Operating outside a big organisation, lagom, and a job advert for a user researcher

I joined Lagom a couple of months ago. I’ve probably not been in the role for long enough to know what normal feels like yet, but it’s been pretty good so far.

Two years ago, after leaving my job in the civil service, I was a bit concerned that years of working in government departments had left me institutionalised. I was worried that all that time I’d spent working out the rules and customs of institutions might have left me a decent operator within big organisations, but ill-equipped to operate outside them.

A year of freelancing sorted me out. I proved to myself that I could still function on my own, without the comfort blankets of the institution. It was liberating to just focus on the task in front of me, without all the office politics, committees and change programmes.

Now that I’ve got a job again (albeit with a very different type of organisation) I’ve been thinking about how to get the balance right between the focus I found as a freelancer, and the multifarious advantages of working with other people.

I’m grateful that the small team I’ve joined at Lagom have already spent plenty of time thinking about how to get this right as the business has grown.

Lagom is a Swedish word, which loosely translates as “balanced” or “just right”. It nicely describes the way we’re trying to work.

At the moment I’m spending much of my time working on my own, usually remotely, and I’m expected to make good decisions about how I do things and get on with it. But I am also able to draw on the expertise of other Lagomers when I need to, and I’m connected enough to feel part of a team. The balance feels about right to me, and I suspect that we’re working productively as a result.

Lagom are recruiting at the moment. We’ve got a job advertised for a user researcher. If you think you might be interested in working with us (and if you like the sound of the way we’re trying to work), please get in touch. Here’s the job spec: