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Reflecting on two months at Storyblok

Life at Storyblok
Ricardo Thomas
Try Storyblok

Storyblok is the first headless CMS that works for developers & marketers alike.

It’s not every day that you find a company that is built remotely from the ground up. Despite the challenges of the pandemic that put most companies and organizations into a work-from-home setup, they weren’t necessarily sustained for the long-term run and were considered a luxury rather than a proven way to work outside an office environment.

Section titled Recruitment from the pandemic

I’ve been a recruiter for about 6 years now, working in tech recruitment that mainly focused on the cyber security, software, and tech infrastructure industries towards technical roles. Before joining Storyblok in February 2022, I was working mostly agency-side - while I thought that was suited to me for a desire of a fast-paced environment that demanded me to constantly be on my toes, over time, I found that I needed change. Coming from the pandemic, companies showed that they were not equipped to handle working from home, almost drowning their employees in unrealistic expectations that in the end, affected their mental health. While remote working at that time was not ideal or great, it was rather forced, and put you as an individual in a precarious and vulnerable position work-wise, personally, and mentally.

My previous experience working directly in an office environment didn’t quite suit. Why might you ask? In the recruiting industry, unfortunately, you can find quite toxic environments that fester and mutate over time, filled with micro-aggressions, biases, and overall elements that don’t really work for you. You end up taking some of those factors and emotions home. And even then, from the pandemic where the majority of people were put into a work from home situation, there was always the constant pressure of having to come back to the office, and working from home ended up feeling more like a luxury rather than a tried and true opportunity, and as a result, you could feel that there wasn’t a level of trust in what you were meant to be doing while working from home. All these factors built up and created a catalyst of moments that made me know I needed change, and I needed something that could be 100% remote.

Section titled Making the move to Storyblok

I had previously heard a lot about Storyblok from then Head of Talent, Akbar Karenga, on how flexible it was, how much it was an ‘adult’ environment where you would be hired in exactly what you are good at, with a tremendous amount of trust, and where you could perform and grow while putting your priorities such as your health, and family first and foremost. As I also made the pivot into marketing performance recruitment, coming and joining Storyblok made all the pieces come together.

Throughout my onboarding experience, and my first month here at Storyblok, from the get-go, it’s liberating. There is no micromanagement in what you do, with a lot of support cross-team in your job. Coming on board to Storyblok felt like an open canvas where you could throw out ideas, be creative, receive constructive feedback, and move forwards in your growth as a professional.

In truth, Akbar sold Storyblok to me really well. Throughout my time, having gone through various different agencies that were all similar in culture, it just couldn’t fit with me, or the way I wanted to work that offered a true work-life balance and flexibility to myself and my family.

While the onboarding experience felt slow at first, it was like a locomotive warming up, the gears slowly turning, and with that time to assimilate, it was incredible to understand Storyblok’s people and culture, and where we all come from in all our areas of expertise and life. This, was something that I saw could also fit with my family, with the true amount of flexibility to manage my time and tasks - I get to prioritize my family and my personal life, such as dropping off my kids at nursery, going to the gym in the morning, or be able to be there for an hour or two for my partner while they are doing something else. It’s quite rare to find such a balance offered by a company that lets you ‘take back your life’ and put your family and personal life first.

Section titled Tried and tested: Working from home (or anywhere)

Coming from an office environment to a fully remote setup is almost like night and day. You quickly realize that with the flexibility of working from home (or anywhere really remotely), you get to do things that are important to you, rather than trying to get to the office and clock in and out based on a set schedule. Working remotely lets you manage your time efficiently and effectively, letting you do the little things at home also between calls and meetings (we all know about the pile of laundry that stares at us waiting to be washed but forgotten). Not only that, but Storyblok has also given you the flexibility to go to a coworking space, a place to ‘change things up’ if you need.

I’m also excited to travel and the opportunity to be able to work from really, anywhere in the world. As a young parent working, I wasn’t able to travel, something I want to do. Yet with Storyblok, I can simply pick up my laptop, fly to another country, and work from there. This also works even if I go on holiday - let’s say I’m going somewhere for a week, I could split my days working from there, and on the off-days, enjoy the rest of my holiday.

Section titled Looking inwards: A reflection of my two months at Storyblok

Having previously worked in cultures that were not good for mental health, and working in environments that were not that diverse. Storyblok was a clear refreshment to those elements, that encompass nationality, race, gender as well. I am a big advocate of diversity and inclusion, no matter who you are, you should be respected for what you believe in and who you are, and Storyblok does that from the top down.

I have been fortunate to have spoken to new hires, and old colleagues, where you really get a sense of that warmth, interest in who I am, my family, and so on. To be able to build those working relationships virtually and asynchronously is something very unique and rare to find in the recruitment industry, but also in organizations in general. Being in talent, you feel like the first line of defense to the company to ensure those coming in do encompass and champion the culture we have and are trying to build consequently. It’s my duty to want to protect that culture as much as possible for Storyblok’s future and culture.

Despite it being only two months into my Storyblok journey, it’s truly turned my life around - when I wake up in the morning, I know that the day is mine to own. It’s an exciting time at Storyblok as we grow, where when I started, we were at 120 colleagues, and now at 150 and growing. We’re made up of individuals from over 30 nationalities and living in over 30 countries worldwide. It’s been fantastic to be a part of that growth, and a privilege to be one of the first people that someone speaks to on behalf of Storyblok, while helping them to go through their journey and experience as a new ‘Storybloker’.