You’ve done it! You’ve secured your first virtual role. Whether this is your first job or not, beginning a virtual job or contract can be significantly different from an in-person job. Here are some tips that can help you begin onboarding:
NEGOTIATING YOUR CONTRACT
When you finally get that long-awaited job offer, it’s tempting to sign a contract immediately, without giving it much thought. It’s important to recognize that an employment contract doesn’t just outline your salary and vacation days—it’s a document that will guide your relationship with your employer. Read it thoroughly and ask any questions you have.
Just because you might be new to your career path, doesn’t mean you can’t negotiate for more money. Don’t take on roles you feel are underpaying just for the sake of having work: chances are, you’ll end up regretting taking on the project and will feel like you’ve undervalued yourself. It’s also important to pay attention to probationary clauses and get accommodation commitments in writing.
VIRTUAL ONBOARDING FOR EMPLOYEES
When you’re hired for a new job or contract, your first day will typically consist of onboarding—getting familiar with the processes and policies within a company, the logistics required to perform your role, and the in’s and out’s of navigating your workplace. Getting your bearings in a virtual workplace might take longer or feel different from working in a physical setting. Have patience with yourself and your colleagues, and don’t hesitate to ask for clarification, more information, or support that will help you do your job confidently and effectively.
Not all organizations or work opportunities have defined onboarding procedures. If you find yourself in a position that doesn’t have much of an onboarding process, be proactive. Communicate your needs on your first day, figure out who you can turn to with questions that will support the success of your work, and ensure you have the logistical tools required to perform your job.
Effective onboarding can help shape employees’ short- and long-term success. When managing a virtual workforce, it may take a little longer to onboard your new employees. Consider the logistical requirements like the physical equipment your employee needs, whether you must grant access to virtual working tools like company intranet, and what company documents you need to provide to ensure your new virtual worker has the information they need. Depending on the size of your organization, consider assigning a buddy or company mentor to new hires and ensure supervisors are in regular contact with new employees during their first few days or weeks on the job.
If you’re self-employed, your filing obligations will require you to catalogue everything from office to marketing to training expenses. Ensure you’re familiar with what you can deduct in a calendar year and keep organized to keep filing easier on yourself. For more information, visit the Government of Canada’s guidelines for business expenses.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR RIGHTS, RESPONSIBILITIES, AND OBLIGATIONS
When working in a virtual setting, you’re responsible for understanding, organizing, and managing your needs, which is why it’s important to be aware of the following: