I started my job search back in the good ol’ days of early 2019. Before the pandemic, before stay-at-home orders were a thing, before unemployment skyrocketed to 6.6 million Americans.
Even when the landscape started to change and things began to get weird (there’s no other way to put it), I forged ahead, and within just a few days of submitting an application to Better.com for a role only listed as “operations associate,” they reached out for an interview.
To make a not-very-interesting story short, after a couple weeks and a series of really great Zoom interviews, I was hired as a processing expert.
Not-so-side note: Better.com is one of the fastest-growing homeownership startups in the country. Based on New York City, they opened an office in Charlotte, NC (where I will be eventually) just last year and have already grown it to over 200 employees, with plans to add another 1,000 over the next year. Basically, Better.com lives up to its name by taking the time-consuming, frustrating, broken system of getting a mortgage and making it fast, simple, and 100% digital. By utilizing technology, Better.com is changing the game when it comes to home ownership. Okay, end of sales pitch (for now).
Initially, the plan was to start on-boarding in person on April 7. As soon as it became abundantly clear that this would be impossible, Better changed gears, shipped me and my fellow new hires laptops, and planned an entirely remote on-boarding experience.
It. Was. Awesome. You’d have thought this was how on-boarding always happened, it went so smoothly.
My classmates and I spent most of the week hopping from one Zoom call to the next, setting up logins and benefits and learning some of the basic software tools Better utilizes (job-specific training starts on Monday).
Some of the highlights of the week included…
- Storyshare. Friday morning, we were broken up into groups of 9 or 10 and given the opportunity to share our story with our classmates. Childhood, favorite memories, travel experiences, hobbies, friends, family—anything was fair game. This was an awesome and simple activity that really brought us together, especially given the remote nature of the week, and made me all the more excited to get to the office and meet everyone in person!
- Cheers and Shoutouts. This is already one of my favorite parts of working at Better—and I’ve only been there four days. Each Friday afternoon, everyone in the office comes together (in person if we’re at the office and virtually if we’re remote) with their choice of beverage. Anyone who wants to can give a shoutout to anyone for anything, and everyone raises their glass. Cheers! It was so fun to see the culture of Better in action and how everyone came together to support each other.
And in related-but-separate news, I signed a lease on an apartment today! Submitting the application online and being accepted took all of five minutes, then another ten or so to sign the lease (always read the full contract, peeps 👀). Not only do I love the looks of the apartment, but the speed and ease of the entire process made the complex very attractive.
I move in two weeks. Who knows what moving in a pandemic will look like!