4 months, 12 days and roughly 5 hours
4 months, 12 days and roughly 5 hours have passed since my manager picked me up for my first day at work in order to start off my journey at Hilti. My first day was spent together with my team members at a regional team meeting. My first day of work after 18 years of school. A day that I could not imagine how it would be, but marked the start of something that turned out to be totally different than I ever would have imagined.
In 4 months, 12 days and roughly 5 hours, I feel that I have come a long way as well as nowhere at all. As an account manager I have engaged in an immersive learning process, where I started with zero experience in both sales and construction. To me it is surreal listening to myself having conversations with customers about gas-driven saws and dual-grade rotating lasers. But also, as an account manager, there is so much to experience, and I have so much more to learn from both my colleagues as well as my customers. Everyday a new question comes up that I do not have an answer to, have not thought about and that adds a new layer to my learning. With every new piece of knowledge I gain, two more questions arise.
So what are my key take-aways from my first 4 months, 12 days and roughly 5 hours? While I do not want to be quoted on sales skills or product knowledge, I want to highlight two of Hilti’s core values which have affected my initial time at as an Account Manager, courage and teamwork. I have started to understand what it means to dare to fail. Coming from an academic background facing the real world was harsh, where there are no given solutions or best-practices in every single situation. I have been forced to learn how to deal with rejection and cluelessness at a scale I have not experienced before. The key is to try over and over again. Success and failure really are two sides of the same coin. Not tossing the coin does not minimise the risk of failure, but eliminates the chance of ever succeeding. And among all the moments of failing there will also be moments of success, grateful customers who are enthusiastic about the tool they just bought or the support we at Hilti provided them. As an Account Manager one experiences these ups and downs, and the best way to deal with both is to keep close with your team. Every Account Manager regardless of background seems to make the same roller-coaster experiences during the first six months, and thus every team member is eager to help you succeed in your role. Teamwork is something Hilti excels at, and the support I have received from team members, my team manager, my sales and my executive mentor has been outstanding.
These are some of my thoughts and impressions from my first 4 months, 12 days and soon to be 6 hours at Hilti. There are certainly more things to write about, other aspects to highlight, but more about that as time goes on. Now I am looking forward to spending time with my family over Christmas. After that we will be kicking off 2018 with the innovation days and new product releases at the national headquarter in Arlöv, where all of Hilti Sweden gathers to train, discuss and celebrate.