Since you've arrived to my site, you're probably looking for more information on why you should (or should not) hire me and wondering if I'd be a good fit for your organization. Since work is a big part of life, I, too, would like to know if I’m a good fit for your organization or in other words, would the organization be a good fit for me.
Accepting a job is a huge commitment, at least for someone like me who can’t turn her brain off at 5 p.m. and takes her job quite personally. Sure there’s usually a 4-month test period, but from the employee’s point of view terminating the contract then is a bit of a disaster. How much do we really know about the important aspects of the company before our first day in the office?
You’ve gone through company’s webpage (and in B2C’s case customer reviews), you know the job description and based on the previous experience you can pretty much figure out what your daily routines would include. You know your compensation and you’ve maybe had a glance at the office during the interview. You might even have seen some employees around the office and made some assumptions based on their age and what they’re wearing. At least these are the things I pay attention to when trying desperately find clues of how it really is to work there.
I always try to be honest and "real me" in an interview, because I really think that’s the time to find out if hiring me would be a win-win deal. It is the only opportunity to find out what you’re giving and getting, to make an important decision, so why pretend to be something you’re not? The truth will come out sooner or later anyway.
At times I find it difficult to get plain and honest info about the organizational culture in the interviews. Most companies would not even mention it unless I asked. Some give a prepared speech about ”best place to work” awards, biannual employee satisfaction surveys or superb healthcare cover. Some are surprised about the question and hastily explain something about good coffee and a few actually seem a bit irritated or insulted that I even dare to ask them a question related to something else than the job itself. This last one is a clear sign of ”nope” to me. Everything doesn’t need to be perfect and I’m not looking for details. I don’t expect them to spill the beans on what happened in last year’s Christmas party. But don’t tell me you encourage working from home, if it almost never happens and is frowned upon.
In addition to what the hiring managers answer, I also look at how they answer. If they look at each other with those ”uh-oh” -eyes – obviously not a good sign. If it’s something that doesn’t seem genuine, it just makes me feel like my question wasn’t answered. What are they trying to cover up? I prefer an open, honest answer, even if it’s not well thought out or super informative. I’d like them to be happy I asked. It shows me already that there’s probably a culture where you can talk about issues and bring up points for development. Nobody and no business is perfect and I’m pretty flexible and adaptable. (And let’s face it - whatever it is, I’ve probably seen or heard worse in Spain.) I just hate being fooled into something that’s not what it’s trying to look like.
So let’s just be honest. Or at least as honest as it’s possible to be in a job interview situation. It’s just like being on a date. You don’t want to bring up all your dirt on the first date, but you want to figure out if there’s enough there to continue and not waste each other’s time and money. The way I see it, I don’t feel bad being rejected after an interview that otherwise went well (=I wasn’t misunderstood). I don’t want to work for a company that doesn’t want me. Just like I don’t want to be with a person who doesn’t want to be with me. The sooner we figure it out the better. Imagine the hassle when a discouraged employee decides to walk out after 3 months having his/her expectations crushed. You think a lot of people wouldn’t do it? Imagine if they stayed for a decade….
If you’ve already read the ”about me” page, you know a little bit about my experience and expertise. In this post, I want to go a little deeper to my work ethic and ways of communicating.
As you know, my professional passion is content marketing with a strong desire to genuinely help the customer. To do that, I want to know my audience. I want to know not only who they are and where they work but what kind of problems they have, what kind of solution are they looking for, how they are looking for it, how they would like to get information about it and what other topics they’re interested in. At least.
So, client is my numero uno, but I also appreciate quality, efficiency and transparency. It basically means doing minimum what you promised, doing it well and doing it on time and on budget. Some Finns tend to take this for granted, but in a global scale that can be a huge advantage, because that’s not the case in many other countries’ corporate culture. Not even everywhere in Finland.
Here’s what you didn’t know about me.
If you send me an email, you’ll get an answer. If it’s merely a question or comment you’ll get it virtually immediately, unless I’m tied up somewhere. If it requires some work, it gets prioritized accordingly. If you call me, I’ll answer. If I don’t, I’ll call you back. Basic stuff, you think. But that’s not always the case with people, more so abroad.
I looooove meetings. Yes. Internal, at the client’s office, in an event… I think communication is the only way I can make marketing that works. Internally I need to know what managers want to focus on, I want to know their challenges, the feedback they get from clients, where they see the business is going, and so on. I’ve realized that something that you hear in a meeting might not seem important or make sense at that moment, but later you hear something else about it and connect the dots. That's also how I get new ideas. It’s like showering in information. Some of it sticks now, some maybe later, some maybe never, but it’s a great source for marketing ideas. I prefer too much information any day to being left out.
I also like talking to clients, potential clients, competitors, marketers in other companies. I’m not a natural-born socializer, but I have learned it. Opposite to what you might think, it’s not only to find answers to questions listed above in the second paragraph. It does help with the big picture, but I have to admit nothing annoys me more that fake sales-pitch-masked-as-being-interested-in-you sort of chats. I actually prefer talking about whatever: can be news, can be food, can be camels… If the conversation turns to business so be it, but what I really want to do is build relationships.
