10 career learnings from 2 years working at HP
Contributed by Emili Serra, Communications & Public Affairs at HP Barcelona.
Today I am celebrating my first two years in HP.
I joined the company with a graduate program back in February 2017 and today I’m officially turning permanent employee, and I couldn’t be happier.
Honestly, some days I feel I’ve been in the company for just a couple of weeks, while sometimes it feels like I’ve already been a whole life in here. However, despite being completely opposite, both feelings are great and complement each other.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my days here and the thousands of things I’ve learned and lived in only 24 months and somehow, I felt like sharing it with all of you.
So here they go, my ten learnings after 2 years working in one of the biggest sites of the company worldwide: HP Barcelona.
1. “Communications” is a never-ending concept.
If you have ever worked in internal communications, you will relate to this title.
From writing newsletters to executive announcements, organizing all kind of events or having online and offline content to give visibility among employees of what’s going on in the office.
Working in communications sometimes means logistics, sometimes content creation and management, sometimes event coordination, constantly speaking in front of broad audiences, executing wide comms campaigns or simply lending a hand when needed.
It’s an all in one job.
2. Give and listen to feedback (and take it easy).
Improvement comes from the outside.
The best way to learn and improve day after day is being honest with yourself and give feedback – while at the same time receive it.
Sometimes it’ll be constructive. Sometimes destructive, so take it easy. Nobody is always right.
One of the things I value the most of working here is the Annual Review Circle. In these performance reviews, your manager gives you the option to choose three people you have been working with along the year to give anonymous feedback about you.
3. Get to know your audience.
If something works well once, it doesn’t mean it will the next time. Working in communications means to be aware of who is your audience. Communications is a two ways street. Always.
To learn how to communicate with a 50+ nationalities audience among more than 2.300 employees divided into 9 different buildings and 12 different businesses… is quite a challenge – but not impossible.
4. Embrace a growth mindset.
You can develop and improve your talents and skills through dedication and hard work, and the management will always encourage you to do so. Even if this means focusing on more things than just the role you were hired for.
From using an internal training platform to attending conferences, tradeshows, and infinite workshops, personal growth always comes together with professional growth.
5. Innovation is in the company’s DNA.
Since the company split into Hewlett Packard Enterprise and HP back in 2015, HP’s vision is to retain the power and muscle of a Fortune 100 company while having the spirit of a start-up.
Lean development and agile methodologies are priorities in the company’s agenda.
To do so, you are placed to work in small teams, allowed to research your own business ideas or even submit them to a platform called HP Ideagram, give a 5 minutes pitch to the management and, if you succeed, get bandwidth to work with it and even create a small team.
I have been working on a separate project for a year, and this is how HP’s Multi Jet Fusion 3D Printing technology was born four years ago.
As simple as that. If you are working in a project and something doesn’t get to work the way you wanted, or just thought by your own hypotheses, just pivot to something else, but don’t give up on your projects – nor dreams.
7. You can (and will) have more than one role.
Your job description does not define your work at HP. Here you can have more than just one role if you want to. There are lots of volunteer opportunities to work in several projects HP Barcelona has by itself.
From being a Project Manager for 300+ attendees events like the programming competition HP CodeWars to coordinate logistics, Social Media or teams of 10+ people for annual events like the HP BCN Charity Day.
8. If you are not networking, you are not working.
Even if you think you have found your dream job, you still need to engage with new people, meet and get to know how other departments work and, at the same time, be aware of what’s going on outside HP is key too.
In these two years, I have attended to inspiring talks from all kind of speakers. From chef Ferran Adrià to the best ESADE marketing professors, to innovation guru Salim Ismail or David Roberts.
Speaking of internal networking, HP Barcelona has given me a broad range of opportunities, from being part of one of our Business Impact Networks -so far, Young Employees, Women, Multicultural and PRIDE networks- to participate in one of the many team building activities, after-works, workshops, movie projections, or even a spartan race in our campus… There are plenty of options!
9. Make a difference in the society.
Of course, we are here to make a profit, get the best out of our technology. and the fastest printers or PCs with the best quality.
But with a purpose: creating technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere. Charity is the DNA too, especially in Barcelona.
Here I learned that a group of employees can voluntarily organize a yearly event calling up more than 2000 people that donate money for charity projects where… other HP employees are directly involved!
Last year, the HP Charity Day Barcelona raised 67.000€ to fund four charity projects. And this is just incredible.
One of the pillars of working in HP Barcelona is to enjoy your time in the office.
We work a lot, so there must be time for leisure too. Time management and having a work-life balance are key to give the most out of your potential.
Don’t forget to surround yourself by the best colleagues: 99% of the times, the atmosphere is just great in HP.
Teamwork is usually synonymous of success, and getting to work with great professionals, while enjoying all the other benefits the campus offers here in Sant Cugat, is all you can ask for.
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