Hello to all readers.
My name is Tatu Paajanen and I started my working life during the pandemic; joining a company called Weoptit on 1st October 2020. It was a strange time for me (and for many people across the world), leaving my studies behind me and embarking on a job search – how would I even find a job in my chosen field when jobs were already scarce. Thankfully I managed to secure a job and this is my story of how starting at a new company in the midst of pandemic went.
Despite Corona, I started working at the office, but it was almost completely empty – it felt weird and strange to be there. The first few weeks were nothing like I had expected starting my working life would be like; getting to know the work community remotely was a challenge as the physical encounters I, and many others, had taken for granted, were not possible.
This made it all seem like a flat start. Sure, interacting online had already become more common prior to the pandemic, but for me it felt alien, as I am used to handling many things face to face, even more so in new situations and environments. So, it was initially difficult to handle all communication remotely. There was uncertainty about how others would receive me; and how would I get my views across to co-workers who I did not know? There were so many new things to process, understand and become familiar with and do so remotely. And all of this while starting out in my work life really took me further out of my comfot zone.
Fortunately, I joined a really good team at Weoptit with nice co-workers with whom it proved easy to communicate, so the risk of messages being misinterpreted in a negative way seemed small. Still, getting involved remotely felt slow and sluggish, even with such a nice and encouraging community. Today, as I write this, I already feel part of the work community and a very important sense of mutual appreciation amongst us all.
After the initial first few weeks at the office, I went fully remote, working from home and I’m currently continuing that path, like my other co-workers at Weoptit. At first, working remotely seemed confusing and I questioned whether I could get enough done, whether I was doing the right things and whether the work was of good enough quality. I am sure these are on the minds of others who have started their careers but trying to thresh these out remotely seemed even more difficult because of the lack of concrete contact with others.
Initially asking questions from others was curbed by fear of misinterpretation and misunderstanding and by the inherent habit of handling things face to face (I must also admit that I may not be the best at asking questions I should). Through getting to know others better over time and achieving success in projects, these factors have become easier. The ironic thing now is that the idea of returning to the office and a “normal day rhythm” feels alien. Although I actually do look forward to returning to office work, I also appreciate the opportunity to be away when needed if ‘homesickness’ strikes 😊
So, in summary working life has been incredibly different than I had thought it would be. The flexible atmosphere at Weoptit has been a pleasant surprise – I was expecting a much stiffer and more formal atmosphere. Of course, the pandemic has changed our actions and normal way of working. For example, even after a corona, we can continue working remotely if that is what we want (that is, if I become “homesick” I can stay home 😊). I also appreciate the flexibility in terms of work completion time, so work can start early in the morning or later in the morning, but there are still agreed time frames to make teamwork during the day possible. During work, you can take a longer break if necessary or take care of personal matters during the day and then resume your work. I think my work life has got off to a good start despite the pandemic difficulties. And for that I would like to thank Weoptit for a good reception!