September 24, 2018

The key to networking

When you become a part of the business world or the job jungle in general, most of you will find that networking is a vital part of your everyday routine. Networking is often the key to finding jobs, recruiting talent or finding customers and investors. It is not too different from regular relationship building. Therefore, we have gathered some key elements that will help you network like a boss.

Just go for it

Networking is scary. Approaching someone is terrifying. The thought of getting rejected is something even the toughest of us tremble before. But, I am going to give you the most banal, but effective, advice. Just go for it. Approach the person head on, unafraid. The worst that can happen is awkward silence. We have all been there, but rejection is not the end of the world. I also just want to remind everyone out there that it takes two to keep the conversation interesting so you can console your broken confidence with that fact. This is what I usually tell myself to make myself feel better after dying of embarrassment and shame.

Someone’s time is not more valuable than yours

When going for it, it can be intimidating to talk to someone that has a lot of power. This might decrease your confidence. This is when it is important to always remember; someone’s time is not more valuable than yours. There is no such thing. Only nice people and jerks. Just a little reminder to boost your confidence.

Small talk is make or break

Whether you like this or not, small talk is something that can make or break a deal. It determines whether or not you have chemistry with someone. So my general tip is, learn how to small talk well, asap! Talk about the weather, food, how bad the public transportation is. Whatever to get the conversations flowing.

Get to know the person

This is a part of small talk that is useful to be aware of. Yet again, it is all about first impression and you don’t want to seem self absorbed. Show an interest in the person you are talking to. Say their name, ask about their hobbies etc. People love talking about themselves and it will make them softer and more open towards you.

Learn how to smoothly transition

When you have finished the small talk part of the conversation you can transition into your business and what you want from this person. But, be careful! This has to go smoothly or the person will draw back from you. In some situations talking about your business and such is expected from the get go, but in more casual settings this smooth transition is the key. How to smoothly transition varies, but a good one is mentioning your business in a bypass. Braid it into your conversation so smoothly that the person doesn’t even notice that you have changed subject.

Charisma

Charm is an artform, but can be taught. Being charismatic is not something we all are born with unfortunately. But a few tips you can take use of is smile, engage in the conversation and using clever ice breakers. A clever one is “I think Trump’s tweets are a tragicomic phenomenon too”.

Use your network for what it is worth

Lastly, when you have started to build up your network you will have several opportunities to get to know people that they know. Use this to your advantage to get even more contacts.

Now that I’ve given the general gist around networking you have some great tips on how to master small talk specifically to get excited for! Stay tuned.

July 20, 2018

An introvert’s guide to making friends at work

If clichés and stereotypes are to be believed, then all IT professionals are “introverted nerds”. Though this might not be the case for everyone there is some truth in this, and of course it’s nothing to be ashamed of. We can all be a bit shy from time to time. It can be dreadful and scary to think about finding your social place in a new work environment. That is why we have collected all our best tips to help you with this, so keep on reading!

Definition
To fully understand what this is about, we should define what an introvert really is. According to Vocabulary.com “an introvert generally prefers solitary activities to interacting with large groups of people. If you would rather work through your feelings in your diary than have a conversation, then you are an introvert.” If this is something you can identify with, then these tips might be beneficial for you.

Just say hello
For many people this is the hardest part. It can be frightening, but it’s the most efficient trick to start a conversation. Once you have done this, you have initiated the process of friendship and it will be easier and easier to talk to this person as time goes by. And the first convo does not have to last forever. Pro tip; prepare a range of “get outs” (I need to get back to work, I need to go to the bathroom, I’ll need a refill, etc.) if you feel an awkward silence coming.

Show up to work events
Introverts tend to get drained in social situations, especially those involving big crowds. We know you’d rather be home alone in front of your computer, but sorry, making an effort and showing up for work stuff is a critical part of bonding with your colleagues. But luckily, because of the joint experiences you get from this, the everyday chit chat becomes less painfully awkward after each event.

Show an interest
By this I mean that showing an interest in the people you approach and ask about their lives is always a winner. People love talking about themselves and therefore they’ll find your convos highly interesting. Hopefully, they’ll ask you questions in return and maybe you’ll end up finding things in common. Bippity-boppity-boo… you got a new friend!

Add people on social media
When you have elegantly conversed with you colleagues a few times (3 casuals, or 1 involving personal sharing) you can now add them on facebook etc. After you’ve done this, you’re only a message away from doing something social outside of work as well. Which again will help you feel more comfortable at work. Pro tip; stalking people on social media is also a great way to find conversation starters.

Confidence is not necessarily key
You don’t have to be the loudest or funniest if that’s not your personality. Just be you. As long as you’re smiling and being approachable in your body language, you’ll be OK.

Let go of your fear of rejection
It’s of course easier said than done. Fear of rejection is human nature and everyone has it. So say to yourself: “You are a great person and everyone is lucky to talk to you”. Yes, it is a bit narcissistic, but it helps. Realize that you have something to offer and remember that you’re probably both equally scared. Also, you both share the responsibility of moving the conversation forward. Awkward silences is just as much your potential new friend’s fault as yours.

Relax
If you don’t make friends today, it will happen the next time or the time after that. You’re probably going to be in this environment for a few years, so you’ll get plenty of chances. A stressless, sweatless you is probably more likely to be h**self and make friends, anyways.

The next blog post will be about how to network business-wise, but also that will work socially. Stay tuned.

July 10, 2018

How to survive on your first day at work

It is time to face your first day at work. It can be compared to your first day of school. Not surprising, a lot of the same rules apply. Even if you’ve done this a couple of times before, I’m sure everyone has a high level of anxiety and butterflies in situations like this. Here are 8 tips on how to ace your first day at work.

Get a good night’s sleep

I know, this is the most basic tip ever, but hear me out. It is hard to sleep when your head is filled with nervous thoughts about the day to come, but it is proven that you’ll get even more anxious if you don’t sleep. Anxiety affects your judgement and bad judgement is not something you want on a day you should be socially and professionally on point. And let’s face it, sleeping is freaking awesome. Allowing yourself this pleasure will result in happiness that night, and gloriousness in the morning.

Show up on time

We have mentioned this in several other blog posts, but it is so important that we can’t talk about it enough. NEVER arrive late and especially NOT on your first day! This is a day were you project your work persona on your new colleagues so first impression is vital. Do you want to be known as the slacker who doesn’t have control over is life on your very first day? I didn’t think so. Arrive on time!

Be curious and ask questions

This is an important thing to mention on this list because it shows that you are interested and want to learn. However you don’t want to seem too intense on the first day so it is important to just listen and get to know the goals your boss has as well. Everything in moderation.

Have an open mind

This is a great tip in general. Don’t judge someone because they didn’t greet you the first day, or regret taking the job because the company culture seems boring. You’re probably pretty dull that day, too. Yes, first impression is important and can be accurate. However, give everyone the benefit of the doubt and try to keep your hopes up. Relax, you’ll find the Pam to your Jim.

Get personal

Your work will be a certain amount of percentage of your life so you should definitely show that you want to make the most of it both professionally and personally. Open up about your life, talk about yourself so that your co-workers get to know you. However, don’t overshare! They don’t need to know about your drunken endeavours during a wet night on the town.    

Befriend at least one colleague

Befriending a colleague will make you feel more comfortable and help you to faster adapt to your new environment. Starting a new job is stressful at any level, so a friend can help you maintain that positive energy. Positive energy is contagious and will spread to the rest of your team so that your team can stay motivated and achieve good results.The power of friendship is truly remarkable. Like every disney movie ever made has taught us.

Don’t be too hard on yourself

And lastly, don’t criticize yourself too much. If your first day didn’t go perfect, don’t stress, it is not the end of the world and you’ll get more chances to impress. It is only your first day. Take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back. Unless your Pam is hashtagging #metoo the next day, you probably did OK.

July 5, 2018

How to prepare for your first day at work

Congrats, you are in! Now let’s not f* everything up on the first day, okay? Let’s prepare, because tomorrow (or in a few days), it’s going down. Alrighty, let’s jump into it!

A bomb outfit

You want to look good so that you can give your co-workers a good impression of yourself. Even though this is very shallow, it is unfortunately a big contributor to how your office conceive your personality. So, here is our tip.

It depends on what country you work in, but the general rule would be to wear something like you would to the job interview, but maybe a bit more casual. Check out our blog post about what to wear to the interview here: SETT INN LINK. There is plenty of time for you to introduce your meme tees and cargo shorts, but I recommend easing into it and look at your new coworkers for guidance.

And weirdly, those who do make mistakes in this area often have bad shoes. Make sure your shoes are neat and clean, and not meant for mountain climbing or fishing.

What to bring

Figure out what you need to bring and what they provide you. Should you bring your computer? A notebook? Breath mints?(yes..) It is impossible to guess, so just send an email so that you can be sure. And use a decent bag. We’ve actually have had people show up with a plastic bag. Don’t be that guy. Borrow one if you have to.

Lunch?

This is VITAL! We have this saying in Norway: “Without food and drink, the hero won’t do”. It is more poetic in norwegian, but it’s true. In many ways lunch is the most important period of the day. This is when you socialize and get to know your colleagues. It is important to be comfortable, and to be comfortable you can’t be hangry. So figure out if lunch is provided or if you should bring your own.

Straight to work or just an intro?

