My first day at Lifehacker was March 23, 2020 — four months ago or four years ago. I received my employment offer on March 5, exactly one week before my wife and I pulled our kids out of New York City schools, rode the subway for the last time, and basically stopped going outside.
The time between getting and starting my job filled me with anxiety; every day, I was sure my offer would be rescinded as the sunny climate for digital media quickly turned stormy. I even emailed my boss, now-Editor-in-Chief Alice Bradley, to ask if I could start a week early. Her response — that the office was closing, but they’d mail me my laptop — filled me with immense relief. They wouldn’t send me a MacBook Pro if they weren’t serious about giving me a job, right?
Even though things have gotten much, much worse for the economy since those early days, people are still finding work. Anecdotally, I know a half-dozen people who actually left existing gigs amid the shutdown to take a better opportunity. Companies outside of the “essential” service sector are indeed hiring — but as the Boston Globe notes, starting a job right now can be a lonely experience.
I can attest to that. I have been to the G/O Media offices exactly one time: during my interview. I heard a rumour that I’ll someday be working in an office with a window that looks out on Times Square and a door that actually shuts — a big change after a decade of cubicle life — but for the foreseeable future, I’ll have to make do with a desk in the corner of my bedroom and a door that somewhat muffles the sounds of screaming children.
I’ve had to adjust to new routines and expectations at work while also managing total upheaval in every aspect of my home life (also now my “work life.”) Every staff meeting I’ve been in has taken place over Zoom. I’ve met and said goodbye to colleagues I’ve never been in the same room with. As grateful as I am to be employed right now, it has been a bit of a bummer at times.
Have you also started a job during this period of unprecedented upheaval in American economic history? What has your experience been like? Have you taken well to working remotely? Are you still required to go into the office? Has the pandemic changed the way you look at your career or your professional goals? Let us know in the comments and we’ll feature your best stories in a future post.