Chelsea tells us about starting a new role in a pandemic

So back in February, we recruited for a position of sales and marketing administrator and then all hell let loose. This craziness has even seen the Prime Minister in intensive care and I really hope he pulls through. Regardless of your political beliefs, the country needs a strong leader at the helm and nobody can deny him that! But this left us wondering, what must it be like starting a new role in a pandemic?

To be honest, once the COVID-19 story gathered momentum, we did question (for a millisecond) if starting anybody was the right thing to do. It didn’t take us long though to work out that sales and marketing was the one thing we needed to absolutely do more of if we were going to see the other side of this fitter and ‘stringer’ than we were going into it.

So let me introduce you to Chelsea Andrews, our latest member of the team, she’ll tell you how starting a new role in a pandemic went for her! Chelsea spent a month travelling before starting with us in what has to be the most bizarre of circumstances. Lock down. We asked Chelsea to put in her own words, a blog of her first week with us at String and you can read how she got on below.

We knew we had made the right decision, even at the interview stage, so just how do you start a new team member without meeting them. Remotely of course!

Let’s Talk First Day Strangeness Starting Virtually at a new Job Role – Chelsea Andrews 1st April 2020

Just think back to when you started at your current position now, all the things running around in your head, What do I wear?, Where will I be sitting?, I wonder what the office properly looks like?, ‘Who are my new colleagues? I had none of these things to worry about as I have started my new role here at String Systems without having set foot in the office! By far it was the strangest first day I have ever experienced and I’m sure I will be retelling my story for many years to come. Looking back now I have one thought which sticks in my mind and that is just surreal… did I really meet the Managing Director for the first time via video chat from my kitchen? Yes, in fact that is how I have met all my new colleagues, completed any training, as well as attending meetings. I think without the systems that String have put into place within the office and the amazing team of engineers they have; it honestly wouldn’t have been possible for me to be able to start at another company.

Microsoft Modern Workplace is how we have been able to make all this possible and it has shown to be such a vital tool to use. Using Microsoft Teams we had the facility for users to share their desktop screens with others in a call, this has proven crucial for me and my line manager to complete training. Through this I have been able to show I have understood requirements and even complete tasks given to me all whilst Fran is in another town viewing my every move. That sounds like he is spying on me, but it’s not like that I promise.

We have an end-of-day video chat called the Water Cooler, which I attended from my first day. It is open to everyone in the company and was my first opportunity to meet most of the team for the first time. With this in mind, it was a peculiar event to see everyone dressed as Harry Potter characters, but it did make clear to me that the people I have now joined don’t always talk ‘shop’ and have the ability to laugh together. I absolutely love this idea as we can just let off a little steam from the days work as if we were together in the office, it is a brilliant idea which is keeping the office moral alive in these crazy times of lock down. Now I am excited to meet each one of the people I see on my screen at 5pm, and I know it will be as if we have been working together for as long as we have been working remotely from our homes.

Of course, this hasn’t been easy in the slightest, I have still had to learn new systems, virtually meet new people with the hope they like me, l am completing virtual training and pray I don’t mess everything up but it has all been worth it to say I started my exciting adventure in the strangest way.

I have quickly learnt that the people who work for String Systems are more than just colleagues, they are a family, they are Stringians, I am now a Stringian!

So it turns out starting a new role in a pandemic isn’t all that bad…

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