Commitment spreads, both in the workplace and outside. In the role of consultant and internal safety representative, Nathalie has opened several doors where she can contribute in several ways. She is the energy spreader who does not hesitate to improve small and big things in her workday. 

For a couple of years now, Nathalie has been working as an IT consultant at Unicus. Today, she mainly works with monitoring for different types of processes at H&M. As soon as our video call starts, I’m greeted with a big smile.

On a daily basis, Nathalie’s team uses the program Splunk where everything is documented and all logs are saved. It is a program that makes it possible to search, monitor and analyze entered data in a user-friendly interface.

-Right now it is very exciting to research different products and see what is best, Nathalie answers when I ask what she finds most interesting about the work.

Now the team is therefore preparing a migration to cloud-based storage. It is Nathalie who has been given the task of comparing different products in order to find the best solution going forward.

-We started with Splunk Observability, explains Nathalie. I’m very interested in that program, because I think eventually it will become standard. When the other team asked for a representative from our team, I volunteered.

Social activities that provide energy

We continue to talk about how important it is to have people around you that you trust. I ask Nathalie about the rumor regarding game nights with the colleagues at Unicus. She quickly smiles and excuses herself to leave the room. Soon she is back with an unopened board game. She excuses herself briefly before continuing:

-We are actually going to have game night tonight. So that’s why I’m in the office today. I think board games are fun, especially when you have good company!

Nathalie’s ability to bring others along is impressive. She seems to have an inexhaustible energy when she is with others. Instead, the most energy-draining thing is when she needs to do things just because they have to be done. She gives an example and explains how she appreciates the way her client has handled the return to the office after covid-19.

-It’s more ‘it would be fun if everyone could see each other in the office’. I think it’s nice that they don’t say ‘you have to be in once a week’. Then they would have struggled against more.

Most days Nathalie works from home. She thinks it works well and explains that most of it is tasks that she still has to do alone. In addition, she has several international colleagues whom she still cannot meet physically. At the same time, it feels good to be able to come into the office when she wants:

-Sometimes I go in on a Tuesday when everyone else is in. Then we sit and have coffee, talk and hang out.

“We won’t fake that we like it”

Nathalie explains to me that many people seem to think that autism means a social inability or that one has no need for social activities. With determination, she explains that it is not true.

-Obviously we disprove that with our game nights, she says emphatically. We can hang out, but we won’t fake that we like it. Maybe that’s what makes others think we’re different. It’s more about not wanting to pretend. If I don’t want to do something, I prefer to say so.

She herself is very social and gets energy from organizing various activities. Nathalie explains that it may be about recurring misunderstandings about what autism is and how it manifests itself:

-Even friends have said ‘you can’t have autism because you can look me in the eye’. I think we are very much labeled as to what we can and can’t do, but everyone is different. Maybe autism makes us more extreme in one direction or another, but it doesn’t really matter, she notes.

High job satisfaction with supportive colleagues and good managers

Something that Nathalie appreciates is that she always has someone with whom she can share thoughts and ideas. Having space to openly discuss different things creates security.

-The managers are extremely good. I know Sara is always there. She never says ‘why are you thinking about that?’, but is open to what I need to have said. It’s nice not to be judged.

It is not only from the consultant manager that Nathalie finds support and advice. She also has several colleagues from Unicus who work for the same client. They can spontaneously call each other to discuss a situation. Although she has good colleagues at the client, Nathalie appreciates her friends at Unicus because they share similar experiences with each other.

-It’s just nice to have confirmation that ‘I would also have a hard time with that’. Not all, but many of the consultants at Unicus have similar experiences from childhood and working life, says Nathalie with a faint smile that spreads so quickly that I wish the conversation hadn’t already ended.