Navigating a new job or a career change can be intimidating in any normal circumstance. I certainly never thought I would do so in the middle of a global pandemic. I went from maneuvering the eCommerce offices of a Fortune 500 multinational retailer, to operating my makeshift office setup in my childhood bedroom. Even with the first day jitters, I was ready to start my career as a consultant.

Here are a few things I learned (through trial and error) that helped me adjust to my new role at Kepler:

If you don’t know something, ask for help

In an office setting, it was easy for me to swivel my chair around and tap someone on the shoulder to ask for help. However, in a work-from-home setting, it was difficult to gauge who was available and who was busy. In the beginning, I was hesitant to ask questions because I didn’t know if I was distracting someone or not. But with the encouragement of my peers and my mentors at Kepler, I became comfortable speaking up anytime I needed help. Even over Slack or Email, everyone – whether consultant or partner  – always made time to lend a helping hand or give insight into a problem I was stuck on.

Be comfortable being uncomfortable

I knew consulting was going to be unlike anything I was accustomed to. Within my five-month tenure, I led my own project, prepared pitches for c-suite executives, and started authoring a whitepaper — all while working side-by-side with leadership at the firm. If anyone wanted to learn, and learn fast, consulting was the place to do it.

Learn how to over-communicate

It’s easy for words to create a disconnect over a few lines of text or a 30-minute video call. With remote work, communication must be done intentionally and proactively. At home, I can’t see what my team is working on, read their body language, or call out to them in the office and vice versa. Over-communicating with my team and my managers helps bridge the gaps that working from home creates .

Make time to connect with your coworkers

Losing the little moments in the office have been hard: I miss the workplace banter, office pranks, and company celebrations with my team. Right before I started at Kepler, I told myself I was going to reach out to X number of people every day so that I can eventually meet everyone in the office. I was pleasantly surprised when several consultants beat me to it and reached out on my first day, eagerly introducing themselves and welcoming me with open arms. Kepler also hosts a myriad of virtual events (from weekly lunches to wellness events) to foster that tight-knit connection that defines Kepler culture.

Living through a global pandemic is challenging, even more so if you’re starting a new career! Just remember that when you’re new, you’re expected to be curious, so don’t be afraid to ask questions, step out of your comfort zone, over communicate, and connect with your colleagues!