Starting a new job is exciting, stressful and often completely different from what you had planned. All beginnings are difficult, especially when changing jobs. You leave the familiar surroundings of your old job, ask yourself until the last day whether it was the right decision to leave your safe and permanent terrain and start somewhere completely new – including a probationary period. These are all questions that can cause nervousness.
However, if you think about it in all honesty, there is no reasonable reason to be afraid of a new job. There are certainly good reasons why you were hired and the last thing that is expected of you in the first weeks in a new job is perfection. The first period is more about settling in, getting to know everything, listening and learning.
Since this was my first job change ever, the uncertainty of how my first week will go made me very nervous. Will I have enough to do? Will there be someone there to “take me by the hand” and take care of me? Will I sit there feeling stupid and be a burden to the colleague who is training me?
Shortly before I started, my questions were answered. An email from my new employer, Cammio, told me my two-week onboarding schedule. I could already see when I would meet whom and when I would be introduced to which topic. This took away the aforementioned fear of the unknown and I suddenly wasn’t nervous at all – just motivated. Somehow it also surprised me, because I had not expected such a structured onboarding and also had not seen it often before with other friends, acquaintances or colleagues.
In these first two weeks I got to know every employee (we are 20 in total) and was allowed to visit the office in The Hague as well as the office in Düsseldorf. I was welcomed so warmly and openly that after these two weeks I already saw myself as a full team member and part of the company. The next month was similar, I was given a lot of responsibility straight away, but I also had the feeling that I could handle this responsibility, as all the tools were available to me and I was able to learn key skills already.
And then the unexpected happened: The Corona virus developed into a pandemic including lockdown and 100% home office. I was happy to have already learned everything I needed to know to be able to handle my new job from my two-room apartment with relative self-confidence. Perhaps, in the end, this made me grow into my new job even faster. I was thrown in at the deep end, so to speak, and was now forced to work more independently. Of course, I received all the support I needed from my colleagues and team leads, but it’s still different to ask for help in the office where everyone is together than to do it remotely. It hasn’t stopped me from “spamming” my colleagues with Slack messages either though. At this point again, thank you for your patience and support.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t visit our colleagues in The Hague anymore and they couldn’t visit us in Düsseldorf. But again, Cammio made sure that we could see each other virtually at Friday Drinks or virtual Teambuildings at least in front of the screens to have fun together. Cammio was not only a job for me during the lockdown, but also a real support and definitely made the lockdown easier for me (not least because of the delicious drink and food packages that were delivered to us at regular intervals). Everyone looked after each other and offered their help, we caught up on the morning gossip at the coffee machine online or even had lunch together in front of the screen sometimes.
When spring came, the situation eased a bit and we went back to the office sporadically and were even able to rejoin our colleagues in The Hague. Since we are one of the lucky companies that have not been so badly affected by the negative economic impact of the pandemic, we were even able to hire new employees, so they also enjoyed an initial personal onboarding. Here, after a few months, I was suddenly no longer “the new girl”, but was already part of the permanent Cammio inventory, which meant that I was now in the role of being allowed to train new employees and colleagues. This also allowed me to grow even faster into my still relatively new role. On the one hand, it showed me that I was trusted, and on the other hand, you internalise all the things you experience and learn at the beginning of a new job so much more strongly.
Unfortunately, we then faced the 2nd wave of the pandemic in late fall, so the scenario of the first lockdown was repeated. This meant working from home again for everyone, but this time we were already pros at remote working.
And now I’m standing here celebrating my one-year anniversary at Cammio, and looking back I can say that it was probably the best decision in 2020 to move to this great company, where I can develop myself and contribute my ideas at the same time. Even during a crisis like the one we experienced last year! The letter accompanying our last present from Cammio described it very well: No matter if we are in the office or at home: Our strength comes from being a unique collective. It is the sum of our individual parts.