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We all have been there before, the thrill of getting that call when your future manager makes the offer. You are so excited, counting the days when you will finally get to meet your new colleagues in person, get familiarized with the new office culture and perhaps even find a few new local favorite lunch spots.
None of that became a reality for me when I joined Nordcloud in the middle of the COVID-19 outbreak.
My name is Marta Clements and I thought I would share with you my story of what it has been like to be a new hire at Norcloud in these very unusual and challenging times.
I was born and raised in Barcelona with an American mother and a Spanish father. From an early age I was exposed to a very international upbringing so it is not surprising that I followed my parents footsteps wanting to experience different cultures. One opportunity led to the next and fast forward a few countries, a few jobs, a husband and a 6 year old son, here I am in Stockholm working as a Talent Acquisition Partner for a Finnish company.
My decision to join Nordcloud was super easy. Who wouldn’t want to join a super talented and diverse group of people working on cutting edge technology in a true collaborative spirit?
I joined the Talent Acquisition team and as the role suggests my core competence is identifying the best talent to support the growth of the business. What I like the most about my role is that it doesn’t matter how many interviews I’ve conducted or been part of, I am yet to find two identical interviews.
Coming from a previous commercial background, I also get a kick when an offer has been made and a candidate says yes. It’s exciting to think one can have a positive impact in somebody’s life and equally find people that have a positive impact on the business and help us grow.
Remote working has a new meaning for all of us now, but even more so when your first week in your new job also becomes remote. So much has happened in this last month but when I joined Nordcloud it was still early days of the virus outbreak in Sweden.
Prior to joining I had received a very comprehensive welcome pack with all the information I needed during my first weeks. Included there was also a section explaining Nordcloud’s Covid-19 policy which urged all employees to work from home.
My new laptop was being delivered to the office, so one could say that my first day was still relatively normal as I got to meet two colleagues in person. In fact they are still the only colleagues I have physically met and it’s been almost a month! As the laptop delivery was experiencing delays, I also got to lock up the office and set the alarm on my first day. Now that’s what I call trusting your employees! Not bad at all, I told myself. I’m going to be doing just fine.
The original plan for my induction at Nordcloud would have been categorized as a dream for any new hire: My line manager from Finland together with one of my colleagues from the Polish office were going to fly to Stockholm and help me get acclimatized to Nordcloud during my first week. Unfortunately that warm welcome never took place in person, but it’s amazing how fast we have adapted to our new reality and made the most of video conferencing. Who is to say that one cannot get to know your colleagues this way?
At Nordcloud it is common practice to group new hires together and have them start on the same day every month. This means we have people joining from very different backgrounds across the various European office locations. As such, the general induction sessions are usually conducted remotely and you can immediately sense that Nordcloud has a good grasp of it. The sessions are so well organized and prepared. During these sessions you also get to meet some of the leadership such as our CEO Jan Kritz, who goes over “Nordcloud in a nutshell”. Even though we were all remote, Jan still urged every single one of us to introduce ourselves to the group. He also made a point of switching on our cameras to make it more personal.
In addition to the group induction program, my team had also put together an induction plan relevant to my role. My entire first 3 weeks had been planned and thought through. They even had put together a presentation to outline the plan! That’s when you realize how much energy and effort they have put together to make you feel welcome and most importantly to help you be successful.
Remote or not, I can’t imagine how one can feel more welcomed.
Prior to Covid-19, if you had asked me if one could grasp a company’s culture through videoconferencing and remote working, I would have probably been inclined to say that you couldn’t.
To my surprise: You absolutely can! As I mentioned earlier, I have only physically met two Nordcloudians and yet I feel as if I have a good understanding of the Nordcloud culture.
If I had to summarize it in 3 words I would say: Collaborative, transparent and positive problem solvers.
Yet there is so much more to the culture than that, but hopefully you will discover it yourself one day.
Remote coffee breaks definitely take the prize. I have never been invited to so many remote coffee breaks. If I wanted to I could attend a coffee break every day. We even have an app that matches your availability with 3 other random colleagues across Europe and you get to have a remote break together. What a fantastic way to get to meet new people while keeping some mental sanity during these Covid-19 times.
Having grown up in Spain, I’m always amazed how organized and structured conversations can be when you are engaging with Nordic people.
In Spain we usually interrupt each other and somehow the conversations have a different tempo. I was pleasantly surprised how friendly and chatty my team members are. But one thing is clear to me, there is no interrupting here!
This skill is even more necessary when dealing with video conferencing.
When we moved to Stockholm from London I wanted to experience the best that Sweden has to offer. To me that meant living in the suburbs close to nature but also close to the city. I can’t imagine a more ideal upbringing when you have a young family. Near our home there is a fantastic bike path surrounded by the beautiful landscape of the sea. We love going there together as a family and having a picnic. I can now officially say that my 6 year old is faster than me on the bike.
I look forward to meeting my colleagues soon!
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