Starting a career remotely: my first month with the Microsoft Cloud

Beginning your career can be a daunting process for anyone, but starting a career during a pandemic? That’s a completely different ball game.

During this past year, recruitment has posed some challenges and opportunities for many organisations. Working from home is something we’ve all had to get used to, but for those now starting their careers and joining the workforce, working completely remotely with no prior visits to an office or workplace could well be the new normal for the next generation.

Moving to purely virtual interviews has been a solution that most have switched to, and Transparity is no different. From the interview process through to starting the my new job, everything has been entirely online and done through Microsoft 365 and Teams.

My experience being a recent graduate and starting my first steps in my career – during a global pandemic – has been interesting and humbling to say the least.

 

First impressions of working remotely

With the influx of information, online mediums to navigate and Teams meetings, the first week seemed somewhat overwhelming…and at times, a little intimidating. However, Transparity’s Culture Team has put thought into the New Starter process, such as my first Teams calls being dedicated to helping with setup, smoothing out any early tech problems, and connecting with our Head of People and Culture. Teams video calling helps dramatically with this, making it easier to engage with each other rather than just looking at a static picture.

This is a clear reflection of the positive ethos and consideration on Transparity’s part that has been put into welcoming new people to the organisation, despite none of us being in the office. The onboarding process is easy to get wrong when you’re geographically dispersed but with tools like Teams, there’s no reason that this should be complicated at all.

My first week comprised of finding my footing using Microsoft 365 and meeting members of the team. Being based at home and working remotely without in-person mentoring could have posed some challenges. However, utilising Transparity’s Training and Adoption Portal (TAP) has been an invaluable tool. We designed TAP for our customers to help employees learn at their own place, encouraging user adoption. But we use it internally too; the platform is both flexible and user friendly whilst also helping me build a foundation of knowledge.

Once I had settled in a little, I was introduced to Microsoft Planner, a fantastic platform for both the individual and team in helping to organise workloads, assign people to tasks and set priority. If you’re anything like me and love lists and organising your day, this is the tool for you! And as part of Office 365, it syncs with Outlook, Teams, and the other Microsoft services I use every day.

 

Work-life balance

A work-life balance can be challenging a the best of times. Throw in full-time remote working into the mix, and suddenly you have a bizarre workspace with home life and office life blurring into one. So where do you draw the line on how to separate work from your personal life?

This is something many people have struggled with adapting to during the past year, including me. This being said, the integration of Microsoft Cloud with daily Cortana updates on Outlook have really helped me focus my time and immerse myself in my new role. Moreover, it’s also given me the opportunity to book in time to “take a break” and have some moments away from my laptop, stretch my back or just simply give my mind a little time off to disconnect and recharge.  

Creating a sense of belonging and a strong company culture that considers each individual is no mean feat, let alone ensuring that it translates online. However, Transparity have made great use of Teams to really go above and beyond to make people feel included, scheduling weekly wellbeing calls and Friday quiz nights!

 

Final thoughts

As a recent graduate starting out in my career journey, I’ve been given a great chance at Transparity to showcase my abilities and adaptability…even working from home. My first four weeks have shown me that the right organisation will be capable of and prioritise a strong culture. Combine that with Microsoft 365 and Cloud-based solutions, and suddenly working from home is more effective than ever before.

I can’t wait to see how both Microsoft Cloud technologies and our remote working activities evolve over the coming years.

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