Hubonauts. The people who welcome you to the space every morning, refill the coffee and make sure your meeting guests don’t get lost between the first floor and the attic, among many other tasks.

The decision to volunteer as a Hubonaut is rooted in something much greater than a simple desire to join a coworking community. The statistics are clear: Hubonauts are at a major life transition. More than 60% of current Zurich Hubonauts are career shifters, while 16% are studying and will soon be looking for a job. Nearly 95% are foreign and learning German for the first time. Add that they are the face of one of the most untraditional work spaces in Zurich…. And that’s a lot to take on.


The Odyssey of Growth

As someone who sat at the Hubonaut desk myself, I knew there was an incredibly opportunity to create a program that supports our volunteers in their professional and private lives, tapping into the very core of what the Impact Hub is all about. We are a community of risk takers who contribute to creating a better future with more than just blind faith, but through strategy, insatiable curiosity and grit.


Together with former Hubonaut and communications specialist Jana Neumann and member, global career advisor and communications & gender diversity consultant Valentina S. Velandia, we developed the Hubonaut’s Odyssey, a development program that supports Hubonauts through this period of personal and professional evolution. My background is in curriculum writing, development training for non-profits and education management and together with this team, we hit each of the primary pain points for Hubonauts. Jana’s speciality isn’t just HR communication, but the impact of multilingual working environments on employees. Valentina isn’t just a global career advisor, but is an avid feminist focused on working with refugee and women entrepreneurs. My speciality is with adult learners and the role of emotional labor in career satisfaction. Sounds familiar?


Individualized and Goal-orientied

The program is divided into four-explorations coupled with a monthly workshop. Together, they provide a framework for our volunteers to take ownership of their personal development and seize all the opportunities within the Hub-Cosmos. Whether they are committing to taking six-months to focus on German or looking for an angel investor, the program aim is to whittle down the concrete steps required to tackle these sometimes-overwhelming milestones.


There is no question that while similar, there are also striking differences between the Hubonauts and their goals for their time in this role. Our aim however, is to create a greater sense of community and highlight the multiplicity of techniques and tools available to foster a sustainable path towards attaining a personal or professional goal. Scrum and evening journaling may have very different associations, but at the end of the day, both are tools to break down the day into small, tangible benchmarks, reassessing the path forward.


We look forward to finishing the first Odyssey in January and further develop our program to make Hubonauting a true and meaningful milestone in one’s life and career.