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Changing jobs in the virtual world

Fran started working at Victim First in March 2020. In this blog, she tells us a bit about her experience of changing jobs during a pandemic.

Like many of us, I was doing my bit by staying at home during COVID-19, but how many times can you walk the same route for your daily exercise, and watch the same Netflix programme, without feeling bored? After a couple of weeks out of work, I was itching to get stuck back in to the work life and get some sort of routine.

So what is it like to change jobs during a global pandemic? Is it scary, and would I recommend it? With my first day ahead of me, only time would tell.

On the morning of my first day at Victim First, I was absolutely terrified. I remember waking up with those first day butterflies we all know too well. I felt so anxious to be heading into a new career during a national lockdown. Despite this, I drove to Headquarters to collect my equipment for working from home for the foreseeable future. On arrival, I was greeted by the Head of Service who promptly reminded me that there was an unlimited supply of hand sanitizer, if I had wished to use it. We spent around an hour setting up my equipment when I arrived. It was undoubtedly a first to be shown how to set up technology at a two meter distance. After the collection, I walked back to my car with a rucksack full of equipment, notepads and lots of hand sanitizer, with a more positive outlook on the lockdown in front of me.

When I returned home, I received a call from my team lead. She welcomed me to the team and introduced me to Victim First and the training program. After my first day of figuring out Skype and various other computer programmes, I closed my laptop, and at that point, I knew I had made the right decision to change jobs despite the uncertain times we are in.

What are the unexpected benefits of training during COVID-19? Training virtually has still been as fun and as engaging as it would be in an office, and even more so due to technical errors, making it very entertaining. I virtually met the team in the following week of training through Skype, which I guess saves the awkward first meeting in the office. I also had the opportunity to shadow my colleagues on their work days. Each and every one of them made it extremely interactive by screen sharing on skype, meaning I could observe what they were doing, and I could even control their computer to have a go myself. I also got the chance to carry out practice calls with my colleagues, who acted as the service users. I can confirm this is as scary as it sounds, but my colleagues made me feel relaxed, and doing them over skype was definitely less frightening. I also had the chance to observe some real calls from my colleagues, which felt exactly the same as if we were in an office environment, except the difference was I was wearing slippers!

After only two weeks of employment with Victim First I already feel part of the team, virtually and otherwise. Everyone in the team has gone above and beyond to make me feel welcomed, even if it’s a quick ‘good morning’ message or asking how I am getting on, meaning being trained virtually has not once felt lonely.

So as a finishing remark, yes it is scary changing jobs in a global pandemic, but it is definitely worth it when you have such a great team around you!


Caseworker- Victim First