Starting a New Job During a Pandemic

Marc Kermisch
5 min readMay 6, 2020
A work video conference call with teammates

I could have never imagined this scenario. I resigned from my last job just days before the state of Minnesota implemented their Shelter-in-Place order, shutting down most workplaces. I had three weeks before my new job started. I had to wind down my old job and prepare to begin my new career from home.

The first thing that entered my mind was if my new employer would rescind their offer. I certainly would not have blamed them if they did, as the world is full of uncertainty. Luckily they did not and, in fact, reached out more than once to reassure me.

So as the days passed and my start date neared, my new Mac laptop showed up at my house, along with a headset. I was excited to get it set-up and working before my start date, so I could hit the ground running. As you might have expected, when a new employee onboards, it is common they have access to the corporate network to complete critical set-up activities. Unfortunately, I didn’t have that access, and despite some great assistance, we couldn’t get the computer fully operational until I was able to connect to the corporate network. My new boss was more than happy to meet me at the office on my first official day, so I could get access to the network and get my computer set-up.

While I had the chance to see the offices during the interview process, I never got the full tour. On my first day, my manager gave me a tour, got me to my office and helped me get my computer set to go. The only downside is the offices were gorgeous and had great amenities that I wasn’t able to jump in and enjoy. So it was back to my home office, which honestly felt isolating.

Day two, my calendar was busier, and I started to get engaged with a new team and my peers. I wasn’t sure of the protocol, but in every meeting, I had my computer camera on so I could make a personal connection. The majority of folks also turned on their cameras, and the conversations felt more normal. Between video conferencing, the company messaging platform, and the intranet, I was able to navigate around, although I was still quite lost.

We are all dealing with this remote work situation…

What I missed the most in starting work remotely was being able to pop out from my desk and ask a question. To…

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Marc Kermisch

Technologist | Board Member | Advisor — with 25 years of experience across Retail, Manufacturing, Utilities, Financial Services and Start-ups.