Remote work: 3 tips for your new job's first 30 days

Starting a new job can be even more stressful if you've never met your colleagues in person. Use these three best practices for how to start a new job during remote work
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Remote work is here to stay – at least in some form. For that reason, it’s important to understand how we can be as effective as possible, even without personal contact. If you’re starting a new remote job, here are three essential best practices to help ease the stress and ensure success.

1. Focus on your attitude

When you first start a new job, you may feel nervous and unsure of yourself. Regardless of how strong your background and accomplishments are, when you can’t talk to your colleagues in person, it can be harder to overcome that initial uncertainty.

[ Does remote work leave you exhausted? Read our related story: Remote exhaustion: 13 tips to reduce fatigue. ]

Beware imposter syndrome as you start a new job during remote work.

That’s why it is important to stay positive and humble. Even as we return to some new sense of normal, remember that many of us have struggled to balance the many demands of our home and work lives over the past year. Be patient with your colleagues and cut them some slack if things don’t always go smoothly during your transition.

“Imposter syndrome” is also real and often affects people who are adjusting to new roles. If you experience these feelings of self-doubt, I recommend Dr. Jessamy Hibberd’s book, The Imposter Cure.

2. Focus on your work

There are plenty of unconventional time management skills available that can help you get your most important tasks done. This will help you prove to yourself and show your team that you can contribute in a meaningful way. After all, you were hired to do a job, so you are the right person to contribute in ways that only you can. Quickly figure out what those key areas are and focus on them relentlessly.

One strategy is to identify your top three tasks and plan how to get them done. In his book Eat That Frog!, Brian Tracy suggests “eating your biggest, ugliest frog” first thing in the morning. Don’t overthink your top tasks, though – when in doubt, talk to your manager.

[ Read also: Remote work: 10 tips to be a better virtual collaborator. ]

3. Focus on the strengths of others

When you notice strengths in others, call them out – this will boost team morale and foster a culture that helps remote work thrive.
In the course of your day-to-day activities, you will inevitably need to collaborate with colleagues and partners. While remaining mindful of your attitude, notice when others do an exceptionally good job at some task or have developed a strength in a particular area. Most of us don’t think much about the things that come easily to us, and we too seldom compliment each other on a job well done.

So when you notice strengths in others, call them out – this will have the added benefit of boosting team morale and fostering a culture that helps remote work thrive.

By focusing on your attitude, your work, and the strengths of others, you will not only establish yourself as a positive contributor, but you will also be seen as a strong teammate and a team player. Remember, we all need positive feedback, and we need colleagues we can count on – especially in challenging times.

If you focus on these three areas consistently, you will enjoy your work more – and others will enjoy working with you.

[ Get exercises and approaches that make disparate teams stronger. Read the digital transformation ebook: Transformation Takes Practice. ]

Todd Deshane, chief automation and proof of concept specialist at Computer Task Group,  is a generalist with cloud native skills working on some of the most interesting problems in the world across software, hardware, and scientific boundaries. He has been obsessed with personal development over the last few years. In his spare time, Todd likes to travel...

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