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FEBRUARY 2021: PEOPLE OF HICO – JASMIN ALIĆ, CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Publication date: 2 February 2021

Today, we’re interviewing one of our creative minds here at HICO – our very own Jasmin; or Jay, as most people know him. Without much introductory chitter-chatter, let’s jump right into it!

Your full name and surname?

Jasmin Alić, no middle name.

Place of birth.

Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Do you still live there?

No, I currently live in our capital, Sarajevo, which is about 70 kilometers away.

How long have you been working at HICO?

Pretty soon, it will be one year since I started.

Your favorite thing about HICO?

Mr. Andreas Rudolph! That man deserves a crown!

What is your favorite thing to do in your line of work?

Helping bring their ideas to life. Figuring out how to solve complex problems to spark growth. Getting creative when it comes to messaging and communicating brand values.

What is your least favorite thing to do in your line of work?

Working with limited information. Also, waiting on people to show up to meetings. Ugh!

What would you say is the biggest challenge in your job?

Finding time to sleep! 🙂 On a serious note though, I think it is definitely the constant effort that is required to keep up with the latest tools, best practices, and competitors. Essentially, staying at the top of your game year in and year out – this is the hardest!

Did you notice any shift in dynamic or major change in your work since the pandemic started?

Yes, definitely! I think for the most part, more businesses and business owners are realizing just how much it means to have an established online presence for their brand. It’s the “realization” that local businesses need to be “alive” online too! Online businesses, as well, have put their foot on the pedal to leverage millions of new customers that are more active online. I’m seeing an overall increased demand for marketing experts to provide their services now more than ever, be it copywriting, strategy, social media, or advertising. 

Any annoying trend you see in your industry right now?

Just the million different new project management tools that are popping up. We really don’t need that many. Monday.com works just fine!

What is a major change you expect in your industry in the next 5-10 years?

I think more automation and self-use tools. It’s all about making it easier for the customer to get more done with less, even if they’ve never done that “something” before.

Name someone in your industry whose content you really enjoy following.

Chris Do and The Futur team.

What is the most interesting thing you’ve read this week?

That we’re getting wireless charging from across the room for our smartphones. Congrats, Xiaomi!

Name someone who inspires you in life and in work.

My wife, my son, and my best friend.

What is the most interesting job you’ve ever had?

I can think of several, actually. Believe it or not, I have worked over 30 jobs in my life to get me through school, university, and life, in general – starting at age 12. I have worked at a rubber factory in Munich. I waited tables at a few restaurants. I worked at a gym as a personal trainer. I am also an award-winning English and German teacher. Plus, I used to be a rapper back in the day, with 6 albums and over 100 songs published. X-Factor too! Yup, I’ve had a busy life!

A photo from Jasmin’s old music days

Describe yourself in 3 words.

Passionate workaholic superdad.

What is one thing about you that people would be surprised to know?

That I get mad too! 🙂 People who know me rarely (or better yet, never) see me mad. It usually happens because of one thing and one thing only – wasting time. It really makes me go rampant if I have to use a lot of time during my day on meaningless things or starting tasks that I then don’t finish. For example, watching a bad movie for 2 hours only to get mad at myself for watching ‘til the end because it was so bad! As a movie fanatic, I actually do that quite a lot, unfortunately. Or waiting on people who said they’d be there at 1pm and they come at 1:15pm or later. Things like that, you know… I appreciate the time I have on my hands and I like to use it productively, every minute of every day. So, I’m not always smiles and giggles, people!

If you could choose only one thing about you that everyone should know, what would it be?

That I hate gifts that don’t involve food! Like, come on… I appreciate all the perfumes I get but most are too strong for my taste. But a giant bag of chili chips… that is never too strong!

Would you say you’re more of an introvert or an extrovert?

Hmmm… I think I’m somewhat torn between the two.

What is the biggest change you noticed in your day-to-day since the pandemic (and the lockdown) started?

Not much, to be honest. If anything, I’m being more careful about physical contact with the people I meet and greet outdoors, or making sure I disinfect everything that we bring into our home first before placing it on a shelf – things like that. Just being more careful, I guess…

If you could use only one word to describe 2020, what word would it be?

Growth!

Work or sleep – which do you do more nowadays?

What is sleep?

Did you pick up any new hobbies since the pandemic started?

I actually became a father for the first time just as the pandemic was starting up. So, parenthood is my newest hobby – and it’s the best thing ever!

Where would you go right now if you were invisible?

Easy! Inside the kitchen of the Voulez-Vous restaurant in Belgrade. Yummy!

What is your favorite winter activity?

Throwing a pancake party to stay warm!

What is your favorite summer activity?

Road trips! Usually visiting and exploring new places around the country.

Name one thing you really could NOT live without.

My faith.

Name one thing you really could live without.

Vegetables. Everything that is green can go.

Favorite movie.

8 Mile. Eminem, duhhh!

Favorite TV show.

Suits.

Favorite book.

“Managing Oneself” by Peter F. Drucker.

Most exciting piece of technology.

Electric cars.

What are you looking forward to the most in 2021?

Hopefully, more freedom to travel. Business growth, too!

Share your best piece of advice.

Invest in new skills daily. As the last 12 months have proven, jobs come and go. Skills stay and you can always rely on them to find a new job or career calling. Or to just do more in life. So yeah… start learning new skills today!

Name 3 things you’re going to do right after this call.

Eat two burgers with fries. It’s my birthday meal! 🙂

Jump on a Zoom call.

Play with my son as soon as the Zoom call is over.


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