Kinder Landing 2.0: Something troubling you?

When working at Kinder, there are a few things you should know. Not to scare you. It is just something to be aware of.

Kinder is a startup

Kinder is a startup. Your salary (and all benefits) is paid from money from investors. You (and your teammates) are part of the solution to the problem we are trying to solve. Time lost or wasted is bad, because it doesn’t bring us closer to the goal: empowering people to discover giving in an effective and rewarding way! We need money to do so. Finding the right product-market fit (building freaking beautiful products which the whole world wants to use, creating an ecosystem that will bring the charitable sector into the 21st century) and becoming self-sustainable is crucial to reaching the end goal.

We tend to say to people (imagine a smile on our face): ‘Hey, but no pressure!’, and then we both start to laugh (or else it is awkward). Well let me say this once, loud and clear: we realise that there is pressure. It can be pretty intense. This is not a regular corporate day job, and that has its up- and downsides. Example upside: we don’t care that much about where and when you work, which means flexibility. Example downside: you have to be able to regulate yourself, which can be hard.

There are a lot of product/business choices made because of this survival mode. Some you might like (a lot of freedom and responsibility in your work), some you might dislike (pressure on delivering results, for example).

Bottom line: survival mode results in a fast-paced, high-pressure, sometimes hectic/chaotic environment.

We trust you to keep this in mind along this rollercoaster ride called Kinder. We trust you to remind your colleagues about this when you feel like they forgot. We trust you to ask questions, always and to anyone. We trust you to spend the money and time you have here as if this were your own startup and you are the entrepreneur.

Working at Kinder can be stressful

Now you are aware of the fact that Kinder is in survival mode, you should be aware of how this can impact you. Survival mode will get you on your toes, but you can’t be on your toes 100% of the time. Stress and pressure are good when it pushes you to come up with something no one ever thought of. We need that to succeed. But too much or too long stress and pressure is counterproductive.

Combine this with an ambitious, driven, perfectionist character and you have a dangerous cocktail. We'll talk more about this later.

Oh and sometimes ‘life happens’. Some weeks are full with successes others are filled with failures. Life events happen and it affects your state of mind. Don’t underestimate the effect of stuff happening in your life. Add this to the equation and you might understand why we want to address this.

For now, we’ll use the term stress. Not sure if that covers everything.

So how are you?

I'm good!

Great, take some time to realize why you are doing fine and take measures in order to prevent yourself from getting too stressed.

I'm okay-ish, but something needs to change

  • Start by telling your team lead that you feel like you have been on your toes for a while and you think you need to recover. Talk to your team. Talk to Laura and Mathys.
  • Together we'll come up with a concrete plan to release some of the pressure. This will mean taking it a little bit easier. Take care of yourself and reload. Netflix, sports, cinema, go to the beach, visit friends, play with model trains. Life is not just about work :)
  • Once you feel reloaded, we (you, team lead and Laura and/or Mathys if you like) need to talk about the factors that caused your stress level to rise and see how we can prevent this from happening again.

I’m not good. I recognize the symptoms and I’m on the verge of burning out.

    • Don’t wait, speak up now. Tell your team lead, tell Laura and Mathys.

    • Depending on what's going on, together we will come up with a tailor made plan, based on what you need. This could involve some time off, working less or talking to a job coach.

When you see something causing a lot of stress for you (or one of your teammates), let’s get to work on it. Not digging the new team structure? Not feeling your current role? Not happy with your team lead? Bring it up with someone you trust (Laura, your team lead, Mathys, just anyone) and let’s try to fix it.

Kinder cares. We care. So if you’re struggling, let’s change things to make sure you are happy, healthy and at your best.