War tests us for professionalism

The standard skill set in a resume typically includes the ability to work in a team, stress resistance, time management skills, adaptability, foreign language proficiency, proactiveness, and communicative skills. In an advertising agency, the soft skill set is roughly the same, but with some nuances. We often list them in resumes without considering how each skill actually operates in practice.

In our team, we had the chance to experience how these "paper skills" are applied in extreme situations: it so happened that professional skills of our team inadvertently were tested during war. Within just a week, we established a humanitarian center and received the first humanitarian cargo. And success was not a matter of chance but a result of the proper application of professional skills.

A brief background

Let`s return to winter: it's February, and there's a feeling of sadness and hopelessness in the air. Ahead lies a new reality without prospects or a plan of action.

Relocation. We arrived in Uzhhorod, determined to work even harder, to put in extra effort to help those in great need. The idea of ​​creating a humanitarian hub emerged. And within a week, we received the first shipment at the warehouse of the newly established Uzhgorod Humanitarian Center.

Everything was set up: from the call center and logistics to the actual distribution of humanitarian aid at resettlement centers. Each person had their unique role and function, which they executed to the fullest.

This is where the next set of soft skills came in handy, allowing the center to start operating in such a short time.

Skill 1 — Stress resistance

Eugene Mironiuk, Managing Partner of Strategy: "Panic is cancelled. Good news for the team — all mistakes can no longer be corrected, so every move must be as deliberate as a surgeon's."

Being able to withstand any situation, master emotions, and make important decisions are the skills. Sometimes stress resistance is just a commonplace term for a resume, but in times of conflict, it is confirmed by real trials.

Skill 2 — Strategic thinking

Once panic is under control, we begin to unfold our actions. Strategic thinking helps to turn everything into a project, the project into a process, and the process into execution 👏

Skill 3 — Determination

It`s the skill of acting as if we are at war. Wait, but we are at war!

No one knows what's right, so we need to move in all directions at once. In the absence of instructions and established processes, we had to rely on team intuition in the new project.

We divided the project into 5 parts and started acting in each one. Resolutely, just as stated in the resume.

Skill 4 — Work engagement (read: overtime)

Don't know how to find a way out? Look for it anywhere.

We worked on every part of the project with the team in several directions at the same time. It required extra effort from all participants in the process, but it quickly yielded results.

Skill 5 — Self-motivation

Turns out, not everything is done for money and career advancement, and extreme self-motivation is much stronger than anything we knew before. When there is a clear understanding that we are all here for one selfless purpose and feel each other — everything becomes possible, energy helps move forward.

Skill 6 — Self-management

Andrii Franchuk, Managing Partner, Creative Director: "You have to forget about sleep, free time, and personal affairs, dedication to your cause is not just words and letters — it's a call to action."

While our designers were sketching out a new concept for the communications campaign of the Uzhgorod Humanitarian Center and trucks were rushing to the border with humanitarian cargo, thousands of people continued to arrive in Uzhgorod with a myriad of needs. It was necessary to control every process, so our creative director was everywhere, and he even mastered a new task — setting up the communication center.

Skill 7 — Communication skills

Anatolii Rizon, Account Manager: "There are no people you can't communicate with. Some just need to find the right approach."

An account manager can not only handle clients and "smooth out" business with documents, funds, and governments. For example, our account manager managed to assist displaced persons and entertain children who needed special attention during his free time from the 23-hour workday. Communication skills in action!

Skill 8 — Negotiation

Yurii Netkov, Event Manager: "When truck drivers didn't understand English, I had to resort to the language of active gestures."

The ability to organize an event and negotiate with a star who is touring Ukraine and is completely unaware of their scheduled performance in Kyiv today at 7 p.m. can be compared in complexity to the task of finding a truck in Turin, loading it, bringing it to the border with Slovakia, and unloading it in the neutral zone. Our event manager coped both, even without knowing Slovak or Italian 💪

Skill 9 — Teamwork

A team of good people and professionals can create any project, whether it's profiled or extreme.

Investing in a team and understanding with colleagues is an extra skill 🤝

Currently, the entire our team has returned to work at the agency. We quickly transitioned from forced logistics experts, warehouse experts, negotiators in the international humanitarian community, GR managers, and customs consultants to designers, 3D animators, copywriters, account, event and project managers, and we continue to work.

And the main conclusion from this article — don't just list skills in your resume for formality's sake, write for life, because it's so unpredictable.

Original text in Ukrainian on Work.ua