The Virtue of Resilience

Kristian Bekkestad - Accountant for Origami Paperworks

My grandma Emma saved my life. She was my rock, keeping me strong in times of struggle. It's why we called her Gommo - a Hallingdal word that combines good (god) and mother (mor). Gommo was the one who pushed me to never stop believing in the light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how bad things felt. She helped teach me that as long as we do our best to cultivate friendship, offer encouragement to others, and build networks of support, nothing can stop us from becoming the person we are truly meant to be.

No Struggle, No Strength

I come from a very small town in Norway that gave me a rough start to life. Growing up gay in the 90’s in an isolated place meant I had to face a lot of bullying, harassment, and rejection against who I was as a person. It definitely shaped my career choices because all my energy went into one thought: getting out, and that I did. First I studied agriculture, then hairdressing in Oslo. I worked in Denmark for a little while too, before returning to Norway to be a kindergarten teacher. Throughout this journey of self-discovery, there was one feeling that stuck: working in people-facing roles was exhausting.

If there was one thing I could wish upon everyone, it would be this: don’t let the thoughts of others become your prison.

This pushed me to look for a job that was more back-office oriented, a place where I could use my knowledge in project management, math, and digitalization. I ended up with a phone company and my time there confirmed how much more I preferred working with numbers. You see, unlike people, numbers never lie. You also can’t keep secrets, because there is always some sort of sequence and predictability. In this way, math is actually incredibly simple. And having that kind of stability in my work allows me to put even more energy into finding ways to improve processes and reduce mistakes - something I love!

Jack of all Trades

The opportunity to try out different types of work ended up showing me how progress happens quickly and in so many different ways. For example, when I started working with that phone company, we had launched the first data service for cell phones. When I left just some years later, we were talking about 5G! It’s why being open to change is crucial in today’s world. And that’s actually why I love my colleagues. They are all so incredibly open and inclusive. In other companies, I often felt forced to ‘drink the company Kool-Aid . Here at Origami, nothing is a gimmick, it’s the real deal. So I drink it voluntarily!

Stop and smell the flowers. Read a good book, eat some good food. Enjoy life, but do what you can to leave this world better than how you found it.

Outside of work, I am passionate about politics, reading, gaming, and yoga. But mainly politics, because I want our society to offer more support to those who don't have the best of resources, be that money or mental health services. There was no place for ‘weakness’ when I grew up. That’s why I want to create a better world where there is a place for everyone. And honestly, I see yoga as the perfect place to start. You see, life is like a hamster wheel - you have to keep running to stay on your feet.  But yoga is like stepping off that wheel to catch your breath for just a moment. I think fifteen minutes a day could do wonders for the world.