Are you going to start working on your first day or is it just social interactions and easing into the environment on the first day? This is okay to know so that you can mentally prepare yourself. If you don’t know and it is tricky to find out then just prepare yourself for both. You will probably have to socialize in one way or the other, so being prepared to work is also very smart. Duuh..

When should you go home

Okay, so this is a little tricky to figure out without seeming like a lazy worker already. So what we suggest is be patient and wait until you boss tells you to go home. Don’t ask, wait for them to tell you. Even if you’ve finished what you had on the agenda, be proactive and find something to do while you wait for further instructions.

 

May 31, 2018

Pitfalls to avoid when dealing an employment contract

Congrats, you got the job! You did it! You were the best of them all. We don’t want to kill your ray of happiness, but before you sign anything with your new employer you should read this blog post. There are a few pitfalls that you can fall into if you don’t know how a contract should look like. Salary is in not the only thing you should look out for.

Job title and description

This is a very important part and should be checked at least five times. This will describe what the employer can ask of you and also eliminates what you are NOT paid to do. This description should be specific and should match the job description that you applied for when you saw the job ad. If it’s not precise enough, you might find yourself doing things you can’t or don’t want to do. It can also mean that you will end up dealing with a heavier workload than anticipated.

Start (and end dates)

If this it is not clearly stated you wouldn’t know when the work relationship would start, and strictly speaking, it would just be an offer and not a contract.

Working hours

This is very important because you get to know when you are expected to work. If they expect you to work at night, in the weekend or through the holidays this needs to be clarified. How they are going pay you for this also needs to be clarified. Don’t agree on a working pattern that you will regret. It’s best to negotiate a variation at the outset if necessary, including the possibility of flexible working if this is the only way you can get the job done. Balancing life and work is something that can become a consequence for your health in the long run and boundaries needs to be set. Something to note here is: do you get paid overtime?

Notice period and Cause of termination

How long do you have to find something else if they terminate your contract? In Norway we have something called Work Enviroment law which gives you some security when it comes to this. If nothing is specified in writing one month mutual resignation is the law.

Holiday and sick leave

What happens if you get sick or take out your holiday? Will you get paid when you are not at work? Both of these vary depending on the country you are working in. How many days of vacation you are entitled to? When does the holiday year start? Can you take holidays at certain busy times of the year, like Christmas? Can you carry any days over to the next year?

In many countries, including most of Europe has legal requirements for sick leave.

Post-employment restrictions and other Restrictive Clauses
Post-employment restrictions are important for employers because they protect the business, its clients and other employees. It is very important for you as the employee to clarify because this might prevent you from taking another job later. These kinds of restrictions might be; the non-competition, non-solicitation, non-dealing, or non-poaching clauses. Get to know their terms and what they entail.

Other restrictive clauses can be confidentiality, inventions and copyright, non-dispargement or even non-interference clauses. Just be aware of these before you sign.

Salary

This is often a difficult topic for many. You propbably have a lot of questions revolving this topic as well. Therefore we are going to make a whole new post about this.

April 19, 2018

When to expect feedback after the interview

The worst part is over and you can now take a deep breath and relax. At least for now. What is left at this moment, except maybe a second or third interview, is the feedback. The last verdict. Did you get the job?

There is no simple way to answer this because every employer is different. But frankly, many of them suck at giving feedback. In way too many cases, the candidates never here from the employer ever again. We advise you to set an expectation early by asking about it when you talk to them the first time. So for your own piece of mind, end the interview by Q-ing when you will here from them again and how long they think the whole process will take.

If you are given a time frame

If you are lucky enough to meet one of the organized employers, they will probably let you know themselves. If they don’t get back to you within the time frame they gave you, wait until the window has passed and then contact them by email. If they don’t reply to the email within a day or two, call.

If you don’t hear anything for weeks

I’m sorry, but it’s usually not a good sign. It usually means that something was off in the interview, or that they found a better fit early on. But they should have the decency to let you know fairly quick. So it is a bad sign for them as well, because they haven’t learned basic human manners. Which is much worse than missing a job opportunity. This may lead to irritation and maybe a few tears of pity, but pick yourself up and try again, somewhere better.

If you get a second interview or job offer while you’re waiting for feedback

Call or email them to let them know what’s happening. Wait to accept any offer until all processes are finished, but do use it to speed things up if things are moving a bit slow. Waiting for everything to be settled before you make a decision does not mean you’re lukewarm about the opportunity you are presented, it just means that you want all the facts before you make a life changing decision. The employer will understand this, and most likely be more into you because you’re a hot commodity. It’s kinda like dating.

To summarize; it depends on what employer you are dealing with, but if they’re well mannered and organized they’ll get back to you within a reasonable amount of time. And as long as they communicate with you, it’s easier to wait, right? It’s just rude to keep you in the dark for a long time or not responding at all. And that’s not really the kind of “messy” environment anyone wants to join anyways.

