Starting a new job is stressful enough. It can be even more stressful when you have to do it while working from home. Now throw a first pregnancy into the mix! That’s Rheannon Telfer’s life in a nutshell right now.
Rheannon is a Creative Designer at BrokerLink in Calgary. She joined the company in January after discovering she was pregnant in December.
“I applied to BrokerLink quite a while ago and didn’t hear back,” Rheannon recalls. She accepted a different job, but when BrokerLink asked for an interview, she had to accept.
“The company seemed progressive,” Rheannon says. “Not stuck in the past. BrokerLink seemed like they were taking steps forward and that was exciting.”
Starting a new job without coming to the office didn’t come naturally to Rheannon. She isn’t someone who particularly enjoys Zoom meetings and would much rather talk to someone one-on-one. While there were some challenges to starting the job remotely, the process has been easy. The biggest downside is that it’s been hard to form personal relationships virtually.
“I’m not going to all of a sudden message someone and ask, ‘What do you like to do?’” she says. “It’s tough to know I won’t be able to form those relationships for awhile. But eventually those relationships will come.”
It makes things easier knowing others are in similar situations. In the Marketing and Communications team alone, three team members have joined remotely since the start of the pandemic. Not to mention the hundreds of people who have joined BrokerLink from acquisitions. Ontario’s Digital Team hasn’t let the pandemic slow their hiring. They’ve onboarded more than 70 people since March 2020! Rheannon says knowing so many others have joined the company while working from home has made things a bit easier.
Being pregnant during the pandemic definitely has its challenges! Her husband hasn’t been able to go with her to certain appointments and couldn’t attend one of her ultrasounds. Fortunately, Rheannon’s pregnancy has been easy and healthy.
Even though it can be stressful at times, working from home while pregnant definitely has its benefits.
“I don’t have to worry about commuting or weather,” Rheannon says. “I can wear what I want without worrying about dressing professionally while pregnant.”
To keep a positive attitude, Rheannon stays active as much as possible. She loves hiking and taking advantage of the mountains just outside Calgary. These days, she does low impact workouts like going for walks and yoga. She’s also thinking about how she’ll decorate the nursery once the baby comes!
Since starting at BrokerLink, Rheannon has already worked on several projects. She helped design and implement a marketing request form for managers to use, she’s worked on graphic designs and animations for social media and she’s supported the team on traditional marketing materials like magazine ads, newspaper ads and buckslips.
“A graphic designer is there to tell the story and show people what BrokerLink is all about,” Rheannon says about her work for BrokerLink. “A lot of times words aren’t enough. It can sometimes be easier to show people what you mean instead of telling them what you mean.”
For anyone else starting a new job remotely, Rheannon recommends keeping work and home life separate.
“That means shutting down the computer at the end of the day and not sitting back down at my desk until the next day,” she says.
And for any moms-to-be out there, Rheannon says it’s important to avoid making comparisons with others. Going through a pregnancy during a pandemic is a lot different than normal, which can make you feel like you’re missing out.
“It’s good to remember there are positives to being pregnant right now,” Rheannon says. “Like working from home and not having to spend a ton on maternity clothes!”