Skopje’s Office Admin Elena Andova has been with Polar Cape for almost 8 years. The unique loving energy she brings into everything she does is witnessed in the atmosphere of our daily work, as she tends to the needs of the Skopje office, along with her dedicated team, who are also the brains behind our unforgettable events. She was also one of the people who made our Skopje office happen. You may see this loving energy for yourself in the words written below.
Read her full story in her own words about her very unique Polar Cape experience!
(Written by Elena Andova)
I will never forget the moment I made the decision to accept Polar Cape’s offer. In that moment, I had two very different offers at the table, both interesting, catchy… One was in media, writing content for a TV show, and the second one – Office Manager at a Swedish company (that’s the way it was presented to me, emphasis on Swedish). So of course, I played the pros and cons “game”. The first one sounded appealing: it was an opportunity to be creative, do things on my own terms, meet the most interesting people, etc. One thing stood out for this Swedish company – it offered stability.
So, in between all the thinking I wanted to get some fresh air. I called a friend and we sat down by the river, resting to its calming ripple noises. He listened to me babbling about how good the first offer sounded for half an hour. As I stopped talking, he just said: “It’s a Swedish company, Swedish people are known for being great to work with. It offers stability and potential for growth”. Hearing someone else say those words made me forget everything I had said so far about the other offer. I realised that this was actually the direction I wanted to take, so the next day I accepted Polar Cape’s offer.
And boy, was that the right decision. I got the chance to be creative in ways I couldn’t have imagined, and along the way I met the most interesting people whose company I still enjoy. I know for a fact that many of my colleagues have a similar fun story to tell!
I was never scared. Quite the contrary, I was feeling excited. Almost everything was new to me – including some of my main administrative responsibilities. But somehow the environment around me was so encouraging and inspiring. And by environment I mean the people, one of the fundamental pillars of Polar Cape. We were a fun bunch of 15 people at the Skopje office, functioning like one living organism. With every new colleague that organism grew synchronised and functioned in a more or less perfect harmony. I knew that I would like to imprint that feeling if I get the chance to work with an expanded Admin team.
One question kept lingering all along – is this for real, is it even possible? It’s a question that I still ask myself sometimes. You will find the answer to that question at the end of this story.
THE JOURNEY IN BETWEEN
Time flies when you are having fun. But serious work went on throughout this time.
Once we grew as a company, the Admin&HR team was born. We sat together in a small office that made us become close enough. We could even laugh out the toughest moments and have everyone watching from aside wonder if we were okay. And we were more than okay! Every new challenge, whether it was a new procedure, redefining an existing one, organising an event, setting a yearly budget – we handled it with a “we are already onto the next task” attitude. All of that while singing the most annoying songs to lift up the mood!
To make this journey even more memorable there were all the events in between, every one of them unique. Through new adventures such as team buildings, family days, conferences and training we were facing our fears while simultaneously growing our knowledge threshold. That’s how we all participated in the creation of the company’s next steps, goals, and milestones. A very big milestone was making it to number one in the survey results from the Great Place to Work Institute, which is one of the things that I am most proud of!
Never standing still, we were constantly on the lookout for the perfect office space that would mirror our mission, values, and company culture. After 3 and a half years we finally found our gem in the heart of Skopje. My head felt like a contract after 3 months of active negotiation.
And that was only the beginning of, for me, the biggest project that I have ever participated in. The process of designing, constructing, monitoring, and furnishing our 1400 m2 of blank office space involved more than 30 people. Doing all of that during a pandemic and at the brink of a world crisis, made it seem impossible. But, not by chance, the people chosen to run this race with time are known for their wide range of expertise. Years of experience and above all – willingness to take this race to the finish line. Now that it’s done, we have our very own tangible “dream come true” space which has set the scenery of our next chapter. And this brings a whole new form of excitement!
THE FIFTH ELEMENT
No one said it was going to be easy, but sometimes even breathing is hard. This reminds us that every living organism needs air, water, earth, and some fire to keep it alive and thriving.
As Polar Cape’s people are this organism’s main cells, some of them can act like air, or the wind in your sails that helps your next move feel lighter. Some are like fire underneath your feet and make you “dance” in ways you never thought you knew. Others can be your water and carry you to the banks of a new river. And some can be the earth that grounds you.
But the Fifth Element (just like in the movie) – is LOVE. Love for all that we do here. This is what completes my story about Polar Cape and makes it an important puzzle piece of my life as well.