Sanna Kramsi - Blog A peek into my life

New beginnings

October 31, 2021 | Life

I was with my former employer for over ten years. For the last couple of years there, I was lacking psychological safety, among other issues. I tried improving my situation, but the situation just did not improve. I felt ignored, and everyone who could do anything about the situation really seemed to just not care enough. I am someone who suffers from anxiety and I felt less anxious about starting at a new company and with completely new people than about staying where I was. That was a clear sign for me that I needed to leave, and I joined Exove in May.

What intrigued me about Exove?

One of the best things about working at Exove is the language. Our official working language is English. I've loved English since my early teens and I always was a bit jealous of my fiancé because he could communicate in English daily at his job. Now I can too, and I really like it. I love how many more talented people I get to work with just because we use English as our official language.

I also really loved the Exove values. Especially openness and care, these really resonate with me. And the way the values also apply to all of us at Exove, not just our clients, is fantastic. The best thing is that I can actually see the values in action daily. Everyone is really supporting each other and they are the most helpful and friendly coworkers I've ever seen. I feel like I'm among friends and people want me to succeed.

One thing I'm also really happy about, but that hasn't really that much affected me personally, is our trainee program. Every year we have several future professionals with us. If you want to find out more, check out the Trainee program page from our website. I love that our company sees value in juniors and wants to help people get started on their professional journey.

Starting at a new company completely remotely

The induction process has been great remotely. My mentors, along with everyone else, have been taking very good care of me. I have seen many new faces and talked with many people. I've even been at client meetings and got to know some of our clients. Fortunately, video meetings exist. That made getting to know people remotely a lot easier.

I think several people have seen both of my cats in our meetings, but people have noticed that Osiris is there whenever I attend a meeting. He has learned that he can join me if I take my laptop and go to the kitchen. He comes to cuddle with me and is constantly really cute. Some of our clients have also met with him. It's been really nice to see people having positive reactions to a cat in the camera. Hopefully, they get the cat video stress reduction by looking at Osiris. Occasionally he, of course, makes things a bit hard if I want to write on the keyboard. But often I usually just need to take notes, and I do that with my tablet, which I can use with Osiris in my arms (because he steals only one arm). I also love having Osiris there. I can give him kisses and snuggles while we, for example, have an internal sprint meeting where we decide what to do.

I've now been to the office twice. The office is really nice, and there are still some improvements going on, after which the office will be even nicer. Can't wait to visit the office more regularly after it is safe to do so again.

Learning new habits and practices

There has, of course, been a lot of new stuff to learn! Fortunately, there are a lot of training materials we company newbies can read and watch. It's been really interesting. I'm actually quite excited about these new ways of working because most of them are exactly what I'd been wanting at my previous job.

I love how eager the company is to improve the ways of working and our procedures. Everyone can give feedback and suggest improvements, which are received with an open mind. I've already been giving some feedback, and I was surprised to see that my ideas were taken seriously and some small feedback even got implemented straight away. Of course, not everything can be changed instantly, and some larger changes require a lot of planning and discussion. But I'm glad that the conversations are happening and people are interested in hearing other people's opinions about things.

Something I'm really excited about is getting to finally properly work with accessibility as a developer. At my previous job, I was a member of the accessibility team and did several accessibility audits, but I didn't get a chance to work on a project with actual accessibility requirements. My first new project now involves the WCAG criteria. So that's another nice new thing for me. And I've also been able to do some accessibility audits, which is superb. Hopefully, I can do even more accessibility work in the future. I can't wait to help our company improve on accessibility even further.

My thoughts about working at Exove so far

I've felt really welcome from day one. People seem to genuinely want me to feel at home at Exove. I feel safe. There is a company culture of lifting each other up and helping each other out. If a question gets asked, there is usually someone to help within minutes. That is amazing.

Our website claims that we can be ourselves. I was surprised to notice that this is actually completely true. Every single firm seems to throw this sentence around, even though it's far from the truth. But at Exove it really is true.

It also seems like I can affect quite a lot what I want to do at the company. I have been asked multiple times what technologies I want to work with and what kind of work I like to do. I've also gotten some of my accessibility work because I've been vocal about wanting to work with accessibility. This is a big deal for me because this will allow me to grow, assuming, of course, that there are some tasks or projects that I can use my expertise and curiosity on.

I can't wait to see what exciting things I get to work on. I hope I can be a big part of taking Exove to the next level; I love improving and planning things; I feel like I can be an asset. I've already gotten the message from multiple people that feedback is always wanted and it should be always given. Maybe now I won't feel like a nuisance when I give my ideas about things. I've been really comfortable doing so, at least so far.