A Farewell Love Letter to Catalyst

by Chloe Gunn

Intro

After three years at Catalyst, I have made the tough decision to leave for my dream role. It's bittersweet because I was very happy here, but I know the new role is right for me. So I wanted to share my experience here and talk a little about the culture and experiences I had.

Catalyst was my first job in a tech environment. I knew nothing - maybe less than nothing - about technology (my A-level in IT did not serve me well). I remember my first week at Catalyst clearly; I got my buddy - who has now been a close friend for three years -and I was welcomed into the Catalyst family. Everyone was lovely, and even the developers were nice enough to look up from their coding to greet me and introduce themselves.

 

Chloe Gunn stands in front of a blackboard, smiling and holding a t-shirt that says "coffee and coding"Comms

I joined Catalyst as a Communications Adviser; at that point, the comms team was me and my manager, Jason.

Jason took the time to help me grow my skills; his office door was always open (literally and metaphorically). I had all these ideas for campaigns and he gave me free rein to go for them all. Jason gave me complete trust and freedom, allowing me to make the role and my impact my own.

After a year, the comms team grew with people joining our comms team in Australia and the UK. It was great to see our presence grow across the globe.

 

Growth

After two years in my comms role, I grew more curious about User Experience consulting. The culture and people at Catalyst meant I was comfortable to voice this, and once I did, I was able to train with the team. When a role came free, I went for it with full support from Jason. I think this speaks volumes to the attitude at Catalyst: encouraging growth and passion - allowing us to thrive and do our best work.

 

BA/UX

So I joined the User Experience team. At Catalyst, we combine Business Analysts and User Experience into one role, allowing us to cover all requirements and design thoroughly.

The team was so welcoming, patient, and really supported me in my growth. No question was ever silly, and no interruption was ever met with eye rolls. It felt like a family that I got to work with.

Not to mention my manager, Sarah, who has talked me down off many self-doubt ledges, showing compassion and empathy - picking me back up and supporting me going forward. This is priceless to me.

 

Culture

A few things I want to talk frankly about: many companies say they have a good culture but in daily life that doesn't pan out. That's not the case at Catalyst.

I was struggling with my brain at one point and found out I had ADHD at 27 - it was a bit of a shock. I was completely transparent with Sarah and explained I was about to start medication, and it could be a rough ride at first. What is more shocking than finding out you have ADHD at 27? The response from Sarah and my team. I was met with nothing but patience, understanding, and compassion. I was never pressured and was given any flexibility I needed.

I also want to highlight that Catalyst is pushing to create a space where we honour and provide a safe place for Māori people. The company is making moves and progressing in a direction that reassures me. Catalyst will continue to thrive.

So that's it, my love letter to Catalyst. Without the growth I was provided here, I would not be able to get the role of my dreams, so I am forever grateful.