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What it’s like to start a job during lockdown? #3

Over the last three weeks we have been sharing the stories of three M.i.'ers who started M.i. Media during lockdown. Starting a new job is always unnerving, but starting one in a national lockdown is far worse! Today we share the final story, from our Biddable Account Director, Kush.

By Kushtrim Jeta

Biddable Account Director

My first day on the job would also become my last day in the office, at least for a very long while. On that very day, Lockdown was announced and the office, as many others around the country, was closed. As everyone knows, the first few days or weeks of joining a new company is your time to adapt to the new environment, learn the new names of your fellow colleagues and get a sense and feel of working there. I, unfortunately, did not have that privilege when I joined M.i. Media.

What followed on from that was many video and audio calls through Microsoft Teams. Learning names of those you’ll work with and getting into the groove of your new role. Over time you learn and develop your new way of working, everything pieces together and as they say, the world keeps spinning.

Having worked in part from home and in the office at my previous role I was well prepared for a work from home environment. I think the timing in my career allowed that too to be honest; I had worked in an office environment where I was taught by managers, shared ideas with my peers and was comfortable in the knowledge and responsibility. Had I been an Exec who recently joined the workplace, learning new things and trying to grasp all of these happenings in the world, it would’ve been a much harder challenge – a challenge two new Execs (Rachel & Dorottya) did face.

The working from home element, in terms of the actual day to day job did not hamper me, it’s the additional development of support groups which take longer to build, and again that’s just the time it takes to get to know your new work colleagues. Knowing your colleagues, understanding company processes and even the simple ability to immediately ask questions is the initial blocker. However, through any challenge comes a great opportunity to grow and develop – M.i. Media as a company has a great human philosophy, it is more than a company but a true support group that has a ‘one for all, all for one’ mentality. This really showed throughout.

As a manager, one of the greatest challenges is training new starters during this pandemic. The lack of face to face makes conversations difficult - you cannot always be there to demonstrate things to them – the approach to training and communicating had to adapt. The process is longer than it would usually be, but the outcomes are still the same: Execs who show great application and desire to progress, overcome barriers and feel supported.

There was a brief moment, when Lockdown did slightly ease, and we were back in the office. Those team members I had conversations over Microsoft Teams, I was now having seamless and non-apprehensive talks with them about work and our lives. During Lockdown we got to know each other online and still had that comfortability with each other in person too. We had truly developed our support group as a team.

COVID-19 still continues to work its grim effects on many lives, but we can continue to work together, know one another and keep carrying on.