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Starting a New Job During a Pandemic

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Joanna O. | Software Engineer Senior Manager | Malaysia

A Diverse and Inclusive Environment 

I joined Dell two years ago, a few months after having my second child. Although I was delighted to take up this global role, in truth, I was also a little bit apprehensive given the need to manage the priorities at work and taking care of an infant and a toddler at home. Over the past two years, I must say that my worries have been put to rest. Although the onset of the pandemic was quite challenging, the flexible hours and support offered to me as a working mom helped tide me through a period where I constantly felt that I needed to be at two places at one time. It is for this reason that I feel I can do my best work in a role that continues to energize me to this day.

Unstoppable 

Although I was not originally hired for a remote role, the switch to a full-time work-from-home model was seamless. The onboarding process was a breeze with my laptop and peripherals delivered right to my doorstep with clear step by step instructions. Virtual team buildings and the occasional “party packs” delivered to my home kept the camaraderie going. In fact, while many companies are cutting workforce and putting workers on furlough, I was given the mandate to expand my team. The speed at which Dell responded to the “new normal” and the relative ease in which the new ways of working are internalized, to me is testament of Dell’s quick and nimble culture. 

Learning Culture 

I had a very warm welcome during my first week with Dell. My manager, who is based in another country, arranged a video conference on my first day. Throughout the week, I was able to “meet” all my global colleagues online. Having a supportive manager is one of the things I appreciate most about this job. I have weekly 1:1 session to check in on how things are going, get the feedback I need to improve and the advice, access and knowledge I need to do my job well.

I have fantastic colleagues who are smart and always willing to help. Managing a global team comes with its own set of time zone challenges but the spirit of accommodation and compromise made it almost easy. One of my strongest impressions comes from a learning culture where we are not expected to know everything, but always expected to keep an open mind for new knowledge. Dell offers a great support system spanning from Great Learning Portal, Mentor-Mentee programs, HR services, and many more which helps to support me as I learn all the facets of my new job and the company. 

Open Working Culture 

There's a saying not one size fits all. I love how Dell values diversity, inclusiveness, innovation, collaboration, and flexibility. During the pandemic, we are allowed to work from home, plus managing a global team means my working hours are not fixed 9-5 which then allows me to organize and plan my working hours.  Such flexibility allows me to spend more time with my family and be more productive at work at the same time which leads to better quality of life especially for working mom that is constantly juggling time and attention between work and family. I am thankful for Dell and the nature of work that allows me to have such a working arrangement which leads to life work balance. 

 

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