Onboarding During COVID-19
When I pictured graduating from college I thought I was going to have a job lined up, throw my cap in the air at Schoellkopf field, go on a graduation trip with my friends, and move to NYC.
While I did graduate from Cornell University this past spring, it was not in the way I had imagined at all. August of 2019, I had gone to my boss at the yacht club where I had coached sailing for three summers and told him I wanted one more summer of fun as a coach before entering the professional world. So I had a job for the summer of 2020 but not past that.
When May 24th rolled around, there was no shot of a graduation ceremony or grad trip, didn’t have a full-time job offer, and there was no sign of moving out of my family’s house any time soon. Coronavirus was everywhere, and still today with the vaccine, we most likely won’t return to ‘normal’ for a couple of years.
Finding a job during the pandemic was hard, I had been applying to jobs since the beginning of my senior year, and had gone through dozens of interviews, but when everything changed in March that slowed down too. I ended up continuing coaching sailing through the fall and finally caught a break when I accepted a job offer from FLEX marketing group to be a Sales Development Representative in early November.
November 30th was my first day on the job, and that started with a zoom meeting with my boss Ben. Throughout the first two weeks, he and others ran training sessions for me and another recent college grad who was being onboarded but on a different team. Together we learned about and were quizzed on what different teams within the company do, performance marketing lingo, how to use different software, and more.
Again, when I imagined starting my first job after college it looked nothing like this. I thought I would wake up in my apartment on the Lower East Side, go to Starbucks, and make my way to the subway to get to the office. Instead, the commute from my bed to “the office” takes me less than two seconds. I open my laptop, check my email, see what meetings I have that day, and then get cracking. I have yet to meet any of my coworkers in person yet, and probably won’t for another couple of months. So any daydreams about the little things like seeing a corgi in a backpack on the subway, small talk in the elevator, going out for lunch, or happy hour after work will have to wait.
The silver lining here is that FLEX marketing group is a collaborative ‘online’ environment. Every day the other SDRs and I are on zoom with our boss Ben asking questions about work, but also talking about other things like what we did over the weekend, alien conspiracy theories, sports, or the bachelorette. Even though I haven’t gotten to meet my coworkers in person yet, I have been getting to know them over ZOOM, and feel like I am a part of a team.
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