Starting a new job in lockdown and making a positive impact

Karen Caswell reflects on the past 6 months

Jan 28, 2021
Nov 11, 2020

Two key anniversaries are happening for me this week. This has triggered me to make the time to reflect on my experiences and the lessons that I have learned. It has been the most turbulent year of my career to date with, but despite everything I now feel really positive and a little bit proud! I have learned so much and am ready for any challenges that the future throws at me.5th November 2020 – a year to the day that I handed my notice in to have a “career break”11th November 2020 – six months to the day that I started my new job.When I handed my notice in, nobody would foresee the chaos that was to become 2020. I never anticipated starting a new job in lockdown in the middle of a global pandemic.My reasonable expectations of the first day of a new job in “normal life”:

  • Arrive 9.30am/10am
  • Induction
  • Given mobile phone, laptop etc
  • Meet the team
  • Have a nice lunch
  • Leave 4pm

Reality of first day of my new job during Covid-19:

  • Arrive at my desk 9am..... in my office..... in my spare room
  • Laptop, mobile phone, printer on the desk courtesy of a man in a white van
  • Mobile numbers for IT support and database support in hand
  • Meet the “new” team virtually
  • 9.05am - Get on with the job in hand

Recruitment can be done at a functional level from any location. The principles are the same and it is just the database that changes. My challenge was that I had not joined Pratap Partnership to recruit at a purely “functional” level – I wanted to work with the team I had a lot of respect for, to share information, learn together and to feel the positive culture. Starting work in lockdown definitely diluted the impact of some of this at the start. Having the right support from the top and from the team is immeasurable. I can now look back at those early days in May with a lot of fondness and although you would never choose those circumstances, there are some upsides.Whilst the recruitment job is very different from what it was 12 months ago, the people are still the same. Recruitment is very much based around the people (clients and candidates) and whilst video calls have been a godsend during this time, they do lack the personal contact. Every recruiter I know has struggled from the lack of direct personal interaction in interviews, meetings and with their team.It was no surprise to see how well Pratap Partnership had established itself in the first year and I feel delighted to be a part of that now. We are a very close-knit team, who love the way that we work and support each other a lot.It has been great to reconnect with some clients I have previously worked with SIG plc, Ross & Catherall, Harworth Estates and HE Barnes to name a few. It has been just as good to be working with clients who are new to me such as Ilke Homes, Fraser Group and Harron Homes.What a difference a year has made for me – a new job, a new way of working and a lot to look forward to in the future.

This photo shows that it has not taken me long to fit into agile working with my colleagues!

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