Life at SHL: Starting a Career in a Hybrid Role
Taking the first step in a career journey is exciting and monumental. But how does it feel to start your career in a hybrid role?
Like many young graduates in the current climate, thrown into online university learning followed by hybrid working, it has been a tough few years. Beginning a career path in a hybrid role poses many challenges to new starters, as it can complicate onboarding and remove a large social component of starting a new job, sometimes leading to feelings of isolation and stress. During the pandemic, reports have shown that when onboarding is mismanaged, those starting at a new company can feel isolated and uninformed, hindering their new hire experience.
When managed effectively, hybrid working can be effective to start a new role in a global organization, connecting with teams and finding your feet at your own pace. With experience working remotely, graduates leaving university stand in good stead to be effective remote workers, but there are certainly challenges along the way.
First 3 months at SHL – The hybrid perspective
Bright-eyed and eager to take the first step in my career journey, I joined SHL as a marketing intern in the UK office just 3 months ago. Having studied my entire Master’s in a remote setting, being but a name to my lecturers, and not knowing or meeting any of my fellow students, I had tired of feeling like a name on a page and was anxious about what it would be like to start working. I was determined to try and make a mark during my internship, learning and gaining experience each day to enhance my ability. Though my career has not started in the way I imagined, starting my internship in a hybrid role at SHL has been a real turning point for me, providing practical experience and teaching me lessons about myself I will apply throughout my career.
Daunting though it was to start at a company where many people were remote, my worries were quickly curbed by the welcome I have received at SHL. My onboarding was in the office, allowing me to get a feel for the company, become familiar with the office, and put names to faces—an experience I believe has been very important in ensuring new starters feel they are truly part of the organization and valued. Though I have only been part of the EMEA field marketing team for a few months, I feel I have quickly turned strangers across the world into close colleagues that have already taught me valuable lessons I am sure to apply throughout my career.
My onboarding was in the office, allowing me to get a feel for the company, become familiar with the office, and put names to faces—an experience I believe has been very important in ensuring new starters feel truly part of the organization and feel valued.
Hybrid working has suited my internship as part of a global business—where some days it is easier to pop over to someone’s desk, the power of technology and remote working has aided the EMEA team I am part of and has provided networking opportunities throughout the business and the world from the comfort of my own home. Weekly remote ‘coffee’ meetings and catch-ups with my team throughout the EMEA region have made up for our inability to bump into each other in an office setting, and have created a place, to be honest, share our struggles and share laughter in a relaxed setting.
Well-being during these tumultuous times is of significant importance and finding a work-life balance can prove difficult. SHL’s accommodating approach to work in the UK has allowed me to be flexible with my working patterns, attending the office when restrictions allow and only when I feel comfortable.
The added value of being in a hybrid role
My experience starting a hybrid internship at SHL is that I have been able to get stuck into my work, learning each day at my own pace. As well as gaining practical marketing experience, I have learned to be adaptable in my working style, responding to changes quickly and managing my time effectively. I believe hybrid work and the lessons it has taught is helpful for fellow new starters beginning their career journey; this work model can show management that new starters work well independently and can be trusted with projects and responsibilities, therefore adding a sense of value.
Despite working remotely, the open and inclusive culture here at SHL has provided me with something that all graduates and new starters beginning their career journey will need to feel secure in their new role—someone to ask for help without fear or judgement. As well as the ability to network in person, I have felt I can contact those in different regions and job titles more easily due to remote work. An interesting finding from Goldman Sachs has shown that remote working has also allowed graduates to have more frequent and open conversations with higher-level management, with the frequency of video calls allowing for a virtual open-door policy that is more approachable.
A hybrid work model can show management that new starters work well independently and can be trusted with projects and responsibilities.
Implementing measures to ensure hybrid working is effective within an organization is not easy, but it is something that should definitely be prioritized, particularly when onboarding new starters. So far, working in a hybrid role has been exciting and has allowed me to adapt to change much quicker. I am eager to continue to learn throughout my internship, about my role, and about myself and my working style—something that remote work has begun to teach us all.
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