While the news of mass layoffs has inundated the market, certain industries continue to hire with one eye on the future. The data science realm is one such job market. Quite a lot about the recruitment and onboarding processes have changed; this makes transitioning into a new role a lot more complicated.
Keeping all this in mind, it is imperative that, as a candidate, you take things into their own hands. You can prepare an action plan to approach the first day of your remote data science career with enthusiasm– and this post will help you along the way.
Tip #1: Ask for A Preview of the Process
Proactively arm yourself with a blueprint of the onboarding process– this is especially relevant in current remote working scenarios. Depending on the job role you’ve been hired for, your onboarding process may be elaborate or short and snappy. Understanding what it will look like for you is a great way to avoid spreading yourself out too thin in the first few days or virtually walking in without a clue. It will also highlight any gaps you may need to fill in your skillset, in which case you might need to enrol in a data science course.
Tip #2: Reach Out to Your Teammates
It’s much harder than usual to connect with first-time teammates and colleagues in a virtual environment; however, since someone has to do it, it can be you. Not only will this allow you to establish your presence and role in the team, but it will also paint a favorable picture of you in times when first impressions are rather restricted to screens and voice calls. Try to gauge how best your team works, what communication tools they use and what they do outside of work. This personal rapport will go a long way.
Tip #3: Ensure You Have Continuous Access to Technology
Technology is the backbone of the remote working process– especially so for data science roles. Before your first day, it is a good idea to take stock of all the tools you have and how you can add to them if required. You can first start with hardware– laptops or desktops, sufficient working space, additional accessories– before moving on to software. If you find that you need something to perform your role, it is always advisable that you reach out to the onboarding team and see if they can help.
Tip #4: Be Forthcoming in Your Questions and Help
A virtual environment makes it significantly more difficult to read and react to facial or virtual clues. If you’re curious about something or don’t understand a task, it is best to be forthcoming about it. This tactic leaves no grey areas or causes for misunderstanding. Similarly, don’t hesitate to offer help where you feel like you have more to offer. This tip will make you a more valued member of your team as well as cement the skills and talents you bring to the table.
Tip #5: Weigh in Your Emotional Responses, Too
When starting a data science career remotely, it is easy to feel lonely and disconnected with your teammates despite working on the same projects. However, it is always recommended that you check in with yourself periodically and understand if you are adjusting. Reach out to colleagues to build a friendly rapport with them. Take time away from the computer and stick to strict work hours as much as possible so you don’t burn out.
Industries across the board have shifted operations to a work-from-home basis in order to cease the spread of COVID19. If you’ve been lucky enough to land a remote data science job, it’s best to head into it with a determined mind and an action plan in hand!