At Illumin8

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September 6, 2021

I started a job in a pandemic!

Keira Patman

Bookkeeper

Starting a new job in a pandemic? It doesn't have to be an awful experience.

At Illumin8, we're proud to provide opportunities to those looking to find their feet in accounting. The accounting industry can be notoriously difficult to break into for young people. Still, given the right circumstances, they can make an incredible contribution to the workplace.

Last year, at the height of the Victorian Lockdown, we were looking for someone to join our expanding 'Illumin8 Ya Books' team. Enter Keira, joining us at quite a unique time to start a new job.

We asked her to give us her thoughts around starting a new job with Illumin8, in a pandemic and here's what she told us.

September last year started off pretty shit.

I was turning 21 and couldn't have the shindig I'd always dreamed of because of lockdown.

However, four days after my 21st birthday, I got a call from Andrew saying I snagged myself a position at Illumin8. Just like that my birth month went from totally sucky to super awesome.

Starting a new job is always a little bit scary (ok, very scary), but beginning a new job during a global pandemic is absolutely terrifying. There were a plethora of things that I stressed about, such as:

  • Endless zoom calls
  • Attempting to get to know the whole team remotely
  • Setting up an office space at home
  • Will Friday knock-off bevs be a thing?
  • And most importantly; what the heck even is Slack?

Despite all the things I stressed about, Illumin8 made the whole onboarding process during lockdown smooth as a baby's butt. While I didn't meet all of my new colleagues in person until about month after I started, I felt like I knew the team. Everyone made an effort to make sure I felt supported and included. From the start with Shane setting up all of my tech stuff, Kate and Jade taught me all the bookkeeping's ins and outs via Zoom.

I never felt annoying when reaching out for a hand or even just a chat.

I was navigating a new role, with nobody around, in my super comfy trackie-dacks. I didn't once feel isolated from the team or in my job.

There was no missing out on the buzz that is usually around when you're in the Illumin8 office. Each weekended with virtual drinks that would sometimes go on for hours. On the much-anticipated Budget Night, Illumin8 had a pizza delivered to my door, making it feel like a super cool pizza party.

Even though my whole on-boarding was remote, it has led to me feeling like an important part of an unreal group of people.

Taking on new team members is challenging at the best of times, let alone in the middle of fully remote working with a team member entering the profession for their first time.

Things went according to plan. But only by leveraging technology, bringing our people together in memorable ways, and ensuring that Keira knew we were there for her, always. 

We are stoked to have Keira on board – she is a jet, and you might just be lucky enough to have a chat with her on a call soon!

Oh and Slack – well...

And yes, I did end up figuring out what the heck Slack is.

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