February 28, 2018

The perfect balance between independence and solidarity

Johanna Ehrby

Project and Delivery Management trainee in Financial Services, Tieto

As my first six months at Tieto draws to a close, I have begun to reflect on my relatively short time in the company, and I have realized that I have learned a great deal.

Being included is crucial

When I started at Tieto, I was moving to a new city and country where I did not know anyone, so I was quite nervous. Like many other employers, Tieto offers an onboarding kick-off for all new employees, which I knew about in advance. Also, I had been assigned a former trainee as a buddy already before I started. But to my surprise, when arriving on my first day in the office, my e-mail was filled with invites to different training sessions held by senior experts about our financial products as well as different social events that would take place during the first three weeks. I was also appointed a senior Project Manager as my counselor, giving me everything from assignments to useful tips along the way. My nervousness quickly transformed to excitement. I felt welcomed in my unit and was impressed by how everyone made the effort to get me onboard the team.

After the first three weeks, I was completely exhausted and felt a bit overwhelmed by the abundance of new information. Yet I learned so much. Today, I am extremely grateful about Tieto’s well-structured and exciting onboarding plan. It gave me a great start by providing me with tools and support I needed in my daily work. Right from the start I felt like I was a part of the team, knew who to ask regarding different areas, and was included in many interesting discussion forums and meetings.

Ready for the deep end

I’ve always kept a quote from Astrid Lindgren’s beloved character Pippi Longstocking close to my heart. In the quote, Pippi says: “I have never tried that before, so I think I should definitely be able to do that.” I try to adopt this mindset when faced with new opportunities, and it often results in amazing outcomes. So when my manger, less than two months into the trainee program, believed I was ready to be project manager for my own project, I was so excited! This new challenge meant a great deal of independence and responsibility, which would hopefully result in a large learning outcome. Also, since I had a whole team behind me as support, I believed I could undertake any challenge.

I want to challenge everyone – not just new employees – to think a bit like Pippi when faced with new challenges in your work or even life. I think by breaking out of your comfort zone and by daring to try new things, you can truly broaden your understanding and challenge the status quo.

Balance is important

I believe being “thrown in the deep end of the pool” is a good way for a person to rise to the challenge, shoulder new responsibilities and improve your competence. However, without the right support and sense of inclusion, things can rapidly get overwhelming. Therefore, I want to emphasize that employers should find that the right balance between independence and solidarity when helping new employees develop in their new role. This is something I have enjoyed in my six months at Tieto and the reason why I love working for this company.

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