“I never thought I’d end up in an office job; sitting at a desk all day really isn’t my thing. But when I had trouble finding a job in the tourism sector, which is what I’d trained for, I took a job as a secretary at a bank. It was surprisingly enjoyable, but after eight years I decided to change direction. A restructuring at the bank gave me the opportunity to think about what I wanted to do next.
Two of my girlfriends had a long-standing hobby making miniature tableaux. When I left the bank, I finally had time to try it out for myself. Creating your own world, where everything’s perfectly colour-coordinated, soon proved to be the aspect I enjoyed most. I do the same in my own house and garden: if I’ve got red flowers I’ll have red seat cushions too, and preferably also a matching wood stain. When you’re creating a miniature world, there are no boundaries; all you need is a bit of creativity. Recently, for instance, I made a mini-shopping basket from a Nespresso capsule. And an eye-drop pipette got a second life as a tiny shampoo bottle for a miniature bathroom.
When I’d been at home for about a year, I decided to start looking for another job. By then I knew I wanted to go more towards the clerical side of things, and in 2010 I joined NLO’s legal back office. Last year the organisation established a new recordals department, and that was an exciting new step for me. Whereas before I’d only seen the final stage of a process, I now deal with all the stages of registering changes to patents. Like miniature scene-making, it’s precise work: maintaining an overview of the entire process and carefully checking that everything fits and is satisfactory.
I now work at NLO four days a week and spend Tuesday and Thursday afternoons doing craftwork with my girlfriends. We each have our own specialities; I enjoy doing meticulous, fiddly work, such as making a tiny geranium from small pieces of silk. For me, that’s serious relaxation! Although there are times when I’d like to chuck the whole thing out the window. Sometimes nothing seems to go right, just the same as at work. Then you simply have to take a break and go back to it later.
Two years ago I took a Christmas scene with me to work to decorate the office. One of my colleagues asked if I could insert a tiny NLO laptop into the scene. I gave it some thought and hit on the idea of cutting it out of a desk calendar, complete with a minute keyboard and NLO logo. It took a while for people to notice it, but eventually they did.”
2018 was a special year as it’s the year NLO celebrated its 130th anniversary. Over all those years, there’s one specific element that really forms the core of our firm; our people. Professionals who put all their effort in helping clients in any way they can. However, they are far more than IP professionals. We would like to give you some insight in the real people behind NLO. We proudly introduce to you some of our colleagues. This Thursday: Dyana Akker.