Jacqueline Van Dao
Your first day of work at a new job is like the first day of school, ALL the jitters! There’s nothing I hate more than being unprepared, Leidos made sure I felt comfortable and confident. Here’s how:
- Setting expectations. I was in frequent contact with my manager and division manager leading up to my first day. Being briefed on onboarding procedures and expectations more than once, makes a HUGE difference. The virtual New Employee Orientation was probably one of the best orientations I’ve participated in because of the ample amount of information and resources we are given day one.
- Work-from-home adjustment. I had been unemployed since early March, so I hadn’t fully embraced the work-from-home experience. I probably changed where my “office” was about 10 times before settling on a spot. Leidos was great at offering home office tips and how to work from home without going crazy. I love how Leidos prioritizes the wellness of employees, so I make sure to take a break when needed or take a walk outside to recharge. I was also happy to find that we do have the option of going into the office while adhering safety protocols.
- Covid-19 office precautions. At the time I was hired, my main Leidos facility was in Phase 1 of re-opening, meaning no more than 15 people could be in our suite at one time. It was a mutual decision for me to report into the office my first week to get better acclimated. I really appreciated all the safety precautions around the office: hand sanitizers, social distancing reminders, masks required outside of your cubicle or office, and bathroom reminders for washing your hands thoroughly and frequently. In the meeting rooms, the chairs are also spaced six feet apart and marked with stickers for where to sit. I don’t always go into the office, but a change of scenery is always nice.
- Meeting team members. I didn’t have high expectations of physically meeting colleagues apart via email. I was pleasantly surprised with the opportunities to meet my team members while being socially distant (yay for video platforms). Right away I could tell how close the team was and they immediately made me feel welcome. I’m excited to continue getting to know everyone and maybe in the near future we can all be in one place again.
- IT personnel are your best friends. With everyone mainly working remote, it is so important to acquaint yourself with the IT team, whether it’s one person or multiple people. Setting up everything from my laptop to email, etc. wouldn’t have been so smooth if it wasn’t for the quick response of the IT staff. We’re lucky to have someone on-site along with the online Help Desk to answer all questions.
- Don’t be afraid to over communicate. Nowadays, it’s easy to feel alone when you don’t have anyone *in proximity* around you to easily ask questions. Personally, I miss that constant face-to-face interaction. While onboarding, my manager was great at establishing multiple channels of communication between the two of us and making me feel comfortable to ask my millions of questions. Beyond my manager, everyone on the team continues to offer further explanation on anything I’m unclear on without making me feel awkward.