Switching jobs and re-locating is a huge step in anyone’s career, but team that with a global pandemic and a UK lockdown? Find out below how our newest recruit Carl found the entire process and how he’s settled in remotely in to his new role here at Ortus. The digital world is adapting to a new-normal post-lockdown, where companies are becoming more flexible and offering working remotely more than ever before. So, if you’re asking yourself how an interview process may differ virtually rather than face-to-face, how you’d go about integrating with a new team virtually at a new place of work or if you’re looking to get some tips on changing jobs and doing so remotely, this blog is for you!
Our newest team member at Ortus Carl sat down with our director over a cuppa (virtually of course), to discuss how he has found his first month here at the agency and how Carl has dealt with moving jobs during lockdown.
I joined team Ortus in Feb 2021 from a large full service advertising and media agency based in London. I began my career straight after graduating in July 2018, specialising in display advertising in my first role. During this time I worked on multiple different clients across a range of industries, from automotive, to travel, to retail. I decided to make the move into PPC after it was noticed that I had an eye for numbers, and after developing and honing my paid search knowledge and skills, I chose to move back to my roots in the North East.
How did you find the interview process all done via video rather than face-to-face, and were there any challenges?
It was quite a strange experience going through the interview process without ever meeting anyone face to face, or experiencing the buzz of the office. However, interviewing remotely allowed me to apply for positions and interview conveniently from London, without running the risk of losing money on train fares! As far as challenges go, the only one I had was the house phone inconveniently ringing midway through my interview, which completely threw me off my stride! Despite it being strange to do things remotely, it actually managed to relieve a bit of the nerves associated with interviewing, as I was doing it in my own environment and didn’t have the added stress of finding the office.
How did you find your first week starting in Ortus during lockdown?
Quite unusual to be honest! I felt like I missed out a little bit on the “new job buzz”, as the only thing that felt any different was I was using a different laptop! That being said, it was really nice to be able to gradually meet the members of my own team, before meeting a few people from other departments in our sister agencies. This was a lot easier than being paraded around the office and being told everyone’s name all at once and having a complete information overload on day one!
How have you found your first month integrating into the team and agency?
As the time has passed, it has become the new normal for me. It has been challenging at times adapting to new processes, new platforms and software, and learning about different clients and what their expectations/requirements are. That being said, I do enjoy a challenge and being pushed out of my comfort zone, which has definitely happened considering this is now my second blog post on behalf of the agency!
It’s been great getting to grips with some of the Ortus clients and meeting them virtually already. They have been really open to new ideas and my suggestions which I’ve loved. As this just demonstrates how much they are wanting to grow and happy to test our ideas on how we develop their business even further.
Trying to integrate remotely has its own challenges, as you don’t have colleagues around you to physically turn to for help if you just need a minute of their time. However, everybody has been very helpful with showing me the ropes, jumping on quick video calls and supporting me via Slack. I think it has actually led to me being a bit more proactive in trying to figure things out too!
Working from home vs office life – what’s your view on it a year down the line?
I do really appreciate the time working from home to get my head down without any external distractions, especially when I have a big task to work through. No-one chatting next to you and spoiling the latest Love Island or Game of Thrones episode you haven’t caught up on yet has been a blessing!
That being said, I can’t wait to finally be able to go into our office and be working within a great office culture again, where you can bounce ideas off people more freely, have more organic chats and be more in the moment with everyone during meetings, at our desks and whilst we’re making a cuppa in the kitchen. And to finally be able to meet the team in person too!
So for me, I definitely think the balance between the two working environments work best for me and it’s great that Ortus can completely accommodate this flexibility.
What have been your key highlights in your first month in the Ortus family?
My first month was a bit of a whirlwind in all honesty, as there was so much to learn and get my head around, as well as meeting all of the different teams and senior management. One thing that has been a personal highlight, is being given the responsibility of setting up the advertising account for the agency itself. Although it’s quite a simple task, it is really encouraging to be gave that level of responsibility, and that opportunity so early in my career here.
I also have to mention our first team meeting where the team held a welcome lunch for me via video and we did an “ice-breaker” type game with 2 truths and a lie. I think it’s safe to say we all learned a lot about each other over that lunch break and the ice was well and truly broken!
Did you have any struggles with changing jobs and starting at a new place due to lockdown?
It has actually been a lot easier than I initially thought it would be. Onboarding online is always going to be a bit of a struggle, and the lack of direct contact creates its own complexities. But it also removes a lot of the most daunting factors. One thing that was a bit of a relief, was not having to stress about figuring out my new commute, or logistics around finding and getting into the new office, or dealing with a sea of unfamiliar faces. Now, whenever we are able to go back to the office, I will be going in and able to recognise my immediate team members with ease, and avoid the awkward wandering around trying to find out where I am meant to sit!
That being said, it also took a lot of the excitement out of starting a new job. As daunting as that initial commute, or introduction to the agency may be, it is also exciting to immerse yourself into a new environment.
Do you have any tips for anyone changing jobs whilst in the UK lockdown and adapting to your new working environment?
Try to change your physical environment as often as possible. Whether that is the room you work in, or just rearranging items within the room. Personally, I make sure to rearrange my “desk” (a.k.a dining table) as often as possible, whether it is something as minor as just moving where my pen pot is, or if it means completely moving the orientation of the table and adding/removing small house plants. I knew lockdown had really hit me when I decided to get a fish tank to help give me some structure to my non-working day (I did want a dog, but they’re VERY expensive at the moment!).
Alongside the micro-adjustments though, I tried to replicate the office environment as much as possible in my own front room. I bought a pair of small Bluetooth speakers to play background music/radio through to replicate the hum and buzz of other people,
Do you have any tips for future newbies joining team Ortus?
Without sounding too cliched, try not to be too nervous. Everyone is extremely friendly and welcoming, and only want you to achieve your maximum potential. There is one piece of advice that was given to me in my first couple of weeks that resonated with me. Which was to just get stuck in as soon as you possibly can. While it may seem daunting at first, it is important not to be afraid to show who you actually are, and share your own ideas when there are discussions, or even just raising them to your line manager when one pops into your head.
I’ve already pitched a few suggestions and ideas to my line manager on how we can grow our service offering further. We’re now working together on bringing these to life!
Interested in seeing the rest of the Ortus team? Click here.