From creative to agent

by Trib

Trib and Philip found each other more than five years ago when he was expressing his desire to work more with people and change, but still connected to the creative industry. Today Philip works as a Talent Agent in the team Product & Design but he is also Brand Manager, responsible for Trib’s design and communication.

The main focus and reason of TRIB’s being is to help individuals evolve in their personal development and career. We meet talent all day and every day, digging deep into the person behind their resumé. Aiming to understand who they are and what motivates them, what they value and what kind of environment and culture helps them grow and flourish. All together to find the best opportunity and organization for them specially. Sometimes that includes changing their career path.

Everyone at TRIB have previously worked in the communication industry within digital marketing, project management, design, planning or creation. To have that experience is a major key factor to deeply understand the perspectives of the industry, the candidates and the clients.

One of TRIB’s most experienced Talent Agents within creative and design is Philip Åstmar. He has previously worked as a Digital Director and Creative at the advertising agency King and has several award winning campaigns and cases in his portfolio. Many of them including two beehived red-headed ladies called Judit & Judit, as seen in the video below.

Philip is a very analytical and considerate person who does not leave much to chance. That makes him a very reliable support during the process, for both candidate and client.

– Camilla Wänström, Managing Director at Trib

4 questions to Philip

What are the biggest differences between your previous roles and the role as Talent Agent?
Besides the fact that I receive as many e-mails in a week now as I did in a year as a Creative, I would say that the biggest difference is based on the power of moving forward. Let me explain. Maybe the hardest part of being a Talent Agent is that it’s actually never about you. I’m just a matchmaker and I never know how much work it takes to find the perfect fit.

Sometimes the timing is perfect and I start looking for people the same day as a spot on candidate waves at me, telling me they are looking for something new. Another time it feels impossible to make both the client and a candidate seal a deal. And, to get back to my point, you never know. In my previous roles, I could sit down for a few hours and know that I came closer to the delivery and made something a bit better. Today those hours might turn to nothing. And I have to start over, try harder, look deeper and so on. This is sometimes really hard, but also an extremely alive and agile process that never gets boring.

What is the most fun and also most challenging in your job as a Talent Agent?
I would say that these two questions have the same answer. To work with people as the tool. It’s not only being a consultant, in fact, the delivery is also a human being. You know, with feelings, thoughts and personalities. I love it! To meet all this wonderful and extremely different types of people from all over the world. And try to understand what they want and where they would fit. Culturally and professionally. And at the same time try to match that with the client’s needs and expectations. And the most challenging part with this, of course, is when those people are, well, let me put it this way: Hard to work with.

A big part of your job is about changing peoples paths. Describe when you took part in a big change in someones life.
Hmm. This one is hard. I’ve had the pleasure of being part of some big changes over the years. I’ve found and moved people from Singapore, USA, South Africa, Hong Kong etc. but I would say that one of the persons I was most mentally connected with was a UX Designer from LinkedIn in San Fransisco, that moved to Stockholm to take a job here.

To celebrate the first time we met in real life, here in Stockholm, I bought him a puzzle over the city to learn the areas. And when he finally got the pieces together about two years later, he decided to move back to the states. It felt like a chapter was closing in some cinematic storyline perspective (yep I’ve studied film science). I feel that I was a piece in his puzzle and that if we had not met, he might never have had Stockholm in his life. And I think he wouldn’t want to change that. Right, Ror?


Over the years you have met thousands and thousands of people and listened to their dreams and hopes. What is your biggest learning from this?

I’ve learned that I’m quite into gut feeling and potential. That the person, with what it all means, often is more important than background and experience. And this has also been confirmed many times as a successful way of recruiting.

Philip concludes with his greatest learning of all:

Not all places are for everyone and not all persons are for every place. But there is a place for every person, and a person for every place.

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