Starting a New Job During a Worldwide Pandemic

Although I have to wave from a safe distance and smile under a mask, it is lovely to meet you. My name is Kallie and I joined the CLC Venues & Events Team as the new Commercial Events Coordinator at the beginning of September. I’ve been in the ‘event world’ for a little while now, organising a year-long programme of events for the University of Southampton Dance Societies (including competitions, shows, fundraising socials and the Performing Arts Ball). After graduating, I combined my love of books and event planning as the Events Manager for Henley Literary Festival, coordinating 170+ author events for a 9-day festival. And now, here I am! 

While starting any new job can be a nerve-wracking experience, joining a team during a worldwide pandemic is even more so. Hopefully my fantastic first week at CLC Venues & Events can offer some insight and calm any nerves for anyone starting a new role amidst so much uncertainty and change.  

I was lucky enough to be able to go into the office for my first week and explore the beautiful spaces we hire for events. Having been so busy meeting new people, learning new systems and settling into the team, it was easy to forget how the pandemic has affected my induction. 

Temperature checks when arriving in the building, wearing a mask in communal areas and socially distanced or virtual introductions have simply become part of the routine for the day. It’s amazing how quickly everyone has adapted and embracethese new routines – so much so that I found myself complimenting people’s patterned face masks and the smell of their hand sanitiser, where previously it would have been their new dress and nice perfumeJust like the initial nerves of entering a supermarket for the first time and learning their COVID procedures, I found that any worries of adhering to those in the office environment quickly dissolved once in practice and became (*don’t say it*): ‘the new normal’. 

Equally, initial nerves about working from home quickly vanished. There is always someone ‘online’ to answer any questions and I can’t complain about the commute! If you find yourself working from home for the first time this year, there is plenty of advice available online. I’ve found it useful to stick to a routine, put the radio on for company and having my lunch outside for some fresh air (weather permitting!). Look back at CLC Venues & Events brilliant articles with 5 top tips for working from home if you need some inspiration here. 

Getting to know my new role as Commercial Events Coordinator when the events industry has been put on hold has been challenging. While it’s been impossible to be ‘thrown into’ organising and managing events, the Commercial Team here at CLC have been overwhelmingly encouraging and there is plenty to look forward to. Familiarising myself with the incredible rooms and buildings available to hire here at CLC; answering enquiries for events in 2021, attending site showrounds and learning the event booking process have been my priorities this week. For those entering any job in these unusual times, it would be easy to feel overwhelmed by the changing government guidelines and uncertainty about the next few months. My advice: just go with the flow!  

I am SO excited to organise events here at CLC. I am most looking forward to weddings being run at full capacity again – it’ll be lovely to see networks of family and friends coming together to celebrate. Please do get in touch with us on venuesandevents@cheltladiescollege.org if you would like to hire one of our wonderful spaces for an upcoming event. Looking forward to hearing what you have planned and how we can ensure your event is memorable and successful. Hopefully see you (your face mask and hand sanitiser) soon.