1) How did your Coordea story start? Everything started 3.5 years ago, when I applied for the position Marketing assistant at Coordea. Even though Marketing is an interesting field, I knew that it is not something I would like to do my whole life. I had 2 telephone interviews and the third one, which was face-to-face, was the one that changed my life. One of the co-founders said “Aneta, you are talented for Sales, I want you to work in that field – you will be amazing” and a half year later my journey at Coordea began as a Junior Sales Representative.
2) Give me a weird fact about yourself | I do not watch movies, but I am addicted to reading books and also listening audiobooks.
| I cannot go anywhere without my headphones.
3) What inspired you to apply to Coordea? Coordea gives you the opportunity to work for an international company from Macedonia which has been one of my career goals. This was the main reason I decided to apply. Working for a Swedish client I can easily say that my dream came true. Moreover, our customers are some of the biggest companies in the world and I could not ask for more than that.
4) Has there been anything that surprised you about working at Coordea? Prior to my engagement with Coordea, I was not aware of the culture’s openness to its true extent. One of my favourite things at the company is that employees are actually involved in making strategic decisions. All employees are encouraged and have the opportunity to ask questions about the company directly. The Upper Management has full trust in people who are motivated to constantly improve their work.
Also, despite the fact that the company grows and new people join the team, we still maintain a friendly, almost family-like atmosphere. People are pretty outgoing and teams keep organizing fun outdoor events.
5) What is the hardest part of being a young leader in a company? Many believe years of experience, firmly developed connections and expert knowledge make a leader great, but I would say that leadership is not about age. I feel like I’ve been a natural leader in one way or another. However, learning to manage people can be a process of trial and error because understanding, aligning, and keeping a group of young people focused and passionate is simply challenging.
You have to balance between being a psychologist, a parent, an inspirer, an encourager, and a teacher at different moments and situations. Most importantly, you have to be a fair judge and a hard worker, no excuses :). Sometimes you have to be willing to sacrifice, able to bite your tongue and bend your pride. Having courage, empathy, vision, character, patience and forgiveness are crucial. And above all, you have to have love – for all!
Sometimes, young leaders lack experience and we may make mistakes, but in Coordea I learned that I need to keep going! I need to learn from them and to stay humble.
If you are committed to being a great leader, then you are committed to the leadership’s hardest yet most rewarding challenge – PEOPLE!
6) Can you tell us about a bit about your team? We are a team of 10 Sales warriors and I am incredibly proud of what we are trying to accomplish. We are responsible for researching, contacting and negotiating with senior level decision makers from some of the biggest companies in the world and bringing closure to business.
Each of us is passionate about our jobs, and we take that passion and turn it into amazing actions.
We understand what each of us brings to the table, and we can anticipate the end result. Each member of our team contributes, and each contributor has its own individual strengths. More specifically, we connect! We communicate, brainstorm and collaborate on just about everything.
What is typical for us is that we laugh and have fun a lot. We laugh at ourselves, at each other; we share laughter as a team. This allows the trust to continue to build and grow stronger. When you laugh together, you communicate better. You help lift each other up if we hit a bump, which in turn continues to build the cohesion in the team dynamics. We’ve learned not to take everything so seriously and find humour even in difficult situations, but when it is time to be serious, we focus on the situation at hand.
I realize that not every team is a family, nor they can be, but I’m fortunate that the team I work with is just that. We spend 60% of our lives at work with the people we work with. It’s important that we maintain the right balance in order for us to continue to work together and produce the type of work that we do. That balance is what makes us a team and a highly effective one, once we reach that balance.
What is your biggest accomplishment at Coordea that you’re most proud of…
Of all that I've accomplished at Coordea I think I am most proud of how much I have learned so far. In just 3 years, I have grown very quickly, starting from Junior Sales Representative to Senior, then Team Leader and now Sales Manager. Although I am proud of my work performance, years from now I think I'll be proudest of how I've grown as a person while working at Coordea.
8) Do you have any words of advice for aspiring Coordea future talent? As I mentioned, we spend 60% of our lives at work, so my advice is to find a job that makes you happy. Once you have that, do not be afraid to take a risk. Put yourself in a position to learn – whether you succeed or fail. Also, show to your management that you’re willing to put your reputation on the line to make things happen. As we grow into more entrepreneurial society, those that take risks, both inside and outside of the corporate walls, will become more successful.
So, If you are willing to work in Coordea and if you want to make a good effort, you can learn and grow a lot. The co-workers are inspiring and helpful. They want to teach you. They take the time for you. If you want the answers, they will show you and tell you the path which leads to them.