I hate cold calling. Don’t even consider hiring me for a role that involves cold calling. It's almost like a phobia. Calling to a contact, because I actually have something specific to say or ask – no problem! Answering a message, explaining something over the phone rather than writing a kilometer-long email – no problem! Following up on a project/quotation/lead – no problem what so ever. I just don’t do cold calling, and trust me, you don’t want me to. :D
5 years in marketing, 8 years in B2B business. Old enough to know something about something, young enough to be curious, ambitious, learn more and develop new skills.
Marketing and international business have always been a natural direction for me. Yes, I studied international business, but it all started as customer service: understanding that people don’t buy because you tell them to. They buy when they understand that the product or service solves their problem and buying it is the smart thing to do. They want it. They were given all the facts as well as suggestions they maybe didn’t think of themselves. They made a decision because it brings value to them.
In B2B I continued to put emphasis on customer service – strangely enough, understanding customers turned me into a Business Developer. Much of developing a business is marketing. Turned out I had ideas that could benefit the entire company – so I became a Marketing Developer. Honest marketing with sincere will to help your customers has been a foundation for my marketing ideology. What kind of problems our clients have? How can we solve those problems? What would be the best way of giving them information about our product or service? How would they like to receive it? If I was in their shoes, what would I be looking for?
Don’t promise what you can’t give. Always try to exceed your customers’ expectations. Matching them only keeps them satisfied, positive surprise makes them happy. Happy customers act as your promoters.. see where this is going?
“Under-promise – over-deliver”?
OK, I understand that when writing a sales copy, under-promise is not a great strategy. But that’s why I dont work in sales. I prefer to give the prospects information, make them aware of what’s out there. When the time is right to make a decision to purchase, we are already in their mind. Organizational buyers don’t shop based on feeling and they don’t make impulse purchases. But behind the budgets, KPIs, ROIs, there are still people, and they want to add value to their company. They want to know what they’re getting, and they want to get that information in a format that’s easy to understand without underestimating their intelligence.
One of my favorite marketing “tricks” are customer case articles. When a client is happy, ask them if they would be OK with us writing a short article about them. It can be published at least on your web site, social media and newsletters and it’s usually (free) positive publicity for both parties. Articles put theory into practice, they give the audience a peek at how others are using and benefiting from the product/service and most of all, they act as references from other clients. In today’s internet/social network world, a recommendation from a peer – someone like you – is by far more credible than an opinion of any professor or let alone company representative.
But enough about me… Get in touch and we’ll talk more about what I can do for your business!
In the autumn of 2014 I felt like it's time to do something completely different for a while. That meant no work except for some freelancing projects, enjoying outdoors, doing sports and learning Spanish. I had been planning my exit strategy for some time and it all came together perfectly. It was a random idea that just popped into my head one day but I couldn't shake it anymore. It had to be done! So I gave up my apartment, got rid of majority of my possessions, packed my dog and 2 suit cases to my car and drove to Valencia. I didn't know anyone there and I didn't have any plan how long I d stay, but I thought I d probably get bored somewhere around 4-6 months. It actually turned into 2 years and quite an adventure that includes 2 months in Italy, but that's another story.
When I decided to ”downshift” (I hate that word) for a while, I was aware that some employers might see that as a negative thing. I understand. I can see how people can easily think you forget things, are not aware of the latest trends and changes or are just simply not used to working anymore. Even when a lot of women are able to return to their jobs after having a baby or two, it seems to be harder to find a new job after you’ve been unemployed for more than 3 months. Why? A self-fulfilling prophecy? But I think we agree that working life is changing, we don’t spend 30 years working for the same company like a lot of our parents did, and that isn’t desirable either.
I’m looking for an employer who can see a bit further than that. Who thinks a bit more about the big picture. Here’s an idea: What if I had sat on that same desk for another three years? Doing exactly the same thing I was doing for the previous 3 years? What would I have learned? Maybe to use another tool, one out of millions out there, one that s modified for BV use only? Maybe some of those latest trends? Possible, but probably not. Actually I think I would know just about as much as I knew after the first three years. On top of that I could be bored and numb.
Instead, I went to Spain, and I learned a whole new profession. Now, on top of what I knew before, I have an understanding of a new culture, I speak another language, I made new friends, I’m healthy, happy, relaxed and motivated. I improved my Finnish and English, learned how to be a translator, which surely is important in (international) marketing. The way I see it, I have a lot more to offer now, than if I would have continued in my previous job all this time.
To sum up: No, I haven’t forgotten how to work (because I actually work 14-hour days now) or how to do marketing. Yes, I have been keeping an eye on the developments such as GDPR and I follow the marketing trends and discussions. I have even experimented with Facebook ads, which never would have been used at BV. But most of the new things come with a new job, so I’d still need to learn it.