Joey NK Koksal

Global Talent Acquisition Leader at EVBox

1. Do you remember a time when you were happiest as a child? Where were you, who were you with and what were you doing?

Because of my parents’ demanding work schedules, I spent my childhood living with relatives in various cities, if not countries. It was difficult to be away from my parents and to travel frequently. In the summer of 1986, after what seemed like an eternity, I was finally reunited with my parents. That summer was the best moment in my life, reminding me of the importance of family. For many years to come, the memories of that summer would provide me with peace and hope. That was the happiest time of my childhood.

2. When did you first stand up to your parents...what was the issue and...were you right?

My parents discouraged me from pursuing my dream of being a guitarist, despite the fact that I had a strong affection for the instrument. Even a couple guitar courses turned me down because they thought I wasn’t good enough. Yet I didn’t want to give up. I persisted in practising day and night in spite of my parents’ disapproval. I consulted seasoned musicians for advice, studied the playing styles of legendary guitarists, and never lost hope in my abilities. Even when things moved slowly and I had trouble playing, I stayed dedicated to my dream.

My efforts have finally paid off. I was given the opportunity to perform live in front of an audience, and I was given a standing ovation. My parents were surprised by my makeover and at last admitted they had been mistaken the entire time. Despite their lack of confidence in me, my passion and determination had helped me to realise my ambition. Since then, I’ve kept up my guitar playing and even began instructing others.

3. What are the three books that you would unhesitatingly recommend to others? Why?

The Gifted Adult: A Revolutionary Guide for Liberating Everyday Genius is a book by Mary-Elaine Jacobsen, who offers advice and techniques to help brilliant adults overcome challenges and succeed in both their personal and professional lives. The difficulties that brilliant individuals frequently have are then covered by Jacobsen, including feeling out of sync with others, dealing with boredom or underachievement, and battling impostor syndrome and self-doubt. She stresses that these challenges are not a sign of weakness, but rather are a result of being gifted in a culture that frequently does not value or comprehend it. Although it is a hard book, I strongly suggest it.

Eckhart Tolle’s New Earth. In his argument that people must move beyond their ego-based mental state and adopt a new way of being in the world, Tolle discusses the concepts of personal transformation and awareness awakening in this book. Tolle stresses the value of being fully present in the moment, letting go of worries about the past and the future, and developing a greater understanding of one’s own thoughts and feelings. He also examines the nature of the ego, how it contributes to human misery, and offers advice on how people can get rid of ego-driven behaviour patterns.

Recruiting in the Age of Googlization by Ira S. Wolfe. She discusses the ways in which technology has impacted the recruitment process. This includes the use of AI to scan resumes and online assessment tools to evaluate candidates. However, data privacy and unbiased decision-making remain important concerns. Wolfe emphasizes the need for employers to adapt to these changes and use technology in an ethical and effective manner.

4. Name a well-known person you admire and explain why you hold them high esteem?

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was an inspirational leader who founded the modern Turkish Republic and served as its first president. He was known for his visionary leadership and transformative reforms that helped Turkey become a modern, secular, and democratic nation.

Atatürk was a firm believer in the principles of science, reason, and education, and he worked tirelessly to promote social and economic progress in Turkey. He implemented a wide range of reforms that included the adoption of a new legal system, the establishment of a free and compulsory education system, and the introduction of women’s rights.

Atatürk’s leadership and vision were truly revolutionary, and his impact on Turkey’s development cannot be overstated. He remains an inspiration to many around the world as a symbol of courage, determination, and visionary leadership.

5. If you wrote a user manual for how people should interact with you,what would be the most important point in the manual?

The most important instruction in the user manual for how others should deal with me is to simply communicate in a decent and ego-free manner.

Despite the fact that this is a brief response, I believe it will be understood.

6. What is your untrainable superpower?

I possess a unique ability known as dyslexia, which could be likened to a superpower.

I always believed that having dyslexia was a curse, an annoying barrier that made it challenging for me to read, write and the rest. Yet, as I got older, I began to understand that my dyslexia were really a superpower. I started to perceive things differently and made connections and observations that others had missed.

I found that when I accepted my dyslexia, my capacity for creativity and visualisation was out of this world. I was good at visualizing detailed ideas in my head and had a sense for seeing answers to issues that others might not have. My ability to use dyslexia as a tool rather than a barrier led to new opportunities in my life.

Knowing that my dyslexia provide me a distinct perspective and the capacity to think creatively, I now approach obstacles with excitement. It’s not always simple, but I’ve come to accept that I have dyslexic traits and difficulties because they are a part of who I am. And there is no other method that I would prefer.

7. What is that thing which is OK to ask you about, but which other people are wary to do so?

Yeah, bless their hearts, I don’t think there’s anything that people are too reluctant to ask me about. No matter how sensitive or difficult a subject may seem to be, I’m always pleased to chat and provide an answer. Nonetheless, I’m always open and happy to have a chat about those topics if it helps someone. I imagine some people might be hesitant about speaking about topics like mental health or family concerns. You can thus ask me anything except where I come from (laughing)

8. What do you think is acceptable today but will become taboo tomorrow?

The tech industry is recognizing the importance of inclusive language and moving towards more neutral and descriptive terminology to avoid perpetuating harmful and exclusionary language. By doing so, companies can create a more welcoming and inclusive environment for all employees and help promote diversity and equity in the industry.

Such as using the term “master/slave” to describe the relationship between two devices or components is becoming less acceptable as it is recognized as perpetuating harmful and racially charged language. Many companies are now opting for more neutral and inclusive terms, such as “primary/secondary,” “leader/follower,” or “controller/device.”

9. What app or tech product have you most recently fallen in love with?

Technologies like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have the potential to change how we interact with the world and perceive digital material. While AR enables users to superimpose digital data onto the actual world, VR immerses them in fully formed virtual experiences. We can anticipate new and creative applications in industries like gaming, education, healthcare, and more as these technologies continue to become more broadly available and accessible. The potential is really fascinating!

10. What’s your favourite meal? Can you say why?

More than just a tradition

Hark! A Sunday Roast, a feast for our senses, Crafted with utmost care and loving attention. Slow-roasted meat, tender and succulent, Accompanied by veggies, each with a unique dimension.

Roasted in butter or oil, to perfection, A symphony of flavors, a delightful collection. As aromas waft, a comforting sensation, Home cooking’s simple joys, a heartwarming revelation.

Aye, served with a generous helping of gravy, the final touch, A meal that’s satisfying and delicious, it’s a joy to clutch. A celebration of food, family, and tradition, It brings people together, creating memories with conviction.

O, this Sunday Roast, a timeless affair, A memory that lasts, a feeling so rare. With every bite, we feel the conviction, That this meal is more than just a tradition!

11. Aside from family & friends, if you could invite any 3 people - living or dead - to your final dinner party before the end of the world, who would they be and why?

Ataturk an excellent orator and communicator, known for his ability to inspire and rally the people behind his vision for a modern, secular, and democratic state. He was a gifted writer and philosopher, and his speeches, writings, and quotes continue to inspire and guide Turkish society and politics to this day.

Stephen R. Covey for his teachings on principles-based leadership and personal development. He believed in aligning our actions with timeless principles such as honesty, integrity, and respect. His approach is grounded in human nature and psychology and has helped millions of people to improve their lives and achieve their goals.

Johann Sebastian Bach’ s music is characterized by its complexity, technical precision, and emotional depth. He was a master of counterpoint, the art of combining multiple melodies to create a rich and harmonious musical texture. His works often feature intricate musical structures and elaborate ornamentation, showcasing his virtuosity as a composer and performer.

12. If you were to own a bar, and you could design it how you wanted, what would it look like?

A gastro pub

A gastro pub is a style of bar or restaurant that offers high-quality food, frequently with a focus on traditional pub fare improved with advanced techniques and ingredients. The word “gastronomy,” which describes the art and science of delicious eating and drinking, is where the term “gastro” originates.
Gastropubs often offer a variety of craft beers, wines, and cocktails to go with their meals and have a relaxed, welcoming ambiance. Handcrafted cheeses, gourmet boards, hearty dinners like steak or fish & chips, and creative takes on traditional pub fare are frequently found on the menu. A lot of gastropubs place a strong emphasis on using fresh, regional, and seasonal ingredients in their food.

Overall, gastro pubs strive to provide a more refined and elevated dining experience than traditional pubs while maintaining a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere.

13. What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever received? Who gave it and when?

“Your value does not decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.”
I adore this quote.

14. Can you give an example of a time when you had to learn the lesson the hard way?

During my second year of university, I took a marketing course that was required for my major. I didn’t attend all the lectures or study as much as I should have. When the mid-semester exam came around, I was unprepared and did poorly. As a result, I had to drop the course halfway through the semester, which cost me over 6 months and $15,000 in tuition and fees.

This experience taught me the hard way that I needed to take my studies more seriously and prioritize my time better. From then on, I made a conscious effort to attend all lectures and stay on top of the readings. I also sought help from my professors when I needed it. By doing so, I was able to perform much better in my other courses and avoid making the same mistake again.

15. What’s the one bad quality you wouldn’t mind in a colleague? Why?

The negative quality that I would tolerate in a colleague is hypercriticism. Although perpetual criticism can be exhausting and demotivating, a colleague who possesses a discerning and critical disposition can provide valuable perspectives and insights.

A colleague who is hypercritical can help identify flaws in our work, encourage us to improve, and drive us to achieve excellence. Their scrutiny can help us examine things from new angles, and their constructive feedback can aid our professional and personal growth.

Of course, it is crucial that any criticisms are delivered in a respectful and considerate manner, and that the colleague recognizes and praises our accomplishments and abilities. However, overall, I believe that having a hypercritical colleague can be a valuable asset to a team, as long as they are also capable of providing support and motivation when necessary.

16. What hiring heuristic do you generally go with?

In my experience, having a positive attitude and a strong work ethic can be more advantageous than relying solely on technical skills. Although skills are necessary, they may lose relevance if not practised and improved on a regular basis. Individuals with high motivation and dedication, on the other hand, tend to excel in any project or pursue, regardless of their technical proficiency. As a result, prioritising enthusiasm and drive can be beneficial in driving organisational success.

17. What’s one industry challenge you don’t actually think will ever get solved?

Bias in the hiring process, in my opinion, is a recruitment challenge that may never be fully resolved. While initiatives to increase transparency and diversity can help, unconscious biases can still influence candidate evaluations. It is critical to remain vigilant and to strive for a fair and inclusive hiring process on a continuous basis.

Am I wrong?

18. Do you have a secret tip, tool or trick that’s contributed to your success?

By adding value to everything I do and approaching each task with sincerity and humility, I can rise above ego-driven behaviours and focus on achieving my goals with clarity and purpose.

19. If you could add a question for the next person to answer, what would it be?

What would you ask a single atom if you could communicate with it, and what do you think it would say in response?

20. Who would you recommend to do the next 20 Questions With … ?

Kobi Ampoma, because he has many stories to tell.

Thank you to Joey NK Koksal for taking 20 Questions for The Brainfood Tribune. Make sure to follow Joey on LinkedIn.

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