I started thinking about this blog post as a counter to all the “2020 was so crap”. Don’t get me wrong, 2020 was pretty crap, but it wasn’t all bad. At least not for me. I’ve been lucky enough to work for a client, Toca Boca, that has not been affected in a negative way by the pandemic. This means I’ve had a lot to do as their Recruitment Manager.
On a personal level I’ve bought a house and have had lots to do with that, which I really enjoy. So, as I’ve said, it hasn’t been all bad, even though I’ve got a massive case of cabin fever, and would love to escape this (great) house a bit more often than possible.
Anyway, I thought I’d give my view and a few topics that have popped up during the year, seen completely from my side of things.
I’ve been lucky enough to work for a company (client) that has done extremely well through the pandemic. Having hired around 40 people during the year, meaning almost doubling the number of employees, has meant I’ve kept busy. And it’s been a lot of fun.
Toca Boca is such a fun company, and they’ve done so many things to try and make the most out of the working from home situation,as a lot of us Toca Bonias have really missed the office. Our office is amazing. Not only the physical space, but the atmosphere created by the people there. It simply oozes creativity.
I’ve been recruiting anything from developers to animators, producers to marketing managers. A wide variety, giving me the opportunity to speak to so many different people. A lot of my phone screens have been done whilst on a walk, overlooking a lake, or hanging about in the forest. There must be some perks when working from home.
Remote working or Working from Home
I’d say there’s a difference between these two. Working from home is to me the situation that a lot of us have found ourselves in this year. Having to work from whatever space in your house that works (or doesn’t). Be it the kitchen table, sofa or, like for me on occasion, your bed. And I don’t mean as in “ooh, the luxury of working from my bed” but in “dear God, kids and hubby are so loud and I still have meetings I need to flee somewhere” kind of way.
When I read all the “remote is the new normal” I just wanna scream. I don’t want to work remotely. I love going to the office. I need the office. I’m an extrovert for crying out loud.
I see the polls on what you’d prefer. “working from home, the office, or a combination of both”. Of course my answer is ” a combination of both” but the thing is, I’ve always had that as an option. I’ve never worked for a company where I couldn’t work from home for a day if I wanted to. To be honest, that wasn’t very often. But I do understand that some companies might not be like that, and that people would like to have the option. However, If the poll would only have two options, work from home or the office, I would pick the office 100%.
I also see the comments about commuting, how great it is to not commute. I friggin miss commuting! Not so much the morning, but the going home from work. That’s 40 minutes where I can do whatever I want, flip through my phone, call a friend, hear myself think, without being intereputed by a little person saying “mamma” every 5 seconds. As it is now, kids and hubby stumble through the door before I’ve even finished work. I’ve even had meetings with a sleeping daughter in my lap. Oh how I miss the office, and the tram and the bus….
I’m not the kind of person who makes a load of plans, but there were a few things I did have planned for 2020 that didn’t happen. I was gonna go to Warsaw and speak at HeReos Conf, Lisbon for SourceCon and to Tallinn for Sourcing Summit. None of these happened, instead they all, except for SourceCon, went online.
I spoke at both HeRoes Cons and Sourcing Summit live from my living room with my laptop propped up on an ironing board and some boxes. No way near as fun as doing it live on stage in front of loads of people.
Erin Mathew wrote a great post about this. An online conference is just not the same thing. To me, half the fun about going to the conference is meeting my friends and making new ones. It’s an opportunity for me to just be me, and not a mum who has to get her kids ready for school etc. I love being on stage, and really enjoy speaking engagements. Not only for the opportunity to be on stage, but also for all other aspects of going to a conference. All of which disappear when you do it online.
So my hope for 2021 is that we can all meet for real, be it at SourceCon, Sourcing Summit or any other conference.
“Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans”
Maybe my take on 2020 has something to do with my no goals way of approaching life, and work, in general. I’m not motivated by goals and reaching them, rather I have happiness as my motivator. I do what makes me happy. What makes me happy now might not be what makes me happy in the future. What made me happy in 2020 ight not work in 2021. I don’t know what’s around the corner, so I don’t make plans for it either. I really like the saying “Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans”.
I used to think I was alone in this kind of thinking, I mean Linkedin is full of people talking about their goals and what they did to achieve them. I even saw a post from the owner of a small company who said that one of their values was “goal oriented” or “competitive”. I can’t quite remember which, and it was in Swedish, but I remember thinking “I’m glad I don’t work there”. I don’t see the point in everything being a competition all the time. That’s why I was really happy to listen to a podcast with Aref Abedi, the CEO of Jobylon, and his way of putting the employees happiness ahead of any business goals. I’d say go have a listen, but unfortunately it’s in Swedish. Perhaps I should have a chat with Aref myself and add it to my YouTube channel?
So, what does 2021 have in store? Who knows!
I’m sticking with Toca for a while longer, which I’m super happy about. We have a lot to do, not only hiring, but lots of other recruitment related projects as well. I’ll be recruiting a colleague as well, so I will no longer be a one person recruitment team.
All the training I do through Sourcingskolan will continue to be digital, it’s actually worked out pretty well. I have some tailor made training scheduled as well for some great companies I look forward to working with.
I don’t have too much planned for 2021, no surprise there. I’ll simply go with the flow and see what happens. I’m sure it’ll be a great year.