Advice for starting a new job remotely

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Advice for starting a new job remotely

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Aug 14, 2020 4:37 pm

I'm starting at a new firm as a lateral in a few weeks. I'm pretty concerned about building personal relationships, connecting with partners, finding chill associates to befriend and vent to, etc. Any advice? Has anyone recently onboarded at a new gig and how'd it go? Awkward Zoom happy hours can only go so far, I feel...

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Re: Advice for starting a new job remotely

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Aug 14, 2020 5:34 pm

I recently lateraled and it hasn’t been that bad. I wouldn’t call it “good,” and it’s still pretty weird to work with a bunch of people I’ve met between 0-1 times, but it’s gradually getting less awkward. I don’t have any great tips except that I’ve tried to go out of my way to update people on my status on things, offer to help with stuff, etc. Feels a little absurd to be acting like a brand new first year associate again but I figure it’s better to be that than to have them wondering if I’m actually working and/or if maybe hiring someone during a pandemic wasn’t a great idea after all.

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papermateflair

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Re: Advice for starting a new job remotely

Post by papermateflair » Sun Aug 16, 2020 10:41 am

My practice group has been integrating a couple of new associates during the pandemic (hired just before), and the interpersonal stuff is always hard - how do you know you can trust THAT coworker? How do you know if they're friendly or if you're now work friends?

We've tried to make sure that one of the senior associates is talking to the new associates at least once a week (we aren't always staffed on the same matters). It's a little frustrating when I give them advice on how to handle partners in the group and then they don't take the advice, and then end up with problems.... Assume no one is trying to sabotage you, and if you aren't sure about the advice, then ask someone else! "I heard I need to do x y and z when I'm short on hours, what are your thoughts?" - that kind of thing. Engage with others when they reach out, even if it's just responding to a funny email someone forwards you. You don't need to be the funniest person or everyone's best friend immediately, but you should act like you want to build relationships.

Make sure you are checking in with the partners you work for on a regular basis (what "regular basis" means will probably depend on what you're doing and how often you talk to them - but at bare minimum you should be talking to EVERYONE you do work for once a week in the beginning). Ask the partners who you should know, and then reach out and make connections with those people.

The first six months are the hardest - do everything you can to show you're a good member of the team, you're available, that people can trust you - and the relationships will come as you build that trust. If I think that you can't be trusted to be discreet if I tell you something that's helpful to you but wouldn't look great if it was directly attributed to me, then I'm not going to do it. When people give you small tips in the beginning, it's because they don't know if they can trust you with more direct information. Show you're trustworthy and people will open up more.

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