And remember, negative feedback is a part of the game. Most people experience it multiple times in a job hunt. But you will eventually end up somewhere you’ll excel and be happy while doing so.

April 12, 2018

When to arrive to a job interview

Now that you look and smell amazing and are on your way to meet your future, you need to know when you should arrive. As we addressed before: it all plays down to first impressions!

Arriving too early

Many people might think it is a good idea to come maybe 10-20 minutes before the scheduled interview. They think that this might show engagement and timeliness. Which it can, however it can strike back in an unexpected way.

It might actually put an uncomfortable pressure and stress on the employer. They might be in the middle of something and feel rushed when they hear that you have arrived 20 minutes before. This might put a damper on the interview from the start, and it might be best to just try to avoid this. If you arrive ten minutes early, then just tell the receptionist that they can wait a little bit to announce your arrival.

Arriving too late

You’re screwed.

Well, not necessarily. Shit happens. It’s how you deal with it that shows how responsible you are. Let them know as early as possible in advance that you’re going to be late. Why is not so important but if they ask, you had a meeting that ran longer than you thought. You’re a busy and important person, right? Ask the interviewer if it is OK that you’ll be there 15min late or if he wants to reschedule. And be realistic about when you will be able to be there. DON’T REPEAT THIS, second strike and you’re out.

Arriving on the exact time

This is basically what you should do to avoid all anger and self-loathing. Arrive on the strike. It shows timeliness, it doesn’t stress out the employer and you don’t have to come up with a transparent white lie. Lies are for sinners, right?

This will prevent all unnecessary stress.

 

 

April 6, 2018

What to wear to the job interview.

You have now made it through the horrific application process and beaten out a lot of competitors. You are now in the top tens and should start preparing for the next nerve wrecking stage in the jobhunt; the dreaded interview.

What you are going to wear might seem like a very unnecessary ordeal to consider, but it is in fact quite important. It all plays down to what kind of first impression you are giving out.

So all you gamers and hoodie-lovers let’s get into it, huh?

Research the company

Firstly and most important, research the company! What kind of market are they in? What do they value? Look at company photos: how are their employees dressed? This will give you an insight in what kind of people they are and how they like to dress. With this newfound information you can easily put together an outfit that will impress and make them feel like you fit right in. Which you do, right? wink*

Show off your personality

Even though it is beneficial to dress like you are one of them, it is important to show off your personality. Give them a feel of who you are, but at the same time show that you can be trusted to represent their brand. If you have a favorite item of clothing that truly shows off who you are, wear it! Unless it has racist slurs or any pro- Donald Trump slogans on it.

Show that you have made an effort

Even though you don’t normally suit up on a daily basis, the interviewer will appreciate that you have made somewhat of an effort to look nice. Do you have a nice blazer? Wear it over your favorite t-shirt with some nice trousers and clean shoes. It will immediately give off an impression that you have your shit together and that you can organize your work well. Psst! nobody does.

Hairstyle and makeup

Soo, hairstyle. This is a very important step! Everything can look very dapper from your neck down, but if you don’t have your head under control it can make all your efforts you made into the outfit go to waste. This is not something we want to happen so read on to get some life-changing tips.

Firstly: less is more and simplicity is key. You want both your face and your hair to look very natural and sleek. You want to look professional and like you just woke up like that. You are not Beyonce, but you can be.

For the guys: get a haircut, and style it so it looks neat. Groom or shave your beards, wear cologne and brush your freakin’ teeth. If you usually wear makeup you can do this now as well, but like with the women: don’t overdo it!

For the women: brush your hair, style it so it looks sleek and well put together, but don’t go all prom style. If you don’t have glass skin or look like you have just been running in a field of flowers, you can wear makeup. The rule of “less is more” applies here as well. The important thing is to look energized and awake.

With this little guide, you can make a great first impression and hopefully get the job! Good luck!

 

March 22, 2018

How to prepare for the job interview

You have finally got the call. The call that granted you innpass to the next level: the job interview.
Congrats! Now you have to prepare what you are going to say, do and how you are going to act. But don’t worry, we have the ultimate guide you can count on.

Photo: Gunnbjörg Gunnarsdóttir, GunFilm

There’s usually three rounds of interviews. The first one is about getting to know you as a person and candidate. The second is about your passion for the field and work you’ll be doing where you need to be prepared to be challenged on a professional level. The third one is the final talk before they make the decision.

This guide will prepare you for the first interview, which is kind of relaxed and informal. So stressing out about this one is a waste of energy! 

 

Do your research!

Start by looking into their future goals and plans. Conducting the interview with this in mind will make you seem like a good long-term investment. You should also be ready to talk in depth about the industry, the organization, and the position you are applying for.

