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Melissa Sant'Anna
May 15, 2023

From CVs to CEO: The Journey of Jörn Hendrik with New Work Heroes | People in beta

Have you thought about starting a new career from scratch? Or what skills you actually need to succeed with your startup? We sat down with Jörn Hendrik, founder and CEO of New Work Heroes, to take us on a ride on his entrepreneurial journey, share expert leadership tips and his personal experience being part of the betahaus community.

Can you introduce yourself and tell us what you do?

Hi, my name is Jörn Hendrik and I'm the founder of New Work Heroes. We’re working with matters of organisational designs, and how teams, companies and startups can operate in this ever changing world where things are constantly evolving, basically on a monthly basis.

What inspired you to start New Work Heroes?

When I started coworking at betahaus back in 2009 in Hamburg - I was working for a recruiting company. I worked a lot with CVs and how to apply for jobs.

Later, when I quit my job and started working as a freelancer, I got a lot of requests from people asking “Can you help me with my CV?” And I was like: wow, I should make a service out of this! 

Together with a coworker, we came up with this idea of creating a company where you never need to apply for a job again. So that was the very beginning of everything, right at betahaus Hamburg.

What can people learn from listening to the New Work Heroes podcast?

I started podcasting in 2013 and I had a very unsuccessful podcast that's still on SoundCloud…But two and a half years ago, I restarted the podcast! Every second podcast is an interview episode, and every other episode is a solo episode where I talk about methods, tools, remote work, leadership, and stuff like that.


Photo: Sarah Herrlander for One Coworking.

What are the key areas to focus on when deciding to shift to a new career?

You need to focus on what actually is important for you. And I’m not talking about purpose. What is more important is trying things out. Because purpose leads to somewhere in the clouds and then boom! You're lost. 

Connect with the right people. Engage with your coworkers. Find out what you really want to do and what your career superpowers are. 

What are you good at? Are you more the analyst kind of person? Or do you want to be creative and create stuff? Do you want to lead people? These competencies are the ones that you should focus on once you're trying out new things.

Mental health is a big topic nowadays. What are your expert tips to cope with the stress from work?

Absolutely. I am stressed too. But don't give a shit too much. Wake up in the morning and do your yoga. I know that sounds like Silicon Valley bullshit. 

Think about calming down and avoid drugs! I’ve just started a no alcohol year and it sounds crazy but it's amazing to see what you can achieve without drinking too much. Caffeine or distraction can also be some kind of drug. Smartphones too!

In fact, the only thing that helps you cope with stress is practising mindfulness. So yes, meditate, breathe, calm down. Focus on one thing. That's called a focus day. 

I'm preparing to make one day of focus for 10 hours. On that day there will be no calls, voice messages or internet!! And we’ll be designing and writing (without chat GPT, of course). You don't need all that to create. We can do that by being mindful and actually focusing on good stuff.

What quality do founders usually lack? And how can New Work Heroes help with that?

Modesty, more modesty. Just don't be an ego dragging kind of person. If you don't get yourself out of the way, your startup will die. That's basically the only advice that I have. 90% of startups die, and with that, dies the wish to pursue what you want to do. 

Pivot, change your service. Don't be afraid to remodel everything. Your team will hate you. But that's the startup life. If you build the right team that actually listens to the market that will help your business idea. Get your instincts out, but get yourself out of the way. 

Photo: Sarah Herrlander for One Coworking.

What do you like about betahaus?

What I love about betahaus should be the question, right? betahaus is a place where community comes together. 

One day you will be in the kitchen, talk to someone and realise that you have a lot in common and that you can connect with them. 

At a certain point you will connect to future clients, future investors and, even to your future colleagues, employees, co founders because all of these people are around betahaus. So that's amazing. 

It's crazy to me because I was there from the very beginning and watched all of these Legends like Coffee Circle, Mozilla Firefox and of course Urban Sports Club starting right there. And to see that this is part of your network too is great.  This won't happen if you choose the wrong spot. So you better choose betahaus as your core community.

Did you ever meet new people/made use of our community?

Yeah. Absolutely. I mean, I'm a natural at connecting and getting along with people. I met 2 co-founders there. I also worked with betahausX frequently on facilitation workshops, and I think that in the beginning of my entrepreneurship, 80% of my work opportunities came from betahaus. It was the most important place for me to be and connect.I’m working super remotely now but I still come back every now and then. 

If you want to make use of the community, be really interested and be present to share. That's the game. And it's a very valuable one.

Photo: Sarah Herrlander for One Coworking.

What can we expect from New Work Heroes in the near future?

There's going to be a new retreat coming up, where we combine organisational design, self leadership and embodiment. I'm teaming up with a colleague who's a great Kundalini Yoga expert and physiotherapist. We're focusing on the physical side of things too, which I think is very important. 

We’re also preparing a video series on YouTube coming up called the “New Work Scenes” where I'm depicting certain workplace situations, like toxic work environments. It’s all very funny, well written, and well produced. Nice podcast interviews are also coming up. So there's a lot of exciting stuff coming up!

Catch the full interview + cut scenes on our YouTube channel. Watch now!

Are you an entrepreneur looking for a space to bring your startup to the next level? Or maybe you are simply looking for a community? In both cases, take a look at our coworking memberships and private office spaces.