Forrest Gump is a great movie. In a famous scene of the film, Forrest tells a person he encounters at a bus stop: “My mama always said, life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.“
All the people who have reached their adulthood know that (work) life cultivates surprises and things happen around us – not least because technologies are evolving at such a rapid pace. Not all the changes in companies are always pleasant and expected. Nowadays it is more important than ever to take care of the development of our professional skills and not let fate decide for us. Still, there will be those unpleasant ‘pieces of chocolate’ but life is easier to digest when you accept that change is permanent, and therefore strive to continually improve yourself.
Avidly is a safe playground for people to grow.
So many things in our work and organisations are not in our own hands. But our own competencies are – and the responsibility for their development. Even the best coaching manager does not replace the fact that we take care of our own competitiveness. When you take a humble attitude and make learning and challenging yourself fun and are not afraid of failure, you soon notice that courage and creativity also begin to flourish. Avidly is a safe playground for people to grow. Avidly’s CEO Jesse puts it nicely: “When our people grow, Avidly grows”.
Photo: Sami Heiskanen
When I started at Avidly four years ago, I began a journey where a new learning curve had to start from day one to exponential growth. I had no work experience in sales, consulting business, let alone agency business – other than as a buyer of these services. My background was in the dairy business, category management, innovations, brands and marketing. I jumped straight into the deep end to make new business sales. In the first few weeks, I asked about the process of agency pitches. I was recommended to “do it in my own way”. Huh. And so I did. Did not get fired.
One of the main reasons to join Avidly was to update my skills in modern marketing (and later also sales). What could have been a better opportunity for it than working in an agency with a versatile service offering, different clients, and industries? I was eager to work in a smaller and more agile organisation that had a challenger role – yet boldly also creating change in the market and its fundamentals. I also wanted to join a team that values humanity and shows respect towards its colleagues and customers. The cornerstone of the Avidly culture code is the value of respect: helping and supporting each other.
Since the beginning of my Avidly career, the company has grown significantly and become a key player as an international martech service provider. Avidly’s growth-oriented strategy today is ambitious and the strategic direction is clear. There has been a big leap towards profitability. The entire organisation wants to challenge itself and its customers. I’m confident that Avidly has a great future ahead with this talented international team. And I know that the Avidly team will achieve the strategic goals that have been set.
My journey with Avidly has been a lot more than I ever dared dream of.
Even the most wonderful journey has to end sometime. It is time for me to leave Avidly and join another great Finnish company. I have learned so much and in many ways, I am more mature and skilled than before. I know how to run a company's operations in a listed company, lead a turnaround and execute strategy, and lead professional services sales. I’ve learnt a great deal about leadership. At the same time, I humbly acknowledge that I’m never going to be ready. My journey with Avidly has been a lot more than I ever dared dream of. I have been given a lot of responsibility and have been trusted. I believe that when you take responsibility and ownership, it is also returned. My bosses have been great mentors. I truly appreciate my colleagues and the culture that challenges the views of others in a positive way. I’m proud of what the company has achieved.
I feel wistful. It is difficult to step down. But luckily there is a cure for it: the new Avidly alumni network. An easy way to keep in touch with the lovely colleagues but also further develop myself with these brilliant minds.