Starting a new job can be a stressful situation at any given time. Questions and concerns about the working space, team dynamics, ongoing projects and more crop up quickly, and that’s not to mention the whole new world to learn if you’re entering an unfamiliar industry. Now add to that the crazy new reality of a worldwide pandemic, and you’ve got a uniquely challenging time to start a new job in!
That’s the exact situation I found myself in one month ago. As the latest hire on NetMotion’s marketing team, I quickly discovered that my onboarding process was going to be heavily influenced by COVID-19. NetMotion places a lot of emphasis on taking care of its people, and I saw that manifest itself firsthand in its COVID-19 policies. The company is based in Seattle, WA, though it has offices all around the world, including one in Victoria, Canada, which was the one I was joining. Along with my official welcome letter, I received an email from HR detailing all of its precautions for the office, including where hand sanitizing stations were, how the flow of traffic worked and even what days to come in, in order to control the amount of people there. On top of all of that, I had to watch a video covering the policies and sign a form acknowledging that I understood it – serious stuff indeed!
It was clear that these policies were not just for show, as on my first day, I walked into an almost-empty and all-too-quiet office. Despite being home to almost twenty employees, the office only had a fraction of that. Thankfully, that included my Victoria marketing teammates, who welcomed me and made me feel at home with warm cookies and lunch (there’s no better flavor than chocolate chip).
Learning the new role
Product marketing exists at the intersection of the marketing, sales, and product departments, and good lines of communication and positive relationships are key to the role. Normally, this wouldn’t be an issue as I’m very much a people person. However, the travel restrictions brought about by the pandemic proved to be a real obstacle – thank goodness for solid video conferencing (made even better by the NetMotion platform!). I spent the first few weeks getting to know various stakeholders across the company, and, combined with our regular marketing team meetings, saw how important a positive culture was to the company.
Every single person I spoke with was friendly and supportive, and there was a real sense of passion and pride that came through when they talked about their roles. It was obvious that people really enjoyed working for the company, and it was also clear that politics and self-promotion had no place here. Instead, teamwork and a shared sense of accomplishment was what drove things forward, which was really exciting for me to hear. From sales reps to the CEO himself, everyone was readily available and happy to chat, and that accessibility and openness clearly reflected two of the company’s stated values.
I love my job and my company. I really, really appreciate that it was clear that we always do right by the customer. That means a lot to me, to continue to treat our customers well. I love working at an ethical, considerate company. Doing clean, honest business is important to me and that is one of the main reasons why I thrive here.Anonymous employee feedback via Glassdoor
The importance of culture
After making my virtual rounds, I realized that I had started to really feel like part of the company, despite my initial (and necessary) isolation. I chalk this up to the strong and active company spirit, which shone through in all my meetings and interactions despite my colleagues being miles and miles away. Having that fabric tie everyone together really is critical in maintaining a sense of team and togetherness, even during a worldwide pandemic. While starting a new job during this time will never be easy, it can really show you the culture of a business and its people – and in this case, it’s one that I’m happy to be a part of.