Starting a new job role in these strange times

Having worked in Recruitment for 17 years, I have fielded many questions from candidates who are due to start a new role.  Generally these range from “where shall I park my car?” to “should I wear a suit on my first day?” and occasionally something as far reaching as “when should I mention that I have a holiday booked for 9 months time?”

Putting myself in this situation, I thought that when I joined Trapeze my priorities would include ensuring that I left in plenty of time for my first day so as not to arrive late, and making sure that an appointment with my hairdresser was booked for a couple of days before.

Little did I know that my first day at Trapeze on 1st April 2020, would be a commute through the dining room with a short delay in order to assist a hormonal twelve year old with a tricky Maths problem and that my long-awaited hair appointment would have been cancelled a week previously due to a previously unheard of phenomena called “social distancing”.

I am so grateful that in these strange times, I not only have the technology to start my new role from home, I also have the support and trust of my new employer to do this.  It speaks volumes about the co-founders of Trapeze, Jane & Harriet that despite only having met me a handful of times, they have entrusted me with putting in place the foundations of our new Accounting & Finance function with a higher degree of autonomy than most new starters would ever expect.

The world of work as we know it really has been turned on its head but somehow swapping Trapeze’s customary welcome breakfast for a chat via Microsoft teams & pinging multiple emails and whatsapp messages to my colleagues to ask a barrage of questions in my first days has not left me feeling anything but valued and welcomed, because I know that everyone is doing the best they can in these strange circumstances.

Thinking about it, all we can do is to try our best to cope with what life has thrown at us right now.  So if I am on a video call and feeling conscious that my roots are showing, or that my children are making noise in the background, I can be sure that the person I am speaking to has similar things on their mind.    Maybe they are worried about their elderly parents who have not yet checked in that day, or a long-awaited shopping delivery has just been cancelled.  Now more than ever we need to be kind to each other & acknowledge that as humans we need just do the best we can and appreciate that others are doing this too.

One of my favourite quotes which seems more relevant than ever –

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.

Maya Angelou

Natalie Verrey runs the Trapeze Accounting and Finance arm https://www.linkedin.com/in/natalieverrey/

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