The search for variety and opportunities for advancement
"Time flies!!!" – that's what I’ve been thinking lately, noticing that I'm in my 25th year at Vorwerk. Having started in 1994 as an Area Sales Manager Trainee for Thermomix, I today have the possibility to influence the companies’ future as Head of Business Domain Owners at Vorwerk International.
In the past 25 years I’ve worked in almost every position I can think of. But somehow there's a notion these days, that it is a bad idea to stay at one company for such a long time. People think that they have to switch employers in order to develop and improve. I doubt that this is true. Actually, in my opinion it’s nonsense. There are many opportunities to move up and around within an organization –there definitely are at Vorwerk. And to do so, you just have to follow these 3 simple rules:
After finishing my university studies in economics and computer science, I placed an advertisement in a leading newspaper for the hotel- and catering-industry in Germany. I’m originally a trained chef, waiter and hotel manager and thought about starting my career in this industry. But when the Sales Director of Thermomix approached me and immediately caught my attention with his product, I took the job offer. A couple of weeks later, I started learning the basics of the business doing demos and selling Thermomix for three months. After 5 years as Area Sales Manager I switched to Vorwerk International and became a Senior Manager for International Marketing.
Seizing that first opportunity, it all turned out differently than I had initially expected. And even during my further career I always accepted new challenges and just said “yes”, when superiors asked me to take a new job within the company. Of course, you must be ready and have your hands free to grasp a chance when you see it coming your way. And then it’s not only about taking a job…
Always take responsibility for what you do. It should be the simplest lesson of all, and yet it is one that many people fail to follow. It doesn’t mean that you’re not allowed to make mistakes. You will naturally do so while trying out new things and familiarizing yourself with a new position.
But delivering something you can be proud of keeps you going. And it’s the perfect basis to receive constructive criticism from your bosses when something wasn’t up to their expectations. By the way: The constructive criticism at Vorwerk is something I have appreciated most during my career – in all our branches all over the world. Which brings me to the third lesson that I’ve learned over the years.
Vorwerk gave me the opportunity to work a lot in Asia and the US. I was responsible for our Thermomix business in Taiwan and Mexico as well as for our first steps into the Chinese market. And in Europe I worked with colleagues throughout the entire company. It has been so enriching to learn and understand how different people are – depending on their culture, their interests and their working environment. I can only recommend using every opportunity to work in an international context and to live in a foreign country for some time – it’s a life-changing experience and has taught me: In the end it’s always about the people, who are the root of every success.
So, when you start a new job, get to know the people you’re working with and the culture first before you start offering good advice and expert opinions. Your new colleagues will appreciate the respect and modesty.