Happy Birthday to us!

Happy Monday AND Happy Birthday to us!!

Today is Pexel’s 14th birthday and we are celebrating in our favourite way – with lots of food! Keep an eye on our social media channels today for updates of what we’re up to, and check back soon for a full blog post of our day! In the mean time, our Operations Director, Pavel has written a little blog post for us, reflecting on how far we’ve come…

Four years ago, on our 10th anniversary, we barely made a mention of this milestone, important though it felt to many of us at the time. We were all so busy, and certainly less organised. But we were proud that one of the research projects we had just picked up spanned 28 countries. We didn’t think there were many fieldwork agencies out there that had the capability to deliver on such a task.

Four years later: one of the thirty-odd projects we currently have in field includes one that covers 82 countries. And, today, we know for certain there are only a small handful of agencies on this planet that can take on such a project. We may not be posh, but undoubtedly we are one of the best.

Yet whilst we can create a timeline of the last 14 years, and cloak these milestones with a narrative – in the same way that researchers do when they analyse the survey data we collect – there are far more interesting stories in our immediate midst; and stories where Pexel Research Services plays only a fleeting role at the sidelines.

More than 10,000 individuals have passed through our doors in the last 14 years. I doubt any of them have had any burning ambition to work in a call centre, even if we are a slightly different – let’s say slightly irreverent and indomitably human– call-centre. Pexel has been, for most who have worked here, merely a stepping stone. Some have worked with us in between their university studies; others have just taken a breather with us while they decide what they really want to do with their lives. Others have wanted to earn a bit more extra money, or to practice a second language, or to subsidise their music or acting career; or … well, maybe this was simply the first job vacancy they saw.

And when they come through our doors for the first time, they probably have no idea that within a matter of days they may be interviewing a commodities trader at Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong, a production engineer in Turkmenistan, a heart surgeon in Peru, or – again, one of our current projects – conducting depth interviews with senior MEPs, Think Tanks, the Secretariat, and the European Commissioners’ Cabinets.

Over the years our thousands of Pexelites have gone on to stellar careers all over the world, or have set up their own businesses, or raised a family, or simply moved on in search of that elusive dream.

Pexel is not a self-important entity with its own consciousness and raison d’être, whatever corporate law may say. We can only celebrate its anniversaries in the sense that our continuing growth has been a collective effort of hard-working, resilient and passionate people: but these same people have in those same 14 years also led their own, private, lives; and how these have evolved and gone through ups and downs is the much more interesting reflection. And when all of us have long departed Pexel, it will be the people we met there that we will remember.

What milestones will we reach this time next year? While we are here we will continue to grow and change, to challenge expectations and limitations, and to welcome many more into our doors: to build new stories for ourselves, and for each other.


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