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Starting a New Job Remotely: 6 Tips for Success

Whether you’ll be taking the next step in your career in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic or making the switch to freelancing from home full-time, you may be about to begin a new opportunity without ever having met the team you’ll be working with in person! While it might feel a little strange and confusing to get started in a remote environment, you can still make a positive first impression and build strong relationships.

From dressing for success in cute blouses that stand out on-screen to finding clever ways to stay social with your coworkers, here are six tips for success when starting a new job remotely.

  1. Set aside some time to prepare for the new job in advance.

Just as you might read up on the company and its team members during the interview process and before starting an in-person opportunity, use the time before you start your new remote job to get as much background as you can.

  • Learn a bit about your coworkers by reading their bios on the company website, and look at their pictures to begin to recognize those you might be interacting with in your role.
  • Review your job description and jot down some ideas for how you’ll build on your core duties after you begin.
  • If you have any questions that were not answered during the interview process, make them easily accessible so you know what to ask during your first few weeks on the job.

  1. Create a space that feels inviting and inspires productivity.

Unlike a typical office job, when you’re working from home, you’ll be largely responsible for setting up your space. Create one that builds an environment that allows you to think and work, but also includes personal touches.

  • If you don’t have a separate room that you can use as your office, try to clear an area in your home that can permanently serve this purpose. It’ll help to have a space where you can focus.
  • Set up your computer and desk essentials in advance so that all you have to do is log in on your first day. Ensure you have enough lighting to see your work clearly, and also so your coworkers can see you clearly on video calls!
  • When you have the benefit of working from home, you can put as many snacks as you want on your desk! Feel free to set up a shelf with goodies to fuel your day.
  1. Put together comfortable, stylish outfits that shine on screen.

While it’s not advisable to go completely pantless while you work from home, remote jobs offer you the opportunity to dress more comfortably than you might have been able to in an office environment. Think about how to put together outfits that will look flattering in video calls.

  • Cute cardigans and blouses are sophisticated choices to wear while working from home that still manage to feel just as snuggly as pajamas.
  • Bold colors stand out on video calls without overpowering what you have to say. While large geometric prints offer visual interest, small, busy prints might not translate as well on camera.
  • Use accessories to add some pizzazz to your look. Flirty glasses frames, a cushiony headband or boutique earrings are all fun ways to liven up your WFH outfits.
  1. Don’t be afraid of over-communicating, or of asking too many questions.

Whereas you may have gotten used to getting up–or rolling on over–to a colleague’s desk to ask a question, you might need to set aside time to do so in a remote environment. Communication isn’t always the easiest when the whole team is working from different places, but you shouldn’t feel afraid to be as open and honest as possible.

  • Clearly ask your supervisor and/or your clients their communications preferences, so that you are aware of the best ways to get in touch with them if you need to.
  • Ask as many follow-up questions as you need upfront to get clarity about your projects and assignments.
  • Until you’re feeling extremely comfortable in your role, don’t be afraid to share your updates every step of the way, or to communicate with your team members directly about what’s working (and not working) about existing processes.

  1. Set up time to connect with coworkers involved with remote social opportunities.

When you’re not working in an office, you don’t get to have the same opportunities to get to know your coworkers by bumping into them in the break room or at the printer. While you can’t completely recreate those experiences, try to find time to get to know your colleagues outside of your regularly scheduled meetings.

  • Invite coworkers for a virtual lunch break together, where you can learn more about what your coworkers like to do outside of work.
  • If there are any recreational clubs or activities that employees are allowed to participate in, virtually or otherwise, consider joining one that piques your interest.
  • Use conversational groups, like Slack or WeChat, to bring a little bit of levity to the workday and forge deeper connections with your coworkers.
  1. Go easy on yourself as you adjust to your new role.

It’s difficult enough to start a new job, but you might be even more nervous to begin one from home. Be patient with not just your coworkers, supervisors and clients, but also with yourself.

  • Set aside time to take a break during the day, and to separate yourself from your computer once your work is done for the evening.
  • If you forget someone’s name, speak while still muted or have to ask something a second time, try not to feel bad or guilty about it. Many of us are still adapting to remote work!

Off to a Successful, Stylish Start

While starting a job remotely is certainly a unique experience, there are still many similarities to the experience of starting a new job in an office environment. If you take the time to prepare, dress for success and build relationships as best as you can, you’re sure to be off to a great start in the new gig.

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