals. Scheduling virtual social events often will help you network and break the ice
- Meet in small groups in public places to know the co-workers better — Strictly adhere to local guidelines and meet with proper social distancing. Technology cannot replace human interaction and a walk in the park or morning run can be worth dozens of Video calls
- Use social media to create a personal brand — With lack of familiarity, co-workers are more likely to check you out on social media. It’s more important than ever to have a professional social media presence primarily on LinkedIn. Your personal branding will showcase your skills and expertise which will open doors to multiple opportunities.
The future is uncertain and the world is a different place. Remember, it’s not just you but everyone in this world adjusting to the new normal and the ones with perseverance, passion and innovation will be the winners!
Wishing you all the very best for your first job.