Side by side series | Juste Packauskaite and Justas Kidykas

Coming back to the interview series “Side by side” where we asked one Consultant and one Partner to give us a glimpse into their day-to-day activities and show us a parallel of being in both positions. This time, we asked our colleagues from the Lithuanian branch. Justė Pačkauskaitė is a Managing Partner whereas Justas Kidykas is a Senior Analyst.


1. What is your perfect morning routine to start the day?

Juste: My mornings are of two kinds: if working from home, mornings are about chatting with my daughter as we walk to the kindergarten. This is time for discussing princess outfits, dreams of last night, and picking apart petty “crimes” of fellow kindergarten goers. Then proceed to drink coffee at home, and start with emails. If I go to the office, I start with my bike ride to the train station and then emails on the way to work. Because I aim to have the evening for my family, I tend to start early. 

Justas: First of all, I have to admit I’m not a morning person. I like to take my time in the morning and not rush and listen to some news in the background (mixing between France 24 and the Lithuanian morning show “Labas Rytas”). Obviously, a key part of my morning is a freshly-grounded cup of espresso. 


2. What is the music track that you love to play when coming to work?

Juste: Usually I am listening to podcasts (BBC History podcast is the long-standing favourite, sometimes HBR Ideacast and similar). Since March or so I also tend to listen to the news on what happened on the Ukrainian front during the previous day. Our lives over the last three years are a bit too fascinating, but it helps to put this into the perspective of, say, 100 years of war. 

Justas: Ugh…this is an extremely difficult question to answer. Though to be aware, usually I’m not yet fully awake when leaving home (even espresso doesn’t help), so it’s always something more to the heavier side (alternative rock and spicier electronics) playing in my earphones. So I guess this is a perfect chance to pitch my favorite band 🙂 The song that has been buzzing non-stop, a song about checking into a place where we can escape the hostility of a tribalized world and recalibrate our view of human nature. Enter Shikari – { The Dreamer's Hotel }. 


3. How do you usually relax during the work breaks?

Juste: Walk around, and chat with people in the office. Make myself some coffee if WFH, and then walk into my mini urban garden to look at the flowers. If nothing works that day, I look at that patch of land that was a barren slope out of rock-solid clay 5 years ago and remember that for things to grow, patience is needed. 

Justas: Snacking and memes 🙂


4. Do you cook and if so, what is your favourite dish to make?

Juste: I am pretty good at whipping up something from whatever lives in the fridge — a master in tasty no-name food. However, it is a joy to make pancakes for my daughter on the weekends. She is very specific that they need to be thin and crusty around the edges. So I go and accomplish that. 

Justas: I have this weird thing, where I actually like to cook…but I hate doing it more than once. I think my favourite dish to make is curry. As long as you have the right ingredients, it is super easy, and it has a plethora of variations, so it’s hard to get bored of it.


5. How do you keep your motivation up during the day?

Juste: I am somewhat a perfectionist. Every day, I want us to be the best we can be in the assignments we work on. I want our company to win and excel across the region, and every day contributes to this objective. 

Justas: I always joke that since my dad is a soldier…discipline was never an issue. As he says: work first, fun after. Keeping this motto in mind always boosts motivation.


6. Do you have some hobbies and if so, which ones?

Juste: I have many I can do and then I practice one or two at every given time. For many years before my daughter was born, I was a mountain hiker, every summer going on 15-day trips into wild mountains. This took me to the Caucasus, Pamir, and Tian-Shan with a gang of undernourished and unwashed people scaling mountain passes and building temporary communities. Our little family also practices rock climbing, in a relaxed way (less focus on improving the grade, more about a way to spend time near cliffs). We tend to take a rope and climbing gear to nearly all of our vacations. At home, I used to paint, and can still do something if pressed for some jubilee present. I add a picture of a little painting I am actually most proud of — it was something I created for my family (in between my CIVITTA travels to London for work). It is based on my great grandmother and is painted on a piece of oak cut out of our family grave marker, based on traditional wooden cross design, a reference to even further back in time. I like to think of the link it creates across generations.  There was a period of avid gardening 5 years ago (now maintenance mode after defeating most of that clay I talked about). These days I mostly just sit and listen to the fascinating stories my daughter tells me, and we laugh together.

Justas: I’m afraid I’ll be the boring one here. I love spending hours exploring deep parts of the internet to find rare and quirky music (keep in mind that I don’t know how to play a single musical instrument). I won’t even talk about traveling…because is it really a hobby if everyone is doing it?

7. What is your favourite weekend activity?

Juste: The weekend is best if it does not have a strict schedule. Waking up when we feel like it, non-urgent breakfast, going on long walks, visiting friends and family. It is best to feel it as a slow river of time, with the important people around me, sharing those moments. 

Justas: When I was younger and more beautiful, doing 10 thousand steps on a night out in a club was always my preferred activity. Now — it’s simply having a good cup of coffee and reading a nerdy politics book. 


8. What did you learn during your time in CIVITTA?

Juste: I believe that we live our lives in our environments, and evolve as people, every day. CIVITTA happens to be an important part of such an environment for me, for the last 11 years. Here my growth happened from a young ambitious person to where I am now — hopefully, a wiser one :). So instead of a series of distinct skills I see the difference between these two states of mind, 11 years apart. Practically speaking, it also meant all kinds of knowledge - starting from how projects work, clients, professional relationships, business development, then — growing international practice. I would also add the incredible ability of people, and the beauty of helping someone else grow as well. 

Justas: How to become an industry/thematic expert in two days 🙂 It’s hard to narrow down my experience to specific skills I acquired so far, but I think the main improvement so far has been adaptability i.e. applying transferable skills and knowledge across different projects, which at first-hand might look scary and completely incomprehensible. On top of that, having worked with both public and private organizations, I’ve learned a lot about stakeholder management and how to tailor your message for each specific audience. 


9. What do you like most about your team?

Juste: I was always most fascinated by the ‘can-do’ ethos in CIVITTA: we are defined by possibility (our “Adventure” value resonates with me a lot). I am most happy to see this attitude in my colleagues, who are not afraid to take challenges outside of their immediate comfort zone. 

Justas: I might be annoying sometimes, but I always love to debate with others…for the sake of debating (bad habits). I am happy I can do that with my team and I am glad I’m surrounded by people who are intellectually curious. 


10. How would you describe CIVITTA in a few words?

Juste: I work with clients on their values exercises, and I always emphasize the importance of authenticity of the words these clients choose to describe their culture. I like to use our values as an illustration, because I can explain in simple examples, how they are used every day. So — still stand by Adventure, Growth, Impact, and Integrity. Of those, the dynamic ones (Adventure and Growth) have been keeping me engaged in the ‘CIVITTA project’ for many years, my personal growth being part of this journey.  

Justas: A never-ending learning experience — every day brings something new.