By Harry Brown, Executive
Just over three months ago I walked through the doors at Newgate excited and eager to get started. Fourteen weeks on and I think it’s safe to say I definitely didn’t envisage that the start of my professional career would have played out the way it has! It feels like a lifetime ago now, but the 3rd of March was the date that I was welcomed into the Newgate property team.
As expected, the first week was full on but slowly I was beginning to find my feet. The initial days were spent attending inductions with other teams and going through my welcome packs, but with not too much expectation placed upon me at this time, I felt excited for the responsibility that was to come. During my second week, I was beginning to get more exposure to the work and, with the help of a few lunches, a relationship with my teammates was beginning to form.
Unfortunately, it was at this point that I was then plunged into working from home!
During this period, I remember the virus was starting to become more serious by the day, and was getting increasingly closer to home, so when we were told we would be working remotely, I wasn’t shocked. However, it never crossed my mind that, lo and behold, more than three months later I’d be in the same position.
The process has certainly not been without its struggles and difficulties for me. Initially, the most challenging aspect I found was getting my head around what was actually expected of me. My previous experiences have been in corporate property rather than residential, and with each account having its work tailored in different ways, there was a lot for me to learn. I admit I’ve not get everything right first time. Usually things which, I’m sure, would have been rectified, or indeed avoided, through a quick five second chat, had I had the benefit of being in the office.
The most frustrating aspect of starting my career remotely is that I feel I have been denied the chance to properly get to know my teammates and the wider agency. Small things like office chit chat and coffee runs are something I long for and are actually a crucial way of upholding team morale.
Nevertheless, it hasn’t all been doom and gloom! We have a daily team meeting and I also have regular contact with my line manager, who has always been on hand to help or answer any questions I have.
Working from home has also allowed a degree of flexibility in how I work and once I persuaded myself into a routine and began to understand the process a bit more, things have only improved for me since the first week of lockdown.
Starting my career virtually has certainly not been plain sailing, but through the help and support of my team, this has been a steep and yet rewarding learning experience for me, one which I feel I can take with me when we eventually get back to the office… and I can go back to being the new kid again!