Use the company’s website, their annual report, and newspaper/business magazine articles to gather as much information as possible.

 

 

Anticipate what the interviewer will ask

It’s best to prepare for a wide variety of questions by thinking about your own career goals, long-term plans, past successes, and work strengths, but you should also brace yourself for the deceptively simple questions that most employers like to throw at their interviewees.

Some of these questions can be: “What is your biggest weakness?”; “Why do you want this job?”, “Why did you leave your other job?”, “ Where do you see yourself in five years?”.

More questions to prepare for

 

 

Think of questions to ask the interviewer

Participating actively during the interview gives a good impression of your level of interest in the job. It’s a good idea to come prepared with at least three thought-provoking questions to ask your interviewer.

These can be: “ What are the chances of professional growth in this job opportunity?” or seem interested in the interviewers position “How long have you worked in this company?”

 

 

What to bring to the interview

Something to make notes on: this shows that you came to the interview prepared and that you are interested in what the employer has to say. It also helps to have something to note on so that you can remember important company information, questions or names. If you forget your notepad at home, ask for a pen and paper, it shows interest.

A note with the name of the interviewer: Learn your interviewer’s name and job position before going to the interview. You’ll find it on the job listing or an email signature. But remembering names is hard, spare yourself some awkwardness and write it down in your notes.

Rather write that we’re in 2018 so you don’t have to bring anything. But be prepared to orally summarize your CV in the start of the interview so that they can free themselves from the computer screen and have a more natural conversation. And it’s OK to not provide references before the second interview.

 

 

Practice interview etiquette

How to greet: A firm handshake might be awkward. Just shake their hand however you like. Then introduce yourself and be prepared for a little smalltalk. Might be smart to plan something in advance that is more interesting than the weather.

How to respond to questions: Listen carefully and take time to phrase your responses well. Be brief and don’t ramble on, but make sure you answer what is asked, keep focus and highlight your skills. And of course, have good manners; don’t interrupt the interviewer or laugh of silly questions. The last one might be hard..

How to close the interview: Towards the end of the interview let the hiring manager know that you think the job is an excellent fit and that you are very interested in the job. It’s appropriate to ask what the next step in the hiring process will be and when you might expect to hear back for them. Finally, thank the interviewer for the time they spent interviewing with you.

Thank you note: This might not be necessary, but taking the time to say thank you not only shows that you appreciated the interview, it also gives you an opportunity to reiterate your interest in the job.

In addition to saying thank you you can refer to anything the interviewer mentioned that enhanced your interest and summarize why you think the job is a good match and why you’re a strong candidate for the job. However: don’t overdo it! You don’t want to look like a “kiss ass” either.

 

February 26, 2018

You won’t believe the shit I’ll do for my startup

It’s minus 23 degrees. I was freezing wearing four different layers of clothing. I’m now in a bikini, about to jump into an ice hole to pitch WA.worksAt this point, fond memories of my desk and headphones run through my mind
-why do I do this to myself?

 

 

6th and 7th of February 2018, Polar Bear Pitching invited international startups, investors and media to the freezing city Oulu in north of Finland. They all gathered in the town square for an out of the ordinary pitching competition, where 26 startups had to enter a hole in the ice to sell their business idea to a jury. I was super excited when I applied for this unique opportunity for Wide Assessment to get international exposure, but it quickly turned into remorse and fear when I realized that I actually had to go through with it..

 

 

#showmesisu was the order from the jury, a hashtag for Finnish courage and strength, but not exactly what I was promoting when I was walking the plank leading to JBear and the gaping ice hole. To make matters worse, the pitching was delayed by an hour because the hole had to be re-carved due to the insanely cold conditions. Eeek!

 

 

«Is this your first time?» JBear asks surprised. Apparently, ice bathing is a thing in Finland. As I undress my robe, joyful glimps of coffee, colleagues and computers flash through my mind. «Why Stine, why do you torture yourself?» I think as I dip my toes in the water.

 

 

I. Can’t. Breath.

So I do it three times quickly, and start my pitch. To my surprise, my voice is holding up. I’m pausing and articulating like I practiced, and I’m not referring to an imaginary powerpoint like I did on my dry runs (pun intended).

Like a marathon runner I raise my hands on the finishing line. Then I quickly get out of the water and grab the first warm and fuzzy thing I see, JBear, and then rush for the sauna with a reporter on heels.

 

 

And I suddenly remember all the reasons why I sign up for shit like this. We’re on a quest to make global changes, and global changes doesn’t happen just because we create awesome technology that can single out IT talents. Candidates, companies, partners, investors and media from all over the world need to know about it.

