Starting a new job is always exciting. Even more so during this exceptional situation. The past months have revolved around combatting COVID-19. Obviously meaning things have been ‘different’ than usual. What is it like to start a new IT job during a worldwide pandemic? Northwaver Pim Sebok tells us more.
Did you apply for your job before or after the lockdown? And what was that like?
“I started applying for jobs just before the COVID-19 outbreak. I went for dinner with my former manager, who now works for Northwave, at the beginning of February to catch up. Initially we didn’t plan on talking about a new job. I viewed Northwave as an interesting organization where I’d like to work, but I hadn’t seen a fitting vacancy on the website. My former manager did see an opportunity however and that’s how we started talking about this option. Of course I was a bit anxious to switch jobs during these uncertain times, it’s less carefree than before. Fortunately, all the signals I got from Northwave were positive and that hasn’t changed. I received a job offer at the beginning of March.”
What is your role within Northwave?
“I’m Service Manager in the Security Operations Center (SOC). This team is responsible for identifying our clients’ risks and monitoring their environments. In short this means we detect attacks in the networks of our clients so we can stop them before it’s too late. We base our detection on identified risks. This is how we keep our clients safe.”
What was the onboarding process like and how was that different than you’re used to?
“Obviously the onboarding process was more remote that I’m used to. This was especially apparent in how we communicated with clients. In previous jobs I always met clients in the first week or so, now I’ve been on board for two months and still haven’t met any of our clients face to face. That’s a bit strange. I was fortunate that a lot of the measures were scaled down soon after I started. That means I could meet a lot of colleagues at the office. But because we mainly work from home it’s challenging from time to time, as you alone are responsible for organizing your day sufficiently.”
Have you been at the office at all?
“During my application process I’ve been to the office twice. When I signed the contract, what usually involves a celebratory glass of champagne, we were in lockdown so I couldn’t experience that unfortunately. The measures have been scaled down now, so we can go to the office. On average I spend 50% of the time at the office and 50% at home.”
How did you meet your colleagues?
“That’s actually a funny story. On my second working day there was a company BBQ. That means I was really lucky I got to meet a lot of my colleagues face to face.”
Do you see any advantages in the way you had to start your new job?
“Of course it’s nice that I don’t have to commute. And to some extent I like working from home.”
What are the disadvantages?
“Despite all the possibilities to meet people online and share screens with the people who took care of onboarding, it’s different to do this remote. If you sit next to someone you’re not bothered by delays, or by that you can’t hear someone because they’re not close to their microphone. When you’re at the office it’s easier to connect and it’s easier to assess if someone has the time to answer your question or help you out, simply by checking if they’re busy. You can’t do this online.”
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
“I’d like to mention it’s understandable that people who are looking for a new job or who are contemplating switching jobs, feel torn. That’s normal during these uncertain times. However, I’d like to encourage you to take that leap if an opportunity comes your way that you’re really enthusiastic about.”