30 Years at Ericsson

2016 marks my 30-year anniversary at Ericsson. How fast time flies and how on earth have I managed to do that and still feel inspired to want to learn more? There was a time when I was a bit embarrassed about all these years, especially when discussing with the young talents, but not anymore!

Learning is listing - Minna Hallikainen

Three Big Career Turning Points

Naturally there have been some turning points on the way when I got a totally new boost to my work. In my first twelve years at Ericsson, I worked as IT designer in the local IT department. It was those days when Ericsson grew its IT departments and had IT support in the local organizations. I remember those years as being very inspiring from a technical perspective; a lot of designing and coding of company owned administrative applications for accounts receivable and payable.

The First Turning Point

The actual first big turn was to start working within R&D in 1998 to learn what we develop and deliver to our external customers. The people I worked with changed, the premises where I worked changed and the work tasks changed. They were for sure different and I found the missing pieces to motivate myself even more. I think I did the quite usual way starting first with all kinds of technical tasks and training people in using specific tools heading to act at first as team leader, followed by the project manager position, and finally ended up to being one of the R&D line managers. This all happened within the next eight years. During these years the waterfall process lived its mighty years and we studied and took into use all kinds of supporting processes, which I think are better not to start looking back.

The Second Turning Point

The second big turn comes in 2009 when within R&D Finland we started to learn what Lean and Agile thinking were. To me, that was a real inspirational growing point and soon I was even coordinating all the facilities changes from R&D perspective towards the Facilities management. The whole new setup for people working in teams in own specific team areas, starting to plan the work on white boards, creating totally new visibility, empowering themselves to take things forward without direct orders ... all this was so great and was boosted with cutting down unnecessary walls and adding coziness. I even wrote a paper on this and I was speaking in couple of international conferences how powerful change we did together.

Minna boating

The Third Turning Point

Empowering and enabling people and supporting in emotional shift beyond the new way of thinking and working are the life I am living today on top of my line manager position. You can imagine this is the third important turning point to me! I am proud member of trainers' network on business unit wide program where we from Finland travel also around the Ericsson world to train the trainers in Ericsson's internal intensive coaching program. What comes to global company like Ericsson I am very happy that I have had the possibility to visit and work in many different cities and countries both in Europe and in Asia and get to learn other cultures and people. I emphasize Learning Lifestyle also in my private life. Recently I have studied wellbeing and personal training on my spare time to be able to coach and work on that branch, too.

How I Would Improve Ericsson

If there's one thing I would still like bring to Ericsson is more girl power and women in overall. I think at least in Finland our diversity on age, competence, experience and nationalities are so well in place. As recruiting manager I see as a challenge the lack of applications from women so at the moment I am also involved in many great events to inspire girls into ICT to join us in the future.

My answer to the question I placed in the first chapter: I have learned to understand the wonderful asset of how fascinating it is to make a mistake every now and then – the better source of information you couldn't face to be able to keep yourself inspired and motivated to learn more and grow as a human being and as an employee.

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