4 Tips For Starting a New Job, Remotely
These tips for starting a new job remotely will help you find success in the first few weeks of your new role, so you don’t have to wing it or feel unprepared.
Starting a new job remotely definitely comes with its own set of challenges.
Sure, you don’t have to worry about having bad coffee breath on the first day. But you may show up as a cat or introduce yourself on mute during your very first video call with your new company and coworkers, which is just as embarrassing.
So even though it may seem like you can simply “show up” to your new remote role and wing it, it’s better to prepare a bit more than that, as you’ll learn in this guide.
We’ll show you how to start your new remote job on the right foot, so you can impress and prosper in your first few weeks with ease.
4 Tips for Starting a New Job Remotely
Tackle these four tips, and your first few days and weeks at your new remote job will feel less intimidating.
Besides making a great first impression, you’ll also have no trouble weaving right into the team and feeling at home. These can all make your transition easier for you and everyone involved, even if it’s your first time working remotely.
#1: Prepare for This New Role Like You Would for an In-Person Position
Even though you’re not physically going into an office, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare ahead of time. You may find — especially after reading this guide — that you have to prepare even more when starting a new job remotely.
That’s because you won’t have the luxury of being trained in-person like you would at an office. Instead, you’ll likely spend a lot of time on your own figuring out what to do based on a set of instructions.
So, how do you get ahead of the curve?
First, make sure you have the right equipment to do the job, whether that’s having a computer with enough space on your hard drive to store files, beefing up your internet package, or ensuring your mic and camera work.
You don’t want to show up on the first day experiencing frustrating technical difficulties. This would make anyone feel flustered and tell their coworkers that they don’t have everything together.
Next, know what tools you’re expected to use and download these beforehand. Does your new company use Zoom or Skype for virtual meetings? What about their go-to project management tool? Is it Asana, Basecamp, or Trello?
More than likely, your human resources department or supervisor will reach out ahead of time to give you access to the tools the company uses. Once you receive these, it’s a good idea to start downloading and using them before your first day.
This gives you time to play around with them and ask questions before crunch time. Then you’ll be able to jump right in on day one.
Fill out any important forms and documents ahead of time, so you can get right to work. Normally you’d sign paperwork on your first day. But working virtually allows you to get these items out of the way long before you start.
So whether you need to fill out W-9 forms or send over copies of your IDs, try to get this done sooner rather than later.
Reading over important documents, company procedures, and their remote work policy is also smart at this point.
Brush up on your skills. Spend some time researching the skills and abilities you’ll need on a day-to-day basis. This will ensure you’re up-to-date on the latest trends and ready to go without the need for a tutorial.
If you’re starting as a social media coordinator, for example, brush up on the newest features and best practices of each platform before your first day.
Doing some extra research will also help you build confidence in your skills. And it can open your eyes to new ideas. These are two things any remote company will appreciate.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Keep a notebook nearby and jot down any questions that come up during these last few steps. Ask them ASAP, so you don’t fall too far behind or make a mistake during your first few days or weeks.
While no one expects you to be perfect or know everything right away, your team will appreciate that you took the time to understand more about their processes and that you’re asking insightful questions.
They may later address these questions for future remote new hires, so you may even help them improve their virtual onboarding process.
Research your company and coworkers, so you’re not going into this blindly. You may not have enough time in your first day or week to get to know more about your coworkers and the company. That’s why it pays to get some of this research done ahead of time.
Check out your coworkers’ LinkedIn profiles, take a quick glance at the articles they share, or browse their digital portfolios. This intel will help you form quick relationships, find common interests, and give you a chance to dive in deeper when the time comes.
#2: Create a Dedicated Office Space and Keep It Free From Clutter
When you show up to a job in-person, the company usually gives you a nice, clean office space to work from. But since you’ll be working remotely, it’s up to you to create your own workspace.
Even if you are just using a small corner of your kitchen, make it feel like a real office. Make sure you can sit down and work comfortably, focus for long stretches, and be productive.
Consider background noises and whether you’ll have to jump on video calls too. You don’t want a loud, cluttered, or distracting environment getting in the way of your calls.
If you need to print things out, try to keep a small filing cabinet close by so everything stays organized and within reach.
Using a whiteboard and having a calendar near your office space can also ensure you stay on track with your tasks and never miss a deadline.
#3: Dress for the Role as If You Were Going Into the Office
The phrase “dress for the role you want” is just as relevant when working remotely.
Even if it’s a casual remote company, that doesn’t mean you should show up in your pajamas.
And only dressing up the top half of your body is also not recommended. What if you have to stand up during a video call to answer the door or get your cat off your modem?
You’ll feel more productive when you dress up for work, and you’ll also give off a more professional vibe. This can help you feel less like you’re working remotely and more like you’re working a “real” job (with awesome flexible work arrangements!).
#4: Do a Dry Run Before Your First Day
One of the best tips for starting a new job remotely is to do a test run before your first day.
Normally this would look like waking up early, getting dressed, and timing out your commute.
For a remote role, the first two steps stay the same, but from there, you can test unknowns such as:
- Updating your programs and system
- Logging into your software and email
- Trying out a test video call
- Mapping out and sticking to a flexible schedule
You don’t want to be scrambling in the moment trying to figure all this out on day one. Practice these tasks beforehand, and you’ll look like you have everything together.
You can also check upcoming tasks in your project management software to make sure you know what’s expected of you during your first week. Then you can get started or ask questions right away.
Final Thoughts on Starting a New Job Remotely
By tackling these four tips, you’ll put yourself in a better position to start your new remote job on the right foot.
You’ll also find that the transition is easier than expected and that your first few weeks are more of a breeze than a stressful time of trying to figure it all out at once.
If you’ve never worked remotely before, this bit of preparation will make you feel so comfortable in your new work style, you may wonder why you didn’t take a virtual role sooner.
And if you haven’t found your perfect role yet, consider checking out our remote job board to see where your next career move takes you!
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