Read Time: 3 Minutes 40 Seconds
By Holly Martin
In our latest Incubeta Insider piece, we spoke to Account Director Holly Martin, who after two and a half years in the Sydney office, crossed the waters and joined our UK team at the height of national lockdown. Holly discusses how she juggled starting a new job, with the trials and tribulations of moving halfway across the world – all in the midst of a global pandemic.
How has it been starting in the Incubeta UK office?
Honestly, wonderful. I anticipated that moving back to the UK after 5 years of living abroad was going to be a bit of a tricky transition. Joining such a talented, collaborative and kind group of people has made the transition a lot easier. I feel like I have fitted right in and I’m really excited for the adventures to come.
What are the big differences between the AU and UK team?
Mainly the size, but with that brings lots of differences. There were around 20 people in our Australia office versus the 120+ in our UK office so the structure of teams and processes are quite divergent. In Australia, we worked very closely with teams in South Africa to deliver a number of services, whereas, in the UK office, the majority of services sit in-market.
As well as the differences, there are a lot of similarities – the Incubeta family is aligned in terms of culture and values, and this was apparent in both the Sydney and London offices. Across both locations, I witnessed a very driven, talented group of people who always go above and beyond to help one another.
How has the company supported you in this move?
After making the decision to leave Australia and informing my manager (tears were shed), he suggested exploring opportunities within the wider group. Immediately after our catch up, he put me in touch with the UK team, who led me through the hiring process. I went through a comprehensive 3-stage interview process (which I’m thankful for as it really allowed me to polish up my interview skills). Fortunately, the interview process went well and I was offered a position to join the team. Before departing Australia, I embarked on a 30 day trip through central and western Australia, which we were about halfway through when all the covid-related news caught up with us, and we had to rush back to Sydney to catch an earlier flight out. Luckily, Mark from our Talent team was constantly checking in on me, and we managed to get one of the last flights out of Sydney. His support and advice went a long way during a pretty crazy time.
You started during Lockdown, how has the process been?
I’m lucky in that I got to bypass that daunting first day; finding your way to a new office and seeing a hundred new faces at once. Instead, I was eased in, meeting individuals and small groups more gradually, day by day. On my first day, my immediate team organised a welcome quiz for me, which was such a lovely touch and I got to instantly see some of the quirks and personalities of my colleagues.
I joined at the beginning of May, a month or so after the national lockdown was announced, so everybody had already settled into the WFH life. From my perspective, everyone was excelling and embracing the new normal. There was substantial online training and company intro sessions, and the teams very efficiently pivoted collateral to online platforms, facilitating a seamless and remote onboarding experience. On top of this, there were lots of socials, virtual quizzes and games nights, which helped me interact with people in the wider team.
How do you work with your team?
Clear and frequent communication is definitely paramount to navigating and succeeding in the remote working world. We’re always communicating via slack channels or video calls, which I love because although it’s virtual, I’m still able to experience their energy and positivity.
Openness and reflection are also important. We have to remind ourselves that this remote working isn’t something we’re used to and having conversations about struggles or giving constructive feedback is a great way to maintain closeness and ensure everyone feels valued and listened to.
What are you looking forward to the most about getting into the office?
I’ve now had my first visit to the office after 5 months with Incubeta UK and met the majority of my team face to face, I can’t wait to simply spend more time with them all.