Spilling the beans on all your questions. Well, not all, but some recurring ones. In the reaction pane, through social media and in personal life, I get asked a bunch of stuff. To quite a few people I can be an ‘odd bird’ in doing things differently and that automatically comes with curiosity and questions. Some easy, some funny, some particularly tough. The tough ones I sort of always ‘ignore’. No time to think about ‘m, ‘too busy living life and all’. But after seeing Ashley’s mini Q&A, I mustered up the courage to write some things down. Hope you like it.
Will you ever move back to the Netherlands?
Never say never, but for now it’s a definite no. I have tasted the honey pot called ‘living abroad’ and I’m not ready to give it up. Living in Sweden has opened my eyes in so many ways. It’s not that I don’t like the Netherlands, I just like other countries way more. Sweden isn’t paradise, like a lot of people believe it to be, but it comes close to it. It’s a new experience and teaches me many new things. I’ve been living here now for more than 2,5 years and I must say, other places are slowly starting to lurk. Working in places like London, Singapore, San Francisco, Melbourne, Tokyo….. oh boy, blood’s pumping! Think of all the potential!
What is it like to work in IT?
Working in IT has made me a little spoiled. It’s such a fast paced world, there are so many intelligent and fascinating people and the industry is so complex, I sort of forget ‘what the real world’ is like. IT is very much a bubble. There’s a different standard.
Now I know I’m a smart lady, but most days, in IT, I feel really stupid. People I work with really amaze me. Girls that code, guys that have double PhD’s, bosses who speak 8 languages. A side note on this is though: because it’s such a bubble, there’s also the anti-bubble. There’s a bit of judgement on ‘superficial’ industries. For instance, we don’t really take fashionista’s or the beauty department seriously (excuse the stereotype). In IT I feel like I constantly need to be on top of my game. I can’t really admit I stalk workout babes or bloggers on Instagram or Bloglovin (ha, just did!). One of the girls I met last year, Sofie, has a great TED talk about it (yeah, she’s that cool)
love her statement on ‘living a pretty Gossip-Girl like life’
In most countries, corporate companies can get really full-on, but the great thing about working for the Swedish sub is the flexibility. I can work pretty much from wherever I want, whenever I want. I can start at 6.30AM if I want, but if I start sometime at 10, that’s also fine. I can work from the office, from my home or from a local coffeeshop, the airport, hotelrooms, you name it. We call this Det Nya Arbetslivet or also: the new world of work. I must say I really enjoy working in Stockholm. Swedes have a very good way of balancing work. IT can be full-on and, as with any global company, Microsoft can be a beast that keeps on taking. There’s always work to be done, always. When we stop here at 5PM, the States starts. So my mailbox is pretty much constantly filled. Yet, Swedes know so well to hit the brakes and prioritize life and health above work. Plus. Swedes have the best parties.
Overall I feel blessed to work in IT. Through the services and products Microsoft delivers I can really see the benefit it has on people’s lives. Ok, I’m not at someone’s bed side saving their lives, but the technology I work with is in pretty much every hospital in the world, used by every bank and safely lands aircrafts. I feel pretty good having that technology as a phone in my pocket. Even if I only use it to stalk Instagrammers.
What do you actually do?
I work as a product marketing manager for Windows in the consumer market. I am accountable for the messaging and branding all-up of Windows as an ecosystem, in Sweden. This means I work on everything from tablets, laptops and PC’s to apps, our stores, e-tailers, retailers, services like outlook and OneDrive and administrating all marketing, activities and advertisement around that. Pff, that was quite the sentence. As Windows (and Microsoft for that matter) is so complex, so can my job be.
My role has a lot of moving parts. Any random week can be to have meetings with say the local team of Asus, meeting app-developers, going out to universities to present to students, meet with advertising teams of say SAS or ICA, meet teams of ElGiganten or MediaMarkt. While other weeks I dive deep into consumer research, GFK data, have fika with co-workers, meet with ad- or PR agencies, or attend/organise in-house events. Because Windows is such a global brand I also work in a team with co-workers abroad, as well as locally and internally with a bunch of different departments. Almost every day I have an international call with either Western Europe HQ or the corp HQ in Seattle. One of the best things about this role is that in Consumer marketing, you have to be agile. It’s a quick world. And you have to meet a lot of people. So I also get to travel a lot to meet all these people ,ooooh yes!. It’s a challenging job (especially in a market with high Apple usage) and every day I hit the ground running. I can also feel, because the role has so many layers, I’m never really on-point on anything.
Now, this all might sound crazy and sometimes (most times) it is, but sometimes I can also have a full day in my PJ’s working from the couch. Overall I think I have one of the coolest roles in the company and there’s rarely a Monday I’m dreading the workweek.
Are you still with your boyfriend?
No, I am not. I think this is a rather personal topic and as this is my channel of communication, I don’t feel it’s fair to include my ex too much in to it. But in order to clear the air: we split last fall.
Being single for a while now has really put things for me in to perspective. In autumn everything came at once: buying a place, a break up, moving, dad’s passing and hospitalization. It was really time to hit the ‘reboot’ button and focus on the basics: nourish, sleep, exercise and feeling energized through work. Being alone is really the best situation at this point in time.
As much as people can love each other, sometimes it just doesn’t work. We were in an OK relationship, not a good one. Living together, but not being together, We were both travelling so much, at one point we actually only saw each other for a mere 36 hours in 2,5 months. Classic case of growing apart. And even though you can be the deciding party, it doesn’t make it automatically easier to break away from each other. My ex is still a dear friend of mine, but I’m also proud of us for being grown-up enough to admit we weren’t made for each other.
Ok, that was all folks. Don’t slammer me for my honesty
Have a GREAT week