We spoke with Benedikte and Hild, from our office in Norway, as they prepare to celebrate Christmas.

In Norway the Christmas season, Julebord, begins slowly on November 28th,  the first of the four Sundays in Advent, when we light a candle. Families celebrate Little Christmas on Dec. 23, and have their own ritual for the day that may include decorating the tree, making a gingerbread house- or preparing risengrynsgrøt (hot rice pudding) for Santa. On Christmas morning, there are always stockings for the children (up to 25 years old) which are filled with sweets and hung by the fireplace - and of course we all watch Donald Duck with friends  at 2 o'clock.

Benedikte says that she hates baking Christmas cakes, but loves chocolate, so together with a group of friends they meet on the second Sunday in December, usually after a late night at julebord, to make candied chocolate covered orange peel. A lot of waiting, and minimal effort, gives them time to recover from yesterday's party – we all love that!

Everyone hopes for a white Christmas, and luckily that is not so rare in Norway!

"I think the most important thing is to make sure that no one is alone over the holidays" said Benedikte, "This year we will go to our cottage in the mountains to celebrate. On 23 December we find our tree close by and decorate it indoors. The Norwegian tradition is either pork- or lamb ribs for dinner on 24 December, which is fairly heavy. We love to go skiing to have room for more Christmas food! In our family we have an old tradition of eating shellfish on 25 December– that is my favourite! Traditions are very important. Every year we meet with friends on the fourth day of Christmas to play a game of GinRummy - the Christmas version! And - there is always lobster pasta and blue Stilton with Port on the menu."

Hild says that 2021 has been a good year, "Business is recovering and in fine shape. We Norwegians tend to focus on the weather and staying at home, due to Covid restrictions, meant we all enjoyed a lovely hot summer. However, we all  look forward to 2022 when we can again start travelling abroad again!"

Hild Kinder, Partner in our Oslo office, chairs the Stockman Committee for The Norwegian Society of Financial Analysts.

Their purpose is:

The committee’s job is to set the criteria by which the companies are measured, while Investment Banks and Investors nominate candidates and vote for finalists.

Every year they give out prizes to companies listed on the Oslo stock exchange that stand out as exceptional in communicating financial information to the market of financial analysts and investors.

Congratulations to Storebrand and Kid Interiør as winners of this year's Stockman Prize.

Storebrand won the open class award, while KID won the award for small and medium-sized companies. Storebrand also won the award for best IR team.

Furthermore, the Committee  also provides improvement advice for a company that should do better - this year it was the renewable energy company Scatec.

Hild said, "This year ESG* was increased in weight as a factor in the voting, while to provide open, reliable and consistent information to all market participants is always critical. We congratulate Storebrand and KID for nailing this.”

* ESG=Environmental Social  and Governance

The big 'WHY?'

Why do you want to change your job?

Many candidates primarily consider what they know against the job description. Having the right expertise is an important requirement, but it is not enough. In addition, we must look more closely at what might motivate a candidate. Many of the requirements specified for a candidate can be nuanced in order to provide room for a new employee to grow into a role.

As advisers, we do not force a job opportunity onto candidates. We ask open questions and listen carefully when discussing a possible job change. We listen for answers about why the candidate wants this job. What are their ambitions? Is the candidate driven by 'push' or 'pull' factors?

The right motivation is an important requirement for thriving and making a difference. If you have anything to gain from a change of job, it is easier if you have a commitment, make an extra effort and contribute to good internal collaboration.

Pay is seldom a sufficient motivational factor by itself.

Cultural match is both crucial and under-appreciated.

What can you do yourself?

Enterprises have different purposes and ownership. Organisations vary in culture, size and structure. Some companies have a totally commercial DNA, while other workplaces are more balanced, driven by new insight, or contribute directly to social progress. Being conscious of your own motivation and taking ownership of the process are important success factors when changing jobs. Awareness of 'what triggers and what drives me', combined with an ability to explain why exactly this role could be right for you, will be important. By obtaining information about relevant employers, the candidate also takes personal responsibility for testing their match with a new workplace. This is particularly critical if you have been with the same employer for a long time, because it can then be difficult to assess what you take for granted in today’s job – and which could be lost.

Choose an adviser who understands the significance of motivation.

Where an enterprise is concerned, the value of making the right appointments is considerable. And the choice of employer will be crucial for an employee’s career development. That makes it vital to have good advisers who both understand and can provide input to both sides. Our job is to search out environments and candidates who possess a good baseline for both wanting and contributing to a new role. The ability to think openly around motivation together with relevant candidates is an absolutely central part of the adviser role, and crucial in ensuring that the right choice is made – for both clients and candidates.

Hild Kinder, Partner
Benedikte Stiff, Partner

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