Cognitians are people with ambition, who aren’t afraid of change, who take initiative, and who are always asking questions – what’s next?
The tapestry of different experiences and perspectives from across our global team is one of the core elements that makes us distinctive as an agency. We come from varied backgrounds – we’re ex-financial journalists, bankers, regulators, and creatives, with diverse and unique experiences, bridged by a common vision.
At Cognito, we celebrate difference. As an embodiment of this value, several of our colleagues have worked in multiple Cognito offices during the span of their careers. They help us to think global and act local; navigating cross-border project teams, connecting to the different media landscapes and working with clients across regions. We’re taking you behind the scenes of life at Cognito and giving you a window into what it’s like to work for us in multiple countries.
First up in our series is Jono Buxeda, who is currently based in the Sydney office. He is known among colleagues for his caring and calm disposition and for being a go-getter. He strives to solve challenges, both at work and in a personal sense, and is single-minded in achieving his goals. Some of his non-work activities also require him to be hyper-focussed – he once represented his home country of New Zealand in global Karting competitions.
Jono made his first relocation in 2019; moving from New Zealand to Singapore via Cognito’s graduate program.
In 2022, he relocated again. This time from Singapore to Sydney as a pioneering member of Cognito’s Australia office. He hit the ground running, supporting Australia’s managing director, Scott Schuberg, in the office launch, and in growing the team, Cognito’s footprint and client offering in Australia.
However, he shared that the journey has not always been smooth sailing.
For Jono, it was a tough decision to stay in Singapore when COVID struck. Leaving behind one’s support network is tough in the best of times and compounded in times of uncertainty.
To help with these situations, Jono stressed it is important to recognise that discomfort tends to be temporary.
“Having the confidence to truly believe in your goals, and then having a huge amount of resilience is critical when navigating a successful move.”
He revealed that both moves were akin to a “baptism of fire”, as a relocation requires rapid adaption to a new media landscape, cultural nuances, and starting again without the support of a familiar network. Having the ability to work and learn in a different environment from where you grew up is an exciting but daunting experience. It forces you to adapt and change.
“The learning is accelerated. When I arrived in Sydney, I had to relearn and immediately get up to speed in understanding the media landscape, dealing with local clients, and exploring new business opportunities.”
Find a niche and stick with it
Part of the reason Jono remains confident that his goals are aligned with a strong career path, is that he has found his niche with Cognito.
“Communications” as a profession might seem broad and it can be overwhelming to know where to start – but Jono has the view that becoming a specialist is an invaluable benefit, and one that his role at Cognito brings in spades. As a specialist in advising clients in the areas of financial services and technology, he is happy with his proactive choice to dive headfirst into these industries.
“The way I see it, there are exciting prospects when you become super niche. It is something that sets you apart from the crowd, and although it means you generally focus on servicing a specific sort of client, it means you can confidently consult as an industry expert.”
It takes two hands to clap
Having a supportive culture has also helped Jono create and shape his niche.
Jono credits the culture of learning at Cognito with inspiring his growth personally and professionally. He shared that easy and open communication with senior leadership has resulted in a seamless professional process, where learning and self-improvement is simply part of the job. The ability to talk about ideas, cross-pollinate, have a voice in servicing methodology and ways of working, and the open sharing of knowledge helps the team to deliver the best result possible.
Start the conversations early
When thinking of a relocation, it’s important to start the conversations early with your managers on the why and how it is going to benefit not only you and your career progression but the business as a whole.
Jono’s tips for navigating similar discussions include:
- Being open and honest about your career goals and ambitions. Moving between offices is a big job, both for the company and yourself, and you need to explain why the move makes sense commercially
- Understanding and communicating the personal motivations behind making the move
- Setting small, manageable goals and milestones, underpinned by a singular motivator. If you stick to these goals, any headwinds will seem like a light breeze
- Be focused on competing with yourself, but have fun doing so
At Cognito, we believe each of our team should be free to go as far and as fast as their commitment and talent will take them. For some, like Jono, that might look like a relocation to one of our international offices. What could it look like for you? We’re always on the lookout for people who are curious and ambitious.
If this sounds like you, check out our open positions at cognitomedia.com/careers