They say the best things in life happen when you least expect them to. It’s just a popular saying, but I believe it can easily summarise what has been my journey at Rydoo over the last four years.

In the People roles I’ve had at Rydoo, I’ve seen a lot of great people join our company, and they all have a few things in common. Aside from their diverse talent and unique character that makes them a real gift to the team, many of the ones that join Rydoo have a curious streak, are eager to learn, have a passion for what they do and work hard to show they’re worth growing within their careers. This is very much in line with how we see and present our company culture. We want our employees to feel empowered to take the initiative to do what they think is best for the company and to grow together with it. 

In the 4 years I work here, I’ve seen the company evolve and, with that, some people have grown into their full potential. This led to a team full of kind, motivated and passionate individuals who work hard every single day to drive the company forward.

Their story is also my story.

After I graduated, I started working as an HR intern, and I’ve always known that this was my chosen career path. I was also aware, at the time, that HR meant I would never be bored as a professional, since I would have plenty of roles to choose from within different organisations. I’ve always been someone who takes what life gives them, but growing and progressing as a professional has always been at the back of my mind. I have a healthy ambition, but the truth is, I never set a true goal for myself. I can’t deny the thrill of a good change or challenges thrown my way but, at the end of the day, all I wanted was something meaningful, that would help me learn, grow and, most importantly, be happy.

One of the core values of our organisation is letting others shine. We give people the opportunity to shine, grow to their full potential and evolve in their careers.

A few years into my career and working at some big corporate organisations, I was reached out by a recruiter at this start-up company called Rydoo. I was not really looking for a change in my career, but a quick research online spiked my curiosity and I wanted to learn more about what this smart expensing company was doing. After learning about the company culture and coming from a more conservative set, I was engrossed by Rydoo’s values, the company’s culture and all the growth opportunities that could arise. So I quickly made the decision and became a part of the team.

Growing in a time of uncertainty

When I first started at Rydoo I had my own set of responsibilities, but I always knew that, eventually, those would change over time. When the opportunity presented itself, I was always keen to take on some new tasks and learn from them, as I knew they would be essential if I wanted to grow within my career.

One of the core values of our organisation is letting others shine. We give people the opportunity to shine, grow to their full potential and evolve in their careers. For that, Rydoo has a performance management cycle called Career Sprints, that takes place two times a year.

With the team at Rydoo’s 5th anniversary party.

During this moment, employees have a chance to talk to their managers and discuss their ambitions, goals and career plan, whilst also giving and receiving feedback from their managers. Career sprints are meant to name and celebrate the greatest achievements of Rydoo’ers, and also to map out their career plan and discuss potential growth into different roles.

Given the company’s growth opportunities, I had a chance to move to different roles throughout my journey, but my responsibilities also shifted, especially during the pandemic. This was a specially difficult time for me, as I love to go to the office, be with my peers and have in-person interactions, so this period definitely had its challenges, which I’ve always been very vocal about. But even during that time, I found a way to take the best out of the situation and worked on myself, read a lot, and followed free online webinars. I also did a lot of self-reflection and promised myself that I would always work for companies that allowed me to be my true self and focus on my strengths, and that’s what I’ve been doing over these last few years.

Rydoo is a space where you are safe to fail, you get the freedom to explore new things, where you can grow and, most importantly, where your biggest strengths can shine.

There have also been some other ups and downs during this journey, but I’ve always had the support of the whole People team and even the management team, who have always been willing to provide their guidance whenever anyone needs it. It’s quite natural to experience some challenging times, but what I’ve learned is that you always take something positive out of them. You learn, take valuable lessons from those difficult moments, and become stronger. Ready to embrace whatever challenge comes your way next time. But you can only do that when you have the right people by your side.

I’ve been lucky to work with the best team during my time at Rydoo. My former manager and colleague taught me a lot during his time at Rydoo, and even though he’s not a part of our team anymore, he’s been a true inspiration and shared with me everything I need to know to be the manager I am today.

The journey to VP of People

I had been working for almost four years at Rydoo when my former manager announced that he was leaving the company. To say I was surprised about his decision would be a lie, as he’d been with the team for almost six years and it was time for him to welcome a new challenge in his career. On the other hand, I really couldn’t imagine working at Rydoo without him, so I was really sad to see him go.

One of the first things I decided was that I wouldn’t take his position as Chief People Officer — I know what you’re thinking… famous last words, right? We’ll get to that! At the time, I really didn’t believe I had what it took to take on this role and manage an entire HR department. In my head, my time hadn’t come yet and I still had a lot to learn.

Regardless, I thought a lot about what was happening and decided to talk to the management team so I could take on the position in the interim. It was only for a short period of time and I could learn from it, right? So I prepared a plan to share with the executive team where I showed what I believed should be the goals of the HR team. I was super delighted when everyone accepted my proposal with arms wide open, from our CEO to management and the HR team.

So there I was, working as VP of People at Rydoo, and with the support of both my team and management, I felt more confident in my abilities. I got renewed energy and really appreciated the impact I could make in the new position I was in.

Even during a tougher period when one of our colleagues also decided to leave the company as she was relocating, I was always surprised by how well we managed the situation. We had everything under control and, soon enough, everything was back to normal like a well-oiled machine. It made me realise that I knew the company like the back of my hand, so I could, in fact, help manage it. Not, of course, without the help of my other HR colleagues, who soon became my rocks, even helping with onboarding a new colleague to support in other tasks.

It was also during this time that I had a chance to work closely with our CEO, Sebastien. Our work as a team was going really well and my confidence got an even greater boost by the fact that our CEO fully trusted my capabilities, respected and supported my decisions. I felt like I was in a safe environment that allowed me to explore these new responsibilities and was even praised for the work I was doing. I felt really lucky to work for a company that provided this environment, which was exactly what I had promised myself, and what I wish to create for all my colleagues at Rydoo: a space where you are safe to fail, you get the freedom to explore new things, where you can grow and, most importantly, where your biggest strengths can shine.

Dear CEO, I'm pregnant. What now?

Diversity and inclusion have always been at the core of our values as a team. At this time, our leadership team has a mix of four men and five women, which just shows how we strive to provide more opportunities for women who want to be in leadership positions.

I really believe that at Rydoo, you can truly become what you want.

When I made the decision that I wanted my position as VP of People to become permanent, I also found out that I was pregnant with my second child. I made both announcements to our CEO at around the same time, and he accepted my promotion immediately, no questions asked. On top of that, our CEO was genuinely happy with the announcement of my second pregnancy here at Rydoo.

Being able to achieve such an accomplishment while also being able to focus on my family is something I value a lot. I know not all women have the same experience in their workplace, and that’s why I’m really happy to be a part of the team that makes it possible for others to have a good work-life balance.

I really believe that at Rydoo, you can truly become what you want. Don’t be afraid to take that dive into the deep end, and take a leap of faith. If it doesn’t work out, remember, when one door closes, another one opens. And there will always be a new door waiting for you at Rydoo, like there was for me.