Sherif Elkhouly shares how Fnality embraced his uniqueness and created an opportunity for him that broke all moulds!
One hot evening in the summer of 2005, I sat in deep thought in an elegant café in Zamalek Island, right at the heart of Cairo, overlooking the tranquil waters of the River Nile. I was mindlessly watching the scattered collection of small sail boats and feluccas dotted along the water, waiting for the slightest gust of wind to catch their sails and guide them up the river. I was sipping on my strong, aromatic Turkish coffee while contemplating my next career move, and one of the few life-transforming steps I took, as the upcoming years will prove. I was toying with the idea of starting my own tech startup. The decision was not easy, I had a very promising career at IBM Egypt and working on a state-of-the-art project for SONY Blu-Ray disc (a brand new technology at the time). It took me 6 months from that moment to take a giant leap of faith, quit the security of paid employment and embark on a nerve-wracking journey of becoming an entrepreneur for the first time in my life.
Fast forward 14 years, London, summer of 2019. Overlooking another glorious river, this time the River Thames, and again finding myself deep in thought whilst sipping on an acceptable espresso made by a barista covered in tattoos, with a restlessness and desire to want more, do more and make a greater impact on the tech world before my final ship sets sail. During the year prior to that, I had closed down my business and moved to London permanently to start a new life. I sat there thinking about, guess what, what my next career move should be. The main question running through my mind was where could I find a job that can, really, appreciate the breadth, width and height of my experience. An organisation that values the fact that over the past 14 years I have been wearing 100 different hats and doing many things in addition to software development, my original expertise. I was wondering if I can find that one opportunity offering an excitement to try new things, encouraging me to step outside of my comfort zone whilst learning new things at the same time. I was feeling unemployable as an employee, and had no interest to re-invent myself as a start up CEO on fertile but foreign soil. Doubting if I will ever find the right opportunity for me. For me. What I desire. Not settling for what is right for them and adapting myself to it. From that point the search started, It didn’t take very long, less than 18 months and one global pandemic later, for me to find Fnality.
In Fnality, I am appreciated for being T-shaped rather than being specialised in one area of expertise. I am continuously encouraged to challenge ideas, give my own feedback, share my thoughts and proposals. I am invited and expected to contribute to thinking creatively and collectively with others. I am always being told it is absolutely fine to fail and reminded that I have a great team to support me when I do.
I can, confidently, say that Fnality has managed, in its few years, to create a work environment that is exciting, inclusive, and supportive. In Fnality, the organisational values are at the heart of every discussion and at the core of our ways of working (not just text in the employee handbook). Fnality is where I can apply my entrepreneurial skills in a controlled environment and at the same time enjoy the support of an equally motivated and skilled team.
To put it simply, Fnality embraced my own uniqueness, creating an opportunity for me that breaks all moulds.
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