Meet our newest recruits and find out what they have to say about starting at Born... during a global pandemic.
Joined -5 weeks to lockdown
Q) You managed to get some time in the office with us before lockdown, how was it?
M - It was definitely enough time to get to grips with the job and get to know the team but it was halfway through my probationary period. So, as you can imagine, trying to make a good impression over video calls is a whole other ball game. Meanwhile, I knew everyone was adapting and figuring out how to work amidst a crisis, so asking for help with the little things sometimes seemed a bit trivial. I’ve definitely missed being able to ask the person next to me those quick questions or demos! It feels like you have to become more selective with the questions you ask, weighing up whether it’s worth the time it can take. Which, come to think of it, is probably a good skill to have learned!
Q) Do you think that gave you enough time to understand the culture?
M - I think I had just about had enough time to understand it before lockdown which I think is testament to how hard Born work to create and nurture it. The socials, the Pal-entines Day celebrations and most importantly the people - made my month and a half feel like a year. However, at this point, it’s definitely difficult to know just how well you know everyone, you don’t have that small-talk that you took for granted before!
Joined -10 days to lockdown
Q) How was your (short!) time in the office?
E - It was about enough time to be introduced to most people and then promptly forget everyone’s name again. But thankfully, I did get my head around how Strategy at Born works at least - and also fitted in one trip to the pub which was nice. Little did I know it would be the last one for a while!
Q) How have you found working from home?
E - It means I can focus on projects completely - which I’ve enjoyed. Because a lot of my day-to-day is getting stuck into client problems, briefs and decks, I can just plug into that and tune out everything else for a while. I’d normally feel anti-social in the office with headphones on - especially when you’re new! But at home, that’s not a problem. Being able to do that during onboarding has helped me to get to grips with my role quicker I think.
Q) What do you think you’ve learned about yourself during this time?
E - I’ve learnt a lot. Firstly, how to actually work from home and how important it is to have a functional desk (thanks Wellbeing Budget). I’ve also learnt how important it is for my brain to separate work from home, which is difficult when the two collide so abruptly. And more functional, but learning how to be impactful through video calls - remote pitches and client presentations have been a bit of a learning curve, but think it’ll positively impact my skills moving forward.
Joined 4+ weeks in lockdown
Q) What was it like joining us in the midst of lockdown?
L - The way I joined the team was very unique. I moved from New York City a week before lockdown — jobless. Thankfully, I was already in talks with Born and had about a month of phone calls & zoom calls before I was offered the role, not long after touching down in London-town.
I never met any of my interviewers or colleagues face-to-face, I never saw the office space...I had to make a gut decision based on what I could piece together from the website and the zoom interview. I had a good feeling and luckily it all paid off — I couldn’t be happier with my decision to join the Born family.
Q) You were our first ever remote hire - what’s been the hardest part of onboarding?
L - Onboarding remotely impacts your ability to build relationships, your understanding of the company ecosystem and it doesn’t allow you the luxury of just observing your peers going about their day-to-day tasks. When you’re first in an office surrounded by your new colleagues, the dots all start to connect naturally. But when you’re remote, it’s a lot more effort, you have to do a lot more questioning to ensure you understand, and even then, you still might not.
In saying all of that, I truly believe Born’s done a great job. There was a lot of documented information, a lot of 1-on-1 calls with different department heads and senior team members, a lot of general support and messages of welcome. From day 1, I felt like I belonged and was in a safe space to learn and grow.
Social Media Manager
Joined 8+ weeks in lockdown
Q: How was the remote hiring process for you?
I - Fortunately my interview happened before lockdown began, so I’ve been lucky enough to have met four Born team members IRL! I was able to do the interview process as normal, all face-to-face and in the office, so it's nice to have a few (small) Born memories made before lockdown!
Q: What’s it like starting a job remotely?
I - Thinking about it in hindsight, maybe this is the perfect way to start a new job? You get to join a new company - something which can be quite an overwhelming experience - from the comfort of your own home! It’s New Job Lite. Not to mention there's no need to commute!
Q: Do you think you’ve managed to get to know our culture despite being remote?
Iz - Absolutely. I was sure I knew and loved Born’s culture before I joined, and irrespective of joining remotely, my time on the team so far has only confirmed this. It's a difficult time for everyone, but I’ve seen Born not only rally around new starters like myself, but look after all the team. There’s no hierarchy or pretence.
Mary, Emily, Liv and Izzy’s Tips for Starting a Job Remotely:
- Ask the questions you need to and don’t feel bad about it
- Be organised, use reminders - they’re your best friend
- Talk to people more than you think you need to
- Be transparent, if somethings hard tell someone
- Give feedback on the onboarding process, don’t forget companies are learning how to do this too!
- Go out of your way to get involved, join in with the social stuff and put yourself out there
- Make sure you have fun!