And the world’s stage is not at my office in Bergen, Norway. So I’m slowly becoming comfortable being alone in a foreign country, speaking a second language, networking with complete strangers, and promoting my passion on stage, online and in water…

January 2, 2018

Top 5 tools that I’ll keep in 2018

I’m willing to sign up, download and give a 3-day-try to almost any tool that promises to make our work flow better. I especially have a thing for desktop apps. 

But frankly, I delete or forget most of them within the first month.

But the keepers are heavily used and appreciated, so I thought I would share them

 


 

#1 WA.works

The WAis an online profile for IT candidates that effortlessly highlights and shares their technical abilities with potential employers, without compromising on their right to control who can view their résumé.
Used for: 7 months
Frequency: Daily
Runs on: Web
I (would) pay: 50 000 NOK/ $6000 a year for Premium Features

Why I love: The low key poking feature introduces us to candidates we would never reach through regular recruiting, and their WA profiles instantly tells me if they fit our team or not.
Most loved feature: Premium Search, where you can look through anonymous skill profiles and poke the ones you would like to get to know. The candidate then choose whether or not they want to let mer access their full profile or not.
What could be better: The design. (Coming soon!)

 

 


 

#2 Pastebot

The Pastebot tracks everything you copy in a history list, and then lets you paste previous clips (including screenshots and snippets).

Used for: 1 year
Frequency: Hourly
Runs on: Mac
I pay: 109 NOK/ $13 a year

Why I love it: Most of my clipboard contains links, snippets or email address I will need multiple times. I was longing for something like this. I even made my brother program a temporary solution, but not as good as this one.
Most loved feature: Paste second copy.
What could be better: So essential that it should be a part of the Mac package.

 

 


 

#3 Newton Mail

Newton is a modern, clean email client for those who get lost in Gmail and hate Outlook.

Used for: 1,5 year
Frequency: Hourly
Runs on: iPhone, Android, Windows, Mac
I pay: $49.99 a year

Why I love it: Everything has a keyboard shortcut. ^1, ^2.. to switch between accounts, R to respond, F to forward, Z to regret sending the mail, S to star etc.
Most loved feature: The “read receipt” is awesome. Then I know when to remind people that I’m waiting for a response. I can see when the email was read, without them knowing I know they read it. Sneaky, but genius.
What could be better: Searching for emails. Especially those with multiple recipients.

 


 

#4 Any.do

Any.do is the task managing tool you’re going to keep using. Though the design is Trello inspired, it’s even easier to use and better for task handling.

Used for: 3 months
Frequency: Daily
Type: Web, Chrome, Mac, iPhone, Android, Alexa
I pay: Nothing. All my needs are served on the Freemium model.

 

Why I love: It’s synced on all devices and let’s me categorize and schedule both business and personal tasks without everything becoming overbearing and messy. I also love that the deadlines are not sorted on dates, but today, tomorrow, upcoming and someday. It’s less stressful somehow.
Most loved feature: Switching the sorting between categories and deadlines.
What could be better: I’m missing “task in progress”. It would be motivating to see that tasks are started, not just pending or finished.

 


#5 Fiken Regnskap

Used: 2 years
Frequency: Daily
Type: Web, iPhone, Android
I pay: 4500 NOK/ $555 a year

Fiken is a Norwegian self help accounting system that easily let’s smaller companies deal with accounting, invoicing, salaries and reports.

Why I love: I love the automatic features that are integrated with Altinn and how easy it is to navigate through the system.
Most loved feature: Fiken is able to read receipts and suggest which VAT code to register them as. This save us a lot of typing and researching time!
What could be better: We miss an integrated time tracker, but have heard rumors that it’s coming in 2018.

 


 

These are my top five tools for general work tasks. All of them are focusing on doing the main task best, instead of bombarding you with dozens of half-ass features to solve all your problems.

I also highly recommend Pivotal Tracker for software developement.

And Slack, Doodle, Zapier, Mailchimp, Sendgrid, Trello, Zendesk, Pingdom, Paint.net, Appear.in, Email Estractor, Hunter.io and many more for communication and marketing.

But that area is a jungle I’ll have navigate for you another time..

Stine Andreassen
CEO Wide Assessment AS
stine@wa.works

 

 

December 20, 2017

Merry Christmas!

We decided to keep the tradition we started in our original recruitment agency and add an honest list of 2017’s wins and losses to our Christmas greetings.

