Working in NAPCON and personal development.
Oskari Martela, Summer Trainee, Software Development / 14 Jan 2020
My name is Oskari Martela and I work as a Summer Trainee (in the summer of 2019) in NAPCON, which is part of Neste Engineer Solutions. What I do here is software development. I had to start to learn new coding language called lisp because it is what we use here. Before my job interview I had never heard about lisp but I thought I can learn it based on my previous experience from other coding languages. I didn’t have any particular expectations for working at NAPCON or how it would be but I thought this could be my thing.
Working in NAPCON feels like working in a startup
Working in NAPCON feels like working in a startup and I found that really exhilarating. Everyday people are solving problems for the customer which demands for new innovations and teamwork. You can and you have to learn new things all the time and I think that motivates people here. The working atmosphere is open for new ideas and people are encouraged to think out of the box and give feedback to each other which leads to better communication and results. Of course it is not perfect and you can always improve but this kind of working place and atmosphere inside of a big a company really surprised me. I think it is really rare.
I think one of the best advice to develop your personal skills and knowledge is observe and listen.
What I want to talk about in this blog is about personal development and how working habits in NAPCON contributes to this. I try to avoid the clichés what comes to personal development like being active, motivated, and asking a lot of questions, although they got a good point behind them. In my opinion I think one of the best advice to develop your personal skills and knowledge is observe and listen. Usually people have more to say than they indicate. You just need to slow down and let them talk and you will be surprised how much knowledge does one have and how much more advice you will get from them. At work a coffee break is the best time to just listen and pick up the best advice. I have also noticed that people have different styles to talk when you ask for an advice or want know something about the subject what you asked about. Especially when they are really enthusiastic about the subject what did you ask from they might first start telling you the whole picture and eventually get to the point but It is better not to interrupt them. Let them talk because otherwise they might then just give you a really short answer what is hard to understand.
Besides you will get a lot more than just the answer for your question.
Observing is maybe one of the best ways to learn without any materials. Of course there are subjects what needs teaching, guidance and materials to get the know-how but you will be surprised how much you can pick up just by observing your environment. I am not just talking about work, I mean the everyday life. At work you can learn something without disturbing your coworkers, which is a huge plus, but if you walk out there your eyes and ears open you become understand why people do what they do. I think there are lot of people who carry out their lives with an autopilot mode and then they think why they always have the same problems. Maybe it is mostly because people tend to do the same things everyday over and over again and never change anything. You can’t expect any better income from that. I strongly recommend to observe other people and once in a while consider what I could do differently to make my life better.
Some good working habits in NAPCON
There are some good working habits in NAPCON which I think contributes to personal development. For example we have daily meetings with my team. It takes only 15 minutes but in that time we can catch up what’s the current situation in the projects and ask questions from each other if necessary. It is important to keep it only 15 minutes so it won’t disturb the working day too much. If you need more help in your issue or task you can book a calendar meeting with your coworker. I don’t encourage to keep a lot of meetings just because of meetings. In my experience the conversation will easily go to gabbing and be more harm than good for the project. However when you keep it short these kind of little daily meetings will benefit strongly. It is easy to tell your coworkers what are you doing and which point you have gotten to in your project. Also you can get daily feedback which supports your personal development and learning. Another way of working in NAPCON is that we evaluate each other work before it is taken to use. It is a great way to get feedback from others and advises to your project.
There is no shortcut. Slow down, listen your coworkers and work hard. In the end you will become good at it. Everyday try to learn something.
What I would like to say to the young people like me is that have patience. We usually have the attitude but we are impatient and restless. We need to keep in mind that there are just some things which take time to learn. There is no shortcut. Slow down, listen your coworkers and work hard. In the end you will become good at it. Everyday try to learn something. Like in Neste the only way is forward.