What a difference our first year at Datashift made!

21 October 2021
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About one year ago, the three of us started working at Datashift as an analyst. We were strongly attracted by what the fast-growing Datashift consultancy team is doing: delivering solutions that answer clients’ business questions with data and facts.

But what appealed even more to us was how Datashift gives every employee room to develop a personal growth path. As Datashift put it in their job ads, “our company is a firm believer in growth through its people. We will guide and support you by providing a multitude of opportunities to develop and grow in the direction you want. However, we equally believe that it's you who takes ownership of your growth. That's why we give you the tools and the driving seat. It's up to you to seize the opportunity.”

But does that match our experience during our first year at Datashift? The answer to that question is a resounding "yes" – for all three of us. When we discussed why our first year at Datashift made such a massive difference to our professional development, it didn't take us long to agree on five key reasons.

1. Working at Datashift, we've genuinely felt empowered

Working at Datashift has been one of our first work experiences. So, unsurprisingly, we had to search a bit to know our way around in our new working environment and discover what we excel at.

The Datashift management team has proven to understand this very well. To start with, we’ve always felt that our personal strengths came first when deciding whom to match to a particular consultancy project. That in itself, of course, is no guarantee that things will work as expected. After all, reality may turn out to be different for many different reasons. But fortunately, there has always been room for open discussion and adjustments whenever needed. One thing is for sure: we never ever felt like a pawn on a chessboard during our first year at Datashift but felt respected and empowered to grow in the direction that best matches our skills.

2. We’ve been an integral part of young and dynamic project teams

All three of us have been working as analysts on various project teams consisting of two to six people with complementary backgrounds and expertise. As soon as we had any questions or were not entirely sure how to proceed, we could always fall back on the more experienced consultants, data engineers, or data scientists – not just those that were part of our project team, but everybody on the Datashift team. And if we ever asked too many questions, they never blamed us for doing so. On the contrary, they made it clear from the very beginning that we should reach out to them anytime we needed their support (and join them for a drink, if that would prove to be helpful).

Thanks to those project teams, working at Datashift has been a very positive experience. Not only did we get to know a lot of highly competent colleagues who always go the extra mile to make a project into a success and take responsibility to do whatever is needed to achieve that. The dynamics of these project teams also proved to be incredibly infectious, as we felt encouraged to take the initiative and explore how to use our strengths and talents in the best possible way. For sure, that wouldn’t have been possible without the high degree of autonomy we got from our project managers and without the back-up of other experienced team members who were always there to help us out when needed.

3. We’ve worked for some of the country's biggest clients

Although those young and dynamic project teams turned out to be a remarkably inspiring working environment, working at Datashift has proven to be so much more than working in a small group. In several projects, all three of us got the chance to work for some of the country’s biggest clients – including financial services providers and pharmaceutical companies, to give a few examples. As we ended up in quite a few large organizations, we got the chance to discover their relatively complex structures and how they operate. This unique mix of young and dynamic teams, on the one hand, and hierarchical structures, on the other hand, has been very instructive, both in terms of training and experience.

4. We’ve got plenty of space to deepen our skills

Datashift is very clearly a knowledge organization where people never stop learning. For sure, we’ve all gone through the famous Datashift Bootcamp when we started working at Datashift. But that has just been the beginning of a continuous learning process, not in the least thanks to the extensive coaching by our more experienced colleagues on our project teams. During the past year, they’ve provided us with plenty of opportunities to learn and to deepen our skills.

In addition, our Datashift T1 coach encouraged us to broaden our know-how and skill set, and helped us identify what is needed to achieve that. For example, is it attending external training to get Microsoft Azure Certified, just like Wouter did? Or is it rather participating in an internal training on Business Intelligence or Data Science? Both internal and external training are possible and are actively encouraged.

Personally, we’ve found internal initiatives such as the Collibra knowledge sharing sessions and the Datashift Final Fridays to provide very inspiring training opportunities. That is because they are a place where you feel the team really comes first. At Datashift, everybody is part of a knowledge organization, and all of us engage in building and sharing knowledge in Data Governance, Business Intelligence, and Data Science & Engineering. Collibra knowledge sharing sessions and Final Fridays have given us plenty of opportunities to learn from other colleagues who have been working on a multitude of different projects, share our knowledge and experience, and improve our presentation skills.

5. Despite COVID-19, we feel connected to the Datashift company culture

Even though COVID-19 has had a profound impact on everybody’s life throughout the past year and a half, we do feel part of the Datashift community. We got to know a lot of people (both internally and externally) and feel connected to the Datashift company culture. In addition to the Collibra knowledge sharing sessions and Final Fridays, there have been plenty of online moments to meet Datashift colleagues informally. And as soon as COVID-19 regulations allowed, initiatives such as the yearly Data Trip weekend or the Datashift Walking Challenge enabled us to meet each other in person and get to know each other better in an informal way.

What makes the Datashift company culture genuinely unique is that there is no internal competition whatsoever. In fact, one of Datashift’s three non-negotiable rules states that internal competition is not tolerated. Ambitions are encouraged, but not at the expense of other people in the team. As we’ve said before, the team always comes first, and its number 1 goal is to achieve impact together and serve clients in the best possible way.

Are you ready for the difference that Datashift can make for you?

Have you graduated recently with a master’s degree? Are you eager to work closely with experienced colleagues to help clients solve their business issues? And does the prospect of getting the room to develop your personal growth path sound good? If you’re ready for the difference that working at Datashift can make for you, let’s get together and talk!

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