Starting a new job in the midst of a Pandemic

What does remote-joining look like for a new employee at Dailymotion in times of Coronavirus

tarting a new position should always be a thrilling experience. After a testing recruitment process, you proved your value and the long-awaited day is finally here. I was excited for the change and the new, out of the ordinary challenges that were waiting for me when joining Dailymotion. Little did I know that there was a Pandemic looming just around the corner. When I said out of the ordinary, I did not think it would mean being part of Dailymotion from the comfort of my home, but hey, your career should never stop surprising you. This is how my adventure as a Dailymotion Talent Acquisition Specialist began.

First day

Thinking about any first day, that newbie feeling can bring up a cocktail of emotions. Some excitement, some confusion, but how to manage all that while being on full remote? Well, it’s not all that different from sitting down at your office desk. From the first day, I could feel that teams took on a “champion each other” mentality and made sure that I was encouraged as well. In many ways, I believe have been additionally looked after since everyone understood that starting under these special circumstances it would be harder to feel comfortable and part of the team. Sensing that the situation was strange, I tried to avoid feeling lost. My focus during those first days was seeking to create a sense of team and community. Therefore my activities focused mainly on accepting invitations to meetings, outside or inside my department, team-lunches, after-work drinks, themed webinars, and “blind-test” games. Anything that could get me close to having an established communication and introduction to the world of Dailymotion.

Not your typical first impression

Part of the excitement in starting a new role is that you get to meet inspiring new people, different ways of working, and from my side, a whole new industry. A new job means new challenges and new experiences. Imagine having to develop a strong relationship with your manager, even though you have only met them a couple of times. At Dailymotion, I could sense that my feelings were acknowledged. It was alright to feel lost and frustrated. Trust was and is still being created through communication and reassurance that if I had made it this far, I could only do better. For my other newbie colleagues and I, we are demonstrating that we can get out of our comfort zone with this one. We get to have a truly uncommon onboarding experience, we get to meet, live, and see Dailymotion even before setting one foot in the office.

Business and fun as usual

At Dailymotion, we are indeed fighting the COVID-19 backlash, but with a fighting response of our own. Lots of positivity, good spirits, and support. This became clear to me from day one, as every single hour of my first week was programmed, dozens of meetings planned, including every kind of office tradition that could be put on a Zoom call. Our Principles of Motion got put to the test and resulted in a creativity that was remarkable to witness as we were all making the best out of an unprecedented situation. The Dailymotion community seems to have come together in a very present way over Slack. Everyone understands that communication is key now more than ever, but not only do we do it for our work, I believe that we also do it to champion each other. And we are very creative at it too — you’ll find memes, GIFs and inside jokes on every channel, while our statuses get increasingly funnier with people finding new ways to express their moods and activities through emojis.

Making it work

To be clear, we are not all thrilled about the idea of working from home. I’ve only visited the offices a couple of times, and just like with other experiences seeing it live must be much more exciting. However, our mission is a comprehensive one, we are going through this with high spirits and adaptability. From my experience, it is all about taking it one day at a time while having a clear long-term picture. My team meets every day, we do regular syncs, everyone is up for even a virtual lunch or coffee break together. And as we are dealing with the now, we are also preparing for what is yet to come, we are talking about BIG projects, those exciting groundbreaking kinds of projects. So maybe this was the perfect opportunity to step back, avoid the office distractions and do some of our best work.

Doing the best that you can

Being part of a new team during quarantine can seem a little odd at times. Even if I am the one being welcomed as the newest member of the group, it seems that we are all meeting new versions of our colleagues. As everyone does their best to create the most comfortable and professional working environment at home, we can all confirm to have experienced some peculiar situations.

Come and see my house, everyone already has

A side effect of being quarantined while working is that everybody gets to see you in a new light. When starting this adventure at Dailymotion one of my worries was also trying to make a good first impression. That can become a little difficult when a cat keeps jumping in front of the camera… At Dailymotion we have officially seen it all at this point. Kids, the passing-by partners, pets, and of course a great competition for the best virtual Zoom background. Being exposed from the first day appeared as a little uncomfortable to me. That social and professional barrier was suddenly lifted. But it is all part of the process and it adds a touch of humanity. We are first and foremost humans and yes, employees have a life outside of work.

When creating an onboarding plan for new joiners, Dailymotion makes a point in trying to generate a guided and impactful experience. Considering the COVID-19 circumstances, it is safe to say that I will certainly remember my first days and weeks at Dailymotion. From a personal perspective having the freedom to feel acknowledged and part of the community, was a necessary factor in fulfilling my job. This is experience has so far served as a test for multiple initiatives, such as making the case for remote work and creating trust in everyone’s potential. I’m looking forward to what is yet to come from the comfort of my dining table, and hopefully soon from the Dailymotion headquarters!


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