My first year at Pearson (2007) was a combination of 'information overload' as a new employee and 'blissful fatherhood' as my wife and I welcomed our first child. I began work two weeks after our son was born.
During 2007 and 2008, I was away from work for 4 months, as I had the privilege of being on parental leave with my young son. It wasn’t easy balancing a new job and baby, although I made some good progress and had an exciting beginning with both.
In those early years, my Nordic colleagues were there for me with a helping hand, which I appreciated. Any success I had was due in large part to the guidance and support I received from our team.
2009 was a magical year in many ways. It began with seeing one of my Dutch colleagues receive an award on stage in Lisbon, Portugal. His joyful smile after winning inspired me that night and I vowed to be on that stage the following year.
I wrote about it in an article called "Inspiration from NOT Being Called on Stage".
Fortunately, I had my best year at Pearson, winning the '2009 Rep of the Year' in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMA). What made it even more special was that I stopped working at the end of August in 2009, as I began my second parental leave (5 months) with our daughter. I made it to that stage in 2010, this time in Monte Carlo. The aforementioned colleague was one of the first to congratulate me on winning EMA’s top sales award.
More Pearson excitement came from meeting and getting to know my European colleagues during those years, especially the ones in the UK (as we had numerous meetings in England) and those in Holland, as we went to Amsterdam for three consecutive years for a summer conference.
In addition, our annual January conference (4-5 days) often took place in a nice European city, where I had a chance to network and learn from employees from a wide range of EMA countries. Those times were invaluable.
At the conference, we worked hard during the day, yet always had good times at night, whether it was with our Nordic team or a combination of colleagues from EMA. The Gala Dinner (Awards and Dancing) was something everyone looked forward to and it only disappointed in the rare times when our hotel ballroom had to turn the music off before 2am.
Being on ‘The Sales Leadership Council’ was an early goal for me also, as our team often had strong representation on this group of ‘top sales performers’, including four Nordic colleagues in 2007 before I started. For those chosen, it was an all expenses paid trip to a lovely city in Europe. It was a combination of work and relaxation, with each person allowed to bring a guest.
I qualified for the council the first year I was eligible in 2011 - the location being Sardinia, Italy, which was a fabulous 3 day weekend! It was a joy to spend time with Pearson’s top performers and listen to their sales strategies for winning business. In addition, a group of high level managers were in attendance each year. The intimate setting of 50 colleagues provided a great way to get to know these managers.
Our EMA team had some wonderful print and digital success over the years, and the Nordics were an integral part of that success. I’m grateful to have played a part in increasing Sweden’s sales during that time, as well as the quality relationships I built with my colleagues in EMA and the Swedish universities I worked with.
Of course there were some frustrations, setbacks and disappointments, but overall my Pearson Education experience was fantastic. The ‘thrill of the sale’ was my daily inspiration and I was often motivated to be even better after seeing the strong efforts put forth by my Nordic colleagues, along with those I was close to in the UK, Holland and throughout EMA.
I’m full of gratitude for my almost 9 years at Pearson. Our Nordic team had a boatload of success, but I realize that it wouldn’t have been as good (or fun) without the support and care of numerous EMA colleagues that I was fortunate to work with since 2007.
Thank you Pearson Family. I wish you nothing but success as our family embarks on our next journey in Tokyo, Japan.
|The Nordic Team in Stockholm - June 2015|