With this, we want to thank users, customers, partners, investors, board and supporters, and wish you all a merry Christmas and a heck of a new year. We can’t wait to update this list next year:

Customers
Companies Freemium:  172
– deleted fake companies: 35
Companies Premium: 12
New employees hired: 30

Money
Money at beginning: 1,1M NOK
Money raised during: 2M NOK
New investors: 6
Current owners: 14
Loan granted: 1,5M NOK
Money at end: 2,7M NOK

Press
Articles written: 4
Reporters approached: 20
Articles published: 2
Pitches held: 1 billion
Piches nailed: 1

Features
Candidate launch: February
Company launch: May
Customer launch: August
Average delivery delay: 2 months
Average bugs in releases: 4

Users
Signed up: 3900
Signed down: 100
Countries 2017: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, UK
Countries 2018: USA
Current pokes: 1100

Team
Going in: 3
Going out: 5
Students: 10
Interns: 3
Planned hires 2018: 5


 

December 12, 2017

Press Release Wide Assessment December 2017

The founders of Wide Assessment were both surprised and happy when they managed to raise doubled the amount of capital intended in the second funding round.

After spending a whole year raising the first million NOK, we were ecstatic about the big interest we experienced in chase of the second
Stine Andreassen, CEO

Wide Assessment was established in 2016 and finalized their first funding round of 1,1M NOK in the fall the same year. When the company opened the next round a year later, the interest from investors was so surprising that they decided to do two parallell rounds. Within just weeks, both were closed at a total of 2M NOK.

The story begins with a daughter and a father who realize that they can work together without getting on each other’s nerves. The seed for creating a new tool for evaluating IT skills started to grow in the father’s recruitment agency. Together with CTO, Eivind Hjertnes, the team developed WA.works, a recruitment platform that slowly but surely started to replace the original work the agency was an expert at. This attracted big clients like Knowit and Capgemini, as well as smaller tech companies.

Business Angel Ole Tom Pettersen have big faith in the new solution and have invested in all of the funding rounds.

WA.works is an incredibly smart solution where companies and people with IT skills easily can connect. I’m sure that in within a short time frame, this will become a tool we simply can’t do without.
— Ole Tom Pettersen, Business Angel

The capital will be used to validate the model for scaling in the IT market. By the end of 2018, Wide Assessment will be aiming for Seed Capital to be able to expand to other industries.


For more info: Stine Andreassen, CEO Wide Assessment AS, +47 47372074, stine@wa.works

June 20, 2017

AM I QUALIFIED, NOT QUALIFIED, OR OVER-QUALIFIED?

Don’t get hung up on job titles and demands. Job listings are usually too vague about the actual work tasks, and too specific about the demands in regards to experience and education.

Rule of thumb: always apply, it’s up to the company to figure out if it’s a match or not. But clicking your way through a shitty recruitment system might not seem worth it if you’re not all that sure of your own interest, or the chance of getting an interview. So until WA.works reaches world domination, here are some guidelines for spending your time wisely:

Part time job
Give up.
JK. It’s hard, but not impossible, to find a relevant part time job. Most consultant agencies have summer trainee programs that can serve as a good entry. Start early and talk to company representatives when they visit your school. The competition is usually stiff, so make use of your network to get through the door. We also recommend looking towards startups. Salaries might be low (or non-existent) but your growth and résumé will definitely benefit more from this than spending the hours stocking shelfs at IKEA.

First Job
Evaluate if the position is a good start for growing competence and career. And first and foremost, figure out which one of those is most important to you. Some thrive in a smaller environment where they are challenged each day, while others are motivated by big organizations with more obvious career opportunities. Nevertheless, find a place you can stay for a couple of years and don’t be too fussy about salary and their customer product. Your first job is all about getting to know your industry beyond profession, and building a solid foundation of the network you will use for the rest of your career.

Other Jobs
What do you WANT to work with? After your first job you have a better understanding of what direction you want to take from here on. Now you can make conscious decisions on what kind of company you’d like to be a part of, and what role you want in that company. What are factors that make you excited about a work place? Funny coworkers, new technology, responsibilities, salary, flexible hours? Some of these are possible to negotiate as part of your contract. Others are kind of a gamble, but a gamble that can be minimized by for example visiting the work place outside of the interview situation, or asking around in your network.

First Management Job
First management position usually comes to you through internal processes. It’s hard to get that kind of responsibility externally without having proved that you can handle it. But you can use your application text and interview to convince them about your leadership abilities. They are looking for someone that will be respected by the team, that you’re comfortable using management methods (what kind depends on position), and that you can guide the company through trends and opportunities that arises.

Nb! Education level (degrees and certifications) is either a strong influencer or a hard demand in this case.

Other Management Jobs
You will get a new managing position through close relationships to customers and suppliers, recognition in your network, an impressive résumé that proves results over time and great references. Like in your second or third job, you are now in a better position to evaluate what’s important to you. While immediate industry knowledge have been a key factor for a long time, your management level might have exceeded that need at this point.

Many people who have had a great career choose to challenge themselves by venturing off on their own. This area of your life is very much about self-fulfillment and realizing goals and dreams.

Last Jobs
For those of you who that are facing some of your final career decisions, it can be quite hard to know what the guys on the other side of the table are thinking. You have some of the best competence and experience on the market, but it might also be outdated if you have spent most of your recent years at one place. New employers are also concerned about your priorities at this point in your life; are you looking to have more free time or are you ready to pull up your sleeves and put in the hard work? This is something you have to evaluate for yourself as well, and figure out how you want your ambition level to be perceived in an interview.

And don’t worry, the companies that are looking for 25 year olds will not even invite you to an interview, so don’t feel you have to compete with their lifestyle and career ambitions. The companies that are interested in you want you for the mistakes you have made and learned from, the overview and calm you have in all situations, and the valuable relationships you have obtained over many years in the industry. But it is a good idea to freshen up on new technology before an interview to show that you still keep track of trends and developments!

FIND A JOB OR CONTINUE THE STUDIES?

You’ve spent almost three years finishing your bachelor’s degree and you are now facing the difficult decision of whether your should enter adulthood or continue in the safe womb of studentship, so what should you do?

IF YOU HAVE NO RELEVANT WORK EXPERIENCE

If studying hard (and probs “socializing” equally hard) is all you have been doing for the last three years, I recommend you to enter the real world.

IT educations are too theoretic to compete with actual work experience. Some subjects are still basing grades on pen n’ paper programming, and most practical assignments are missing the context and legacy you deal with in big projects.

Therefore, you have to start with evaluating your actual competence. For example; are you a good programmer or just a great student? Compare these two factors and see how they fit with our general guidelines:

**If you have amazing grades and most likely will continue to have this during your master’s, let’s be honest, a consultancy agency will snap you up even if you’re competing with more talented programmers.

*Find a job is easier said than done. Whilst doing so, we recommend doing internships and creating or joining relevant projects, so that you are building competence and can increase your chances of landing an interview and being impressive in it.

IF YOU HAVE RELEVANT WORK EXPERIENCE

Students with relevant part time jobs, summer jobs or internships have relevant work experience and therefore need to consider what’s their best learning method and their chances of getting good enough grades going forward. “Reconsider Career Choice” appears twice in the guidelies below because if you actually have experience and haven’t increased your level in programming, you might just be aiming for the wrong field.

JOB OPPORTUNITIES

Degree level is almost always used as a filter to make the workload manageable. A master’s degree stands out in the recruiting process, especially in bigger companies with many applicants.

However, the IT industry is somewhat unique because IT knowledge is available and acknowledged even without degrees. It is possible to be great in your field without any formal background. And many IT candidates are typical self-thought geniuses that lack the interest or ability to succeed through theoretical studies and exams. That’s one of the reasons why we want to create a CV that better mirrors a candidate’s actual competence level and context, and a tool for companies to discover this without being fixated on degrees.

To sum it up, a master’s will generally get you through the door, but getting further will be hard if your grades are bad and/or you actually suck at the tasks they want to hire you to do.

THE DISCLAIMER…

This is of course just a general observation, and deciding on education is always a very subjective and individual choice. Motivation is for example a very important factor that have not been discussed in this blog post.

Our guidelines are based on nearly ten years in the IT recruiting industry from local, national and international agencies. If you’re having troubles deciding what to do, feel free to comment on social media. We are happy to answer questions and give advice. And please speak up if you disagree; more perspectives will help the students with this dilemma!

WHAT ARE WE UP TO AND WHY?

We are using our experience to change how small companies attract and hire IT competence by reconstructing the CV. Though we’re keeping parts of it, a WA will mostly focus on the candidates’ skill level and context, so that this can be matched with our costumers’ needs.

Personally, I have more IT passion than skills, and more experience trying to challenge the recruitment industry than being a part of it, so I’m doing this because I truly believe that our team can attract the people, capital and market shares needed to untangle the knots in today’s market.

If you ask our Sales Manager, he’s doing it because of he has spent the last decade trying to help candidates and customers do this manually, and made money doing so. But he knows there is a better way to do things, and he want to be a part of that turnaround.

And our Lead Developer is just tired of crappy systems and wants to build something better.

IF YOU’RE NOT EMBARRASSED BY THE FIRST VERSION OF YOUR PRODUCT, YOU’VE LAUNCHED TOO LATE

Famous words by the Linkedin-founder..and by his definition, we are right on time!

While we have great plans for the design of WA.works, we made a conscious (and financial) decision to finish all basic functionality as soon as possible to enter the market, and implement a comprehensive and intuitive design when we’re further along.

So thanks for the positive feedback on the current features, and please tag along on FacebookLinkedinTwitter and Trello to keep up with our journey to improve IT recruiting.

And if you haven’t seen our new solution yet, please feel free to register!

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