Meet the team: John (and Banana)

Thursday, November 15th, 2018
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Meet the lovely John who answered a few questions for us this week.

Hi John, how long have you worked at Catapult?

John: I’ve been working here for 72 days, which is roughly 1-2 years in startup time. That’s almost 20% of a year, but when I think about it, it went by really fast!

How did you get the job?

John: I was looking for a full-time job here in London, and I was just applying to a bunch of growing companies since I wanted to be a positive part of that growth! I knew that I had a lot of random skills to offer to a growing company.

It really helped that the first person I met in Catapult was Head of Candidate Operations, Ali! To me she looked like she has everything together 9000% of the time. She is very much the epitome of Catapult’s relaxed but competent culture and vibe.

So it’s a pretty new job! Tell us a little about your role?

John: I’m part of Candidate Operations – the team that welcomes everyone onto Catapult. You’ve probably met us at a right to work check. Personally, my role originally involved just giving suggestions as to how we can improve things for the team and for our candidates, but it has branched out in so many different directions! Right now, I mainly look over all the smaller cities Catapult has been launching. I also enjoy doing right to work checks and excel work every now and then.

What’s the best thing about Catapult?

John: It’s great how we help people achieve their dreams. While carrying out right to work checks it’s really nice to meet aspiring actors, musicians, travellers, students, single mothers all working towards their own personal goals. I enjoy being part of their journey in a positive way!

Do you have any other projects or hobbies on the go?

John: Well, I’m currently on a working holiday so I can learn what adulting is like (i.e. working, paying for rent and living independently.) It might seem like a very foreign concept to most people, but I’m relatively sheltered at home (in the Philippines) and I strongly feel like this will help me grow and become a more interesting person. I don’t think there are any entry-level jobs back home that will help to completely sustain yourself because that’s life in a developing country. On the side, the hobbies I’m good at are generally travelling, music and video game-related while the hobbies I’m bad at include meeting new friends, cooking and appreciating art in museums.

I also have a Shih Tzu named Banana, and she’s super cute and friendly!

How did this change of scene come about?

John: I think a lot of my friends don’t really enjoy the work culture and the crazy traffic back in the Philippines even if they don’t pay for any bills. I wanted to find a way to make the entry-level phase of my career an interesting one where I’ll learn and enjoy along the way because after all, life is short so make the most out of every phase of your life! As for my hobbies, I really enjoy music since my parents encouraged me to learn the piano, the guitar and the drums at an early age while video games (nowadays, usually just FIFA and Dota 2) have always been something I’m really good at. I really love food and know quite a lot of dishes from different cuisines, so I try to get into cooking every now and then, and I love the historical value of museums.

Where do you see yourself in the next few years?

John: I honestly can’t tell since I’m a very spontaneous person, but I’m open to a lot of different possibilities. My long-term dream would be starting a company that makes all its stakeholders happy! I have to make money to feed my future dogs!

What does work/life balance mean to you?

John: Not really sure how to answer this question, but for me, just as long as you are happy, you have achieved work/life balance. It varies from one person to another and at which phase of their life they’re in. Some people enjoy their work and would like to work a lot while they’re young while others want to work as a means to grow their family etc. We all have 24 hours in a day and as long as your allocation for work and life is making you happy, then you have the balance!

How has working at Catapult let you pursue your other interests?

John: I think it helps to work in an environment where everything is transparent – you can easily check on what’s going on with the other departments of the company. This helps me have an idea of all the different building blocks of a startup should I manage one in the future.

Also, it’s just really nice how everyone treats you, and I think this is a good way to treat other people in the future. Growing up in a developing country, a lot of less privileged people are treated as disposable objects, which is something that I can never imagine happening in Catapult. This really shouldn’t be the case, so I’ll make sure to carry that Catapult love with me to all my future workplaces.

Lastly, Catapult also gives me the opportunity to live independently in London – arguably one of the most interesting cities in the world! It’s really nice getting to meet a plethora of culturally diverse people with various backgrounds.

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