Entering a new job can be quite nerve-racking.
Entering a B2B Sales job without any previous B2B Sales experience was almost stressful for our B2B Sales Team Manager, Juulia Ruuskanen.
“I remember calling my first sales calls and it felt so uncomfortable!”, Juulia remembers.
Everyone can recognise themselves from this experience: picking up the phone in the beginning of your career can be scary. What if I don’t know what to say or the words get messed up? What if the person is mean and slams the phone down on me? What if he asks something I can’t answer and I screw up the whole thing? What if I sound stupid and embarrass myself and Management Events?
Luckily, Juulia wasn’t left alone making those first calls. Her team and the people around were there for her, step by step.
“Before I made a call, my colleagues helped me to get my words in order and encouraged me to go for it. With such support from my colleagues, I gradually began to feel more and more comfortable about picking up the phone”, Juulia explains.
Management Events’ culture helped Juulia to overