By STEVEN DOWNES, Editor, Inside Croydon
Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine had just entered its third week when an email dropped into our inbox here at Inside Croydon Towers.
In among the unsolicited offers of website design and optimisation, the unnecessary press releases about news events in Auchtermuchty and the countless pieces of spam aimed our way every day, this one somehow caught our attention.
“We believe it’s important to continue our work and pursue our mission despite the circumstances, thus our employees have united in order to continue working,” it said.
The email was from Yulianna Menzul, and she and her colleagues were continuing to work for their company, Jooble, while a war was going on around them in Kyiv.
Yuliana wanted to know if they, Jooble, could help us, maybe by carrying a job ad with them.
Yes: people living in a war zone offering us help…
Nothing much really: would they like to place a banner on our pages to promote the job vacancies that they are carrying on their Croydon page? Maybe attract some job ads from one or two slightly larger potential employers?
And so it is that, from today, Inside Croydon is carrying clickable Jooble banners on our Events page. If you’re looking for work, click through to view hundreds of Croydon vacancies. If you’re an employer looking to recruit, give the Jooble site a look and consider advertising with them, as they seek to keep their business going under the most extreme circumstances imaginable.
Jooble is an IT business that was established 15 years ago now operates in more than 70 countries and territories, with one of the biggest job search engines worldwide and nearly 1million monthly visitors from Britain alone, “helping job seekers to find their dream jobs,” as Yuliana put it.
Extraordinarily, Yuliana and her colleagues are carrying on with their work, even today, with their home city under bombardment and lengthy curfews imposed.
“People have already experienced the first shock and despair,” one of Yuliana’s colleagues told Inside Croydon. Displaying the sort of attitude that Brits used to call “the Blitz spirit”, they said, “Ukrainian society is now more stable and ready to comprehend the new reality. People got back to work.”
Jooble is even now helping Ukrainian refugees find jobs abroad.
Most of Jooble’s employees have left Kyiv and are working remotely, hunkered down in safe houses and cellars around Ukraine. The company organised shelters for workers in several towns, the company having switched to mostly remote working when the pandemic began.
“This time, everything is quite different,” one Jooble employee said.
“The situation very much depends on the district you live in,” she told Inside Croydon.
“The closer to the downtown, the safer. Some outskirts of the capital get shelled.
“During the very first days of the war, we spent most of the time in the bomb shelters. Over the past week, our family stayed there only at night. However, it is extremely uncomfortable because the closest bomb shelter is quite far away from our block of flats. So, you still need time to get there.”
Abarbarchuk says that she and her family have been using “the rule of the two walls”.
“We decided to stay at home and use the rule of two walls. The place behind the second load-bearing wall from the facade is considered to be the safest in the house. Usually, it’s a vestibule, a corridor, or a bathroom.”
The ordinary, everyday tasks that most take for granted are changing the approach to daily lives.
“Food and water supplies are sufficient,” Abarbarchuk says.
“There is enough food in the stores and supermarkets. However, you won’t find big bottles of water anywhere. The situation with gas, electricity and the internet is also good.
“The most uncomfortable thing for me – apart from air raid sirens – is the curfew. We are not allowed to switch on the lights in the evening. I am a night owl, I prefer working at night, so it ruins my routine a bit,’’ she says.
Another Jooble worker, Roman Kamchatnyi, told Inside Croydon that he and his family are among the few still left in the city. “Yesterday, I was walking around my district, and it looked very deserted. The absence of people made me feel really sad. Kyiv has always been an extremely energetic city.”
He is able to continue working from his cellar. “We have turned our cellar into a bomb shelter by ourselves. It’s quite comfortable. However, I break the rules sometimes and don’t proceed to it when the air raid sirens go off.
“There can be up to 10 air alerts per day. I can’t run to the shelter every time.
“We have enough food and water. If you are fast enough, you can even buy some dairy products and fruit. I am working remotely, so there is no need to attend the office. Yet, I would like to because it’s a nice and cosy place, where your productivity rises.
“I hope that will be possible again very soon.”
- If you’re looking for work, check out Jooble’s Croydon page by clicking here, or use the links on Inside Croydon’s Events page
- If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, or want to publicise your residents’ association or business, or if you have a local event to promote, please email us with full details at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Inside Croydon is a member of the Independent Community News Network
- Inside Croydon works together with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, as well as BBC London News and ITV London
- Inside Croydon: 3.3million page views in 2021. Seen by 1.6million unique visitors in that 12-month period