June 27, 2018

Career story: Jon-Erik Lindén

I joined RELEX in July 2016 as a Marketing Specialist. I had studied marketing at university and wanted to know how it felt like to work in a marketing role instead of sales, which I had been doing previously. However, after six months in the marketing team, I felt that I needed more direct engagement with customers, something I had been used to in my previous roles.

The idea of changing direction, or at least gradually modifying it, began to develop in my mind. I was fascinated by RELEX’s software and was keen to learn more about it, but I did not have any technical or SCM experience. Despite my lack of experience with project work and technical grounding, I was quick to announce my interest when I heard that there was an open vacancy in the project team.

After that things started moving quickly. I headed over to my team lead to suggest a possible change of role. The reception I received was very positive, and encouraging, and it was decided that together we would make a plan for how I could get involved on the project side so I could try out new tasks while at the same time continue to handle ongoing marketing efforts. Because of my lack of experience with the RELEX’s software, it was agreed that I would start working part-time in Business Support by working on tickets.

On to a new role

For a few months, I split my time between Business Support, where I worked two days per week, and my marketing job. I found the time working in Business Support very useful. It gave me the chance to familiarize myself with RELEX’s software and to ease myself into project work by taking on some of the simpler tasks. At the same time, I also joined a project team, working on an implementation for a new customer supporting the senior project manager. This further increased my interest in project work.

Soon after I was given the opportunity to change my role to a full-time project manager and at the same time was given responsibility for managing my first customer relationship. My previous team lead was always saying, of course, pursue the path you want, but remember that you are always welcome back. This made the transition so much easier, knowing that there was always the option to go back to my previous role if the new one didn’t work out.

A bright future

I am really happy with my new role and its scope – and feel like I have a bright future ahead of me. To deepen my expertise, I have also become involved in the onboarding of new employees and helping out with a team-based analysis project. In the short term my goal is to shepherd my first customer project over the finish line where after I can consider moving on to bigger customers. I also like the idea of working abroad in the future.

Looking back at the way my career has developed, I am a strong advocate of speaking up and expressing one’s own interests and goals. At RELEX you have the opportunity to do almost anything as long as you speak up. If you just stay quiet, no one will ever know what you really want to do. Colleagues are always keen to help whenever someone asks, and it doesn’t feel that you’d ever be left to sink or swim on your own.

My advice for others would be to be active and curious, to talk with people, and to ask for help or clarification whenever it’s needed. Above all, I urge potential new RELEXians to think about what they want and where they would like their careers to go. By being clear about your own goals, it’s easier for people to help you realize them in practice.

Jon-Erik works as project manager in the professional services team at RELEX Helsinki office. He has a Master´s Degree in Economics and Business Administration from Åbo Akademi University. A regular day at the office starts with internal meetings about ongoing projects and ends with customer workshops about how to solve complex supply chain challenges with RELEX game-changing software. When not at the office Jon-Erik likes to travel and eat good food with his girlfiend.

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