It has been about a 6 months since I’ve started working at Exponea. The time passes so fast and I feel like I’ve been working here for over half of a century.
Exponea is a company that knows what it’s doing. It may be young, but is pretty damn amazing how far we’ve come in such a short time and it makes me wonder whether we have a time dilation device stashed somewhere in our offices.
My honeymoon period is over, together with fellow Exponeans we overcame struggles and cheered every time a new success came. And after 6 months of being a part of this journey, I feel that now I will be able to give you an honest and in-depth review of how it looks like working at Exponea.
Now for the long version:
It is hard but so damn rewarding. Exponea is the first company where I actually feel that I’m running on 100% and using all I have to support my colleagues, clients and contributing to their success.
I’m going to structure this review into several sections talking about key concepts that Exponeans come across rather than describing the daily routine. So here I come.
So if you are looking for a job where you will be “on the rails”, Exponea isn’t a place for you.
Exponea is a place where people with entrepreneurial mindset will thrive. There isn’t a lot of hand-holding beyond the first week or two and it’s expected of you to be professionally mature enough to identify where and how you will contribute to the company so the time you will spend working will have the biggest impact.
This is one of the reasons why so many of our people whom we’ve hired move to other positions within just a few months. They’ve proven themselves to be great assets elsewhere.
What surprised me is the high level of personal commitments from my colleagues to a degree which I haven’t seen anywhere else. When someone says that he or she will do something, they try to do everything in their power to make it happen.
This creates a high level of trust, although it’s a double-edged sword since people tend to overcommit which tends to overload people from time to time.
Fortunately, our management is trying to solve it by frequently urging people not to “have too many monkeys on their backs”. Lately, I feel that it’s helping, although we need to work on that a bit more.
I’ve slightly mentioned this already, but the entrepreneurial approach is highly encouraged within Exponea. It means that if you see an opportunity to help the company, you simply do it. You don’t really need any approvals unless working on the opportunity affects your responsibilities. And even then, it’s highly unlikely that it won’t be approved if you will make a solid case for it.
What’s incredibly important to mention is that we have something called EGPP (Exponea Growth Participation Program) program which anyone who’s in the company for at least 6 months can participate in and through it you can become a shareholder. This sense of actual ownership drives Exponeans to find and leverage new opportunities since by helping the company to grow, you increase the value of your stocks.
Moving Fast, Polishing Comes After
This point was something that took me a long time to process and even to embrace. Exponea can grow so fast because we aren’t afraid of grasping opportunities and polishing them after they’ve proven themselves.
It’s the application of 80:20 rule where 80% of impact comes from 20% of causes or time invested. What it means in practice that we aren’t afraid of launching features or campaigns if they fulfill their primary goal for the least amount of time and resources spent. Then if they catch on, we simply polish them.
For someone with INTJ & mechanic type of personality it was something which I’ve struggled with and even now it’s hard for me to find the balance.
Exhilaration & Turbulence
For yet unidentified reason (to me) we tend to move through cycles of exhilaration where we reap the results of our hard work and working for Exponea seems like a breeze, although that’s the result of turbulent periods where we are under a high degree of pressure to deliver on our commitments.
Even I was questioning whether it’s worth it when that time came, fortunately, the answer is yes, it is. If you don’t shatter under the stress, you can become resilient to it as a result and each subsequent push towards fast results will get easier.
Now personal growth is a paramount topic in Exponea and it shows. After a few months with the company, any Exponean gets a budget worth of one month of their salary to spend on the education of any kind of their choosing per year. We have frequent voluntary trainings, experience sharing sessions, and sessions with CEO level coach Ivo are available to any Exponean.
If there is a company which isn’t underestimating personal development of its employees, it’s Exponea.
A favorite topic of our CEO is laying the foundation for the future growth of this geographical region, although with the primary focus on Slovakia.
Exponea Mafia is a term inspired by PayPal Mafia which produced influential world-class entrepreneurs. So the aspiration of Exponea Mafia is that Exponea’s alumni may become the next entrepreneurial elite.
Your Freedom is in Your Hands
It’s completely up to you when and where are you working from if you deliver on your commitments and responsibilities. If you are the type of person who prefers to work from 9 to 5, so be it.
Freedom is in your hands, although we still have an issue with over-commitments so people, such as myself, tend to work a bit more than that, although it’s purely our choice and there is no peer pressure to do it.
Honesty & Losing Face
Truth and honesty need to be to ourselves and our clients. If we did something wrong, we can’t pretend that it didn’t happen even if we were to lose our face. If we don’t understand something it’s our duty to call it out.
It can be hard for some people, but it’s a necessary trait to embrace if you want to work at Exponea.
Working in Regional Offices
Working in regional offices could be tough since most of our staff is in Bratislava so sometimes it makes you feel like you play the second fiddle and are out of touch with your colleagues.
Fortunately, that’s changing with Zuzka taking upon her the role of Head of Operations and Culture. As far as I’ve seen she’s doing a splendid job in making sure that these cross-country barriers will disappear, but again, it will take time to solve it.
How would I rate working for Exponea?
I can only rate it from my own personal experience with other employers which were large startups, established businesses, and marketing agencies. So please take that into the consideration.
Exponea is a hyper-challenging employer with huge world-class aspirations and working for Exponea isn’t for people who aren’t willing to do whatever it takes to make it a reality since through EGPP you actually own a piece of Exponea yourself. If you are that type of person, it’s, in my opinion, the best company to work for and stellar alternative to owning your own business.