3 life lessons from my first 3 weeks at Catalyst

I’ve never been one for numbers but have always been fond of the number 3. Representing stability, order and structure, there is a certain comfort of the triple. None more so than having completed my first three weeks as a Catalyst Business Support Executive; It has absolutely flown by. As I mentioned in my last blog, the transition from student life to the 9-5 has been seamless with Catalyst, allowing me to cultivate a sense of routine and really get into the swing of working life.

Keeping on the numbers theme, it’s only apt that I write this blog on my 22nd birthday, a poignant actualisation of adulthood and a real sense of what’s to come with Catalyst. In this blog I’ll be exploring my top three takeaways/lessons from my first three weeks on the job:

Don’t fear responsibility

The most striking thing I have already immediately valued in my time so far at Catalyst, is the tangible impact of your work with clients. Perhaps unlike working in a big corporate environment, you can see the direct consequences of actioning projects and the end result almost immediately. It is hands down for me the most rewarding part of the job in working with startups and SME’s every day and forming that personal relationship with founders who encompass a vast array of enterprises.

Innovation is everywhere

Before starting at Catalyst I had never really explored the concept of innovation on a particularly deep level. Despite coming from an entrepreneurial background to the role from the Startup Sussex programme, I hadn’t considered what I was doing was necessarily at all “innovative.” I thought innovation was something fostered and harnessed exclusively by tech startups or Elon Musk, but over the past 3 weeks I’ve realized I could not have been more misguided.

As our manager Simon explains, innovation is often not explored or can be overlooked because people “don’t think about it” or are “too busy working in the business.” I’ve learnt that creative solutions often come from where you least expect it and the innovation centre harnesses this concept through its values and people.

A newly discovered TED Talk Addiction

And finally, one of the highlights of my working week is our Tuesday Huddle meetings, in which a senior member of the innovation centre takes it in turns to host each session. It is usually accompanied by a Ted Talk and later a discussion of any key takeaways; it is always an eye-opening session. It’s such a great opportunity for all the staff of the centre to come together and explore the diversity of thought within the organisation, with the Catalyst Team’s input always highly valued. I am now a self-confessed Ted Talk addict and have a YouTube playlist ready for any recommendations!

I look forward to what the rest of my time with Catalyst will bring and perhaps I’ll give a three-month update to stick with the theme. Let’s hope my team will be able to pick up the pieces with any other numbers or accounting work in the meantime… even if not though, there’s probably a Ted Talk for that.

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