2 min read
Hello dear reader,
Today I would like to share a story with you. The story of how I became part of the TimeXtender team.
By now I have been an Xpeople (TimeXtender employee) for almost a year and I can tell you that it's been a wild ride, but I'll tell you more about that in another post.
First things first. This post is a humble attempt to summarize what it's like to join an organization like TimeXtender. If you are looking for a new opportunity, maybe you can learn a thing or two about how we approach our business, our lives, and purpose.
In October 2020, I was unemployed after leaving my previous role as CEO of a small company in Aarhus, Denmark.
There were a number of factors as to why I decided to leave my previous company. None of them had to do with the role or the culture, I am grateful for the opportunities I was given to lead this organization.
To tell you the truth, the main reason was my mental health. I was burnt out and the pandemic we all know, did not do my mental health any good at all.
I was tired, exhausted even, and I was going through therapy to deal with my stress and anxiety. While trying to care for myself, I was looking for a role in a company that had purpose, meaningful human interactions, but also a company that respected my personal time and mental well being.
Why am I telling you this, you ask? Well, it's the starting point for my journey with TimeXtender and I wanted to paint a picture of where I was and what my goals were, before joining TimeXtender.
Remote work in a fully distributed team
When I was looking around the job market in Aarhus, I became aware of a position at TimeXtender, a Partner Alliance Director role. I started my due diligence about the company and its product. One concept immediately caught my eye: "Remote work in a fully distributed team".
"This is intriguing", I thought to myself.
I read further and found that several key points of the TimeXtender ethos had to do with employees being able to take time to think, reflect and connect with their inner thoughts. I read about a recharge program that included a variety of elements, including meditation, yoga, and karma days to promote mental health and well being.
A thought crossed my mind, "Hmm, is this just a buzzword or is it real?"
After my initial research, I saw on LinkedIn that Hans van der Meij, the head of Partner Alliances at the time, was listed as the contact person. I decided to reach out on LinkedIn to ask a few questions about the position and also, admittedly, to "show my face."
Shortly after messaging Hans, I received a response and we had a brief phone conversation where I was surprised by Hans' sense of humor, his openness to answer questions, and his transparency when it came to acknowledging that not everything is set in stone when it comes to new hires. "You see, we hire new talent for a reason, so they can bring new ideas and new ways to move the rocks that are in our way. We actually encourage everyone at TimeXtender to bring their ideas to the table and try them out!" he said.
My interest in the company grew exponentially after speaking with Hans.
A few weeks later, I joined a conference call for my first official conversation with TimeXtender.
The panel consisted of Line Sakstrup from Growth & Purpose Circle and Hans.
As I joined the conference call and broke the ice with a few jokes, Line said, "Juan, as you probably already know, our company culture focuses on simplifying, automating, and executing because time is important, we execute fast to get things done!
We encourage everyone to practice resilience, one of the 5 cornerstones of our culture and DNA. What you may not know is that we start every meeting with a 60-second silent pause to gather, focus and connect so we can fully engage. Are you ready to practice this? You can, of course, turn off your camera if it makes you uncomfortable."
So there I was, with my poker face - "Wait, what? Does that mean I am supposed to sit silently in front of a screen at the beginning of a conversation? What the hell is going on here?"
In case you are wondering, that is exactly what happened.
I sat down and patiently waited for the 60 seconds to be done with, after 30 seconds I noticed I was relaxed but let me tell you something, as a Spanish citizen, I do not do well with silence – yes, you can smile to the stereotype - and I admit that in the context of a job interview, this surprised me a lot.
Anyway, I started the conversation, for which I had prepared an unusual set of slides, trying to impress, as one always does in this kind of situation. But surprise! Hans’ and Line's questions were nothing like I was used to in other hiring processes. They focused more on understanding my skills, but also in who I am as a person, my goals and my personal values.
I also spoke openly about my recent burnout period and my anxiety. To my surprise, this was not only received as a normal part of the conversation, but also, I felt listened in a personal level.
I left the interview feeling good about myself. My wife asked me about it and I remember saying, "I think it went really well".
A few days later, I received an email from Line, telling me that while my profile was suitable for the Partner Alliance role, there was an open Partner Marketing Manager position that I would be better suited for with my creative and business skills.
"I know this is unusual, so take some time to let me know. I just think this position is closer to your skills and personality.” - said Line.
My mind snapped back into action, "Wait, what? Let me get this straight, I applied for one position and I am being offered to apply for a different role?"
I read the job description and asked myself, "Can I do this? Will I enjoy it? Will I learn something in the process?"
As the answers seemed a solid “Yes”, I applied.
Just when I thought the human level in a conversation about a new career opportunity could not be higher, I found myself talking to Anne Krog Iversen, co-founder and Chief Officer of DNA & Culture, who asked me questions about books and blogs I read while I explained my favorite authors and marketing campaigns in a super casual way.
"This is too good to be true."
Shortly after, I received an offer from TimeXtender. Not only did the offer include the exact details of my salary (duh!), but the email was warm and human. It was great to go over every single point having all the information at hand and the time to reflect and ask questions.
The bottom line here is that Line, Hans and Anne saw me for who I am before looking at my experience and made a bet. They saw the human first.
Needless to say, I accepted the offer.
A few weeks later, on December 1st, 2020, I officially joined TimeXtender as Partner Marketing Manager, a role that offered me the immense opportunity to work hybrid, as part of a decentralized organization, with a globally distributed team. This role offered me plenty of opportunities to connect with partners and clients.
From day one, I wanted to bring new ideas to the table and listen to this, ALL the ideas were discussed, 8 out of 10 were tested in pilot projects, many of these ideas are still in place today. Innovation and experimentation are in part of TimeXtender’s DNA!
So, here we are dear reader, if you are considering applying to TimeXtender and:
- you are passionate about helping people with data, mind and heart.
- you want to feel empowered and supported to make your own decisions.
- you want to organize your time, schedule, and tasks to fit your life.
- you enjoy collaboration and driving initiatives in a virtual Headquarters in the cloud, all day, every day.
- you are always looking for ways to simplify processes, automate where possible and executing tasks at high speed. Then look no further. This is the way, TimeXtender is your company.
Mind you, working at TimeXtender is (extremely) fun and creative, with a flat hierarchy organized into circles (aka tribes) that share information frequently. TimeXtender is the place where cross-collaboration and asking questions is the norm.
To me, personally, there's a difference between "I hear you" and "I am listening to you."
At TimeXtender, we do an awful lot of the latter. Everyone does. We all can learn from one another.
If you want more examples about life at TimeXtender, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. I’ll be happy to have a chat and answer your questions.
Juan Jose Keena, Brand Strategist at TimeXtender
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