Explore the difference… GO DIGITAL. My first 30 days at Railnova.
Post by Nina Fahr, Sales & Account Manager at Railnova
February 2, 2021
I am a digital noob! A noob? You are probably wondering who or what that is. I also didn’t know what to say when a friend called me a noob for the first time years ago. The word means something like “newbie” / “newcomer” / “rookie” and is often used by “pro’s” like my friend. These pro’s have been on the Internet for decades, play online games, craft their own PCs, use social media every day, know a lot about digital security, …
At the time, I was upset that my friend called me a noob, even if it was with a twinkle in his eye. After all, I didn’t live in a cave: I had a modem quite soon after the Internet started to make its entrance into private households (who doesn’t remember the seemingly endless deafening beeping, buzzing and cracking until you were finally online?). And with my first email address and “nicknames” I also created my first social media accounts back in the 90’s.
I still remember that, at the end of my school days in the late 90’s, I was a bit annoyed that the much younger “kids” suddenly got access to information so easily and quickly, while I had to depend on books, and especially their availability in the library. You can’t even imagine that dependence today: you can do practically anything with your smartphone or computer, from making payments to turning on the heating.
All of this has become so normal for you and for me today. It is no longer possible to imagine a private life without the digital world. But what about professional life?
A whole new (digital) world…
Up until now, I thought that because of my open nature and my professional experience as a project manager for the digitalisation of administrative processes, I was quite familiar with the digital possibilities of communication in business. But boy, was I wrong! I’d like to repeat what I said at the beginning of this post: I am a digital noob!
After three years of maternity leave and 16 years of working in the traditional industry, I switched to the digital services industry. At the beginning of January 2021 I started working at Railnova as Sales and Account Manager. It had already become clear to me during my recruitment interviews: Railnova works differently than all the companies I have met so far in my professional life! (By the way, Railnova was the first company to evaluate me based on my knowledge and skills alone. Not as a mother and if I would be able to “re-integrate” into my professional life. This made me feel very comfortable right from the start!)
Because of my previous work experiences I did ask myself the following questions when I started my Railnova journey in my 100% remote home office:
- How will I get to know my colleagues in Belgium properly without meeting them face to face?
- How can I get to know the company and its culture without direct personal contact?
- How can I be integrated into existing projects without meetings?
Discovering the possibilities of digital communication in business
I didn’t need to worry though: Railnova lives and breathes digital progress. Despite the geographical distance of about 700km to the headquarters in Brussels, I already feel close to many colleagues thanks to the open communication of all Railnovians and the great amount of digital opportunities to be connected with each other.
Every day, I read the current status of individual topics, projects and the daily work of colleagues when it suits me best. Railnova lives an organised written asynchronous communication with no internal emails, which in other companies can drive you mad. Of course we also talk via video conferences and chat with individual colleagues occasionally, but we mainly communicate asynchronously in writing on a platform that is sorted by projects and teams called Basecamp. This allows everyone to focus on their work when they need to, and to track the status of projects at any time.
Communication is Railnova’s top priority. Both internally and with the customers. Railnova also offers customers and employees the opportunity to express themselves and to easily integrate ideas and proposals. So far, I have had that one “aha moment” every single day, which confirms to me again and again that I have made the right decision in choosing Railnova as an employer. I must admit that the following thought has crossed my mind often in the last couple of weeks: why doesn’t every company work in such a progressive way and use digital processes mainly to create clear communication and simpler workflows?
To infinity and beyond… while keeping the noob feeling in mind
(— because our customers may feel exactly the same!)
Every day, I learn about new possibilities in digital communication that I could not have imagined at all in my professional life before. I’m still a Railnova noob. But I will become a pro soon enough! I am sure of it, as Railnova makes it easy for me to trust in discovering, exploring and developing possibilities.
The skills and experience I have gained in the past can be put to very good use at Railnova and, most of all, expanded. On top of that the “noob feeling” enables me to relate to how our customers feel when embarking on their digitalisation projects: so many unknowns to be uncovered, and new, unimaginable ways to work. For me, one thing is clear: with Railnova, I’m going “To infinity and beyond!” (Capt. Buzz Lightyear) and I’m looking forward to helping Railnova customers in their journey towards becoming digital pro’s as well!
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