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How to start a new job remotely, according to SE2’s four new hires

June 15, 2021

Restaurants are fully open and I can go to the gym without a mask on, but the office looks a lot like it has for the past year: rectangular and two-dimensional. 

Along with new Junior Associates Mikhail (a.k.a. Mikey) Talley and Jack Cohen and Youth Advisor Raya Patel, I am learning the ropes at SE2 through computer screens. 

There are pros and cons. On the upside, it’s OK to be quiet in meetings since it’s polite to stay muted. On the downside, we have less face time with our coworkers (although I did get the special honor of an in-person afternoon iced tea with CEO Susan Morrisey). 

It’s nice to work remotely as an introvert. Mikey isn’t stressing about who to sit with at lunch since she already knows it’s going to be her roommate.

Navigating the intricacies of the online dress code can be complicated. Vice President of Strategy and Operations Brandon Zelasko mentioned we all stood out as new since we all wore businessy collared shirts on our first day. On our second day, Jack and I opted for T-shirts for our Zoom meetings only to see more business-professional tops from others in the meeting. Guess what we wore for day three.

Time can be a tricky thing, too, for better or worse. Raya had to stop and think about her start date. She had joined SE2 just before Mikey, Jack and me, but that familiar feeling of days blurring together made it difficult to pin down exactly when.

I have already been in the habit of spending my workday from home. I know the routine of checking email during breakfast, getting dressed in the “business-on-top, party-on-bottom” uniform, and the habit of work time slipping seamlessly into my evening until dinnertime hunger reminds me I was supposed to have been “done” with my day an hour earlier. 

Despite the unusual aspects of starting a new job from the comfort of home, some of the same feelings remain. We’re all excited to be at SE2. We’re all hungry to do good work and improve our community, just like everyone at the agency.

Jack is a recent college graduate and returned to Colorado from the University of Puget Sound. He has helped connect students with older mentors by setting up a community-focused program to pair college students with elementary students for academic and emotional support. He also participated in a program to introduce middle school students to constitutional law. 

Mikey is a recent graduate from Colorado State University who recognized that she’d rather be working toward community change than in the music industry. Before joining SE2, she worked as an intern with Denver Rescue Mission and Cancer Support Community. 

Raya, who recently graduated high school and has been accepted at Gonzaga University in the State of Washington, has already started her own nonprofit focused on providing mental health resources to underprivileged youth.

I’ve spent eight years covering law, government and the legal industry as a journalist.

And now that we’ve finished the first-week onboarding process, we’re ready to get down to work – regardless of whether we’re wearing shorts under the desk.