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From Corporate to Start-up: My First Month at LevelUp

After taking a deep breath, I walked out of the elevator and onto the floor of the building where I would be spending a lot of time. The first day in a new job is always nerve racking, but when I walked into the office I was met by the whole team. While everyone introduced themselves to me, my eyes wandered to the welcome banner they put up and relief flooded me. There was no need to be nervous… This was exactly the change I longed for!

a welcome banner

Such a warm welcome

I had always wanted to go into recruiting, and when I found the vacancy for this job at LevelUp, I knew there wouldn’t be any other company as qualified to teach me all about it. I love the focus on the relationships and the people, the way LevelUp values honesty within the teams but also with the client, and the informal atmosphere in the office.

Before starting at LevelUp Ventures, I worked at ING, doing customer service in their mortgage department. I spent a lot of time providing training and coaching for new colleagues there, teaching others the skills I had already gained. But now, I am the one who is new, who is learning, who is being taught. Together with Jacqueline, the other newest member of this team, we’re diving in.

The first few weeks consisted mostly of three things. In small, interactive sessions, we learnt about the history and future of LevelUp, but also about the systems, the process and the skills needed to do well in this job. This was alternated with watching some very instructive videos on a platform for recruiters, working on a case study to put everything into practice, and… a lot of coffee dates.

two girls with a dog outside

First coffee date

On the first day we were instructed to plan a coffee date with each team member, to get to know them personally. Instantly, I loved the idea and was happy that the opportunity was provided to become part of the team quickly. Even though I personally don’t like or drink coffee, water worked just as well in using my chance to ask the team members all the things I was curious about. One of the questions I posed to everyone: what has been your favourite memory of working at LevelUp Ventures so far?

As the team had recently been on “workation” to Ibiza, that often came up. But, as a (soon-to-be) recruiter, I didn’t leave it at that. I asked them why.

Why was Ibiza such an amazing memory?
Nobody had to think about it for too long
It was the team! During this trip they felt like a family.

They worked together, partied together and got to know each other better. It seemed to be the perfect balance between having fun and taking responsibility for the work that had to be done during their time away. Some of the other answers also included team activities, as well as small or big victories in the job and overcoming challenges that seemed impossible to overcome.

Before working at LevelUp, I thought work was rigid. You gain some skills and use them to do the job to the best of your capabilities. That always seemed like the end goal to me. Employers would tell employees what to do, when to do it, and you could figure out how to do it. And if you did your tasks as quickly and efficiently as possible, you’d be golden.

Now I’m learning that it depends on the culture, it’s not always like that. My experience at LevelUp has been that even though the goals are set, the way to get there is completely up to me. I have things to do, but I can decide when to do it. And there is plenty of time for me to learn and develop myself.

One day a video was finished at 17.26 and I went home, instead of waiting until 17.30 because that’s what I had to do. It’s about doing the work, not looking busy. And this freedom is liberating. Where in my previous job I really had to schedule breaks to keep my energy up, now the day flies by and I go home energised and ready for even more.

Being employed by LevelUp Ventures has really changed the way I see working, and because of the amazing people in the team, it’s only appropriate that we shorten the company name to LUV.

by Sanne Hillemans- Talent Hacker @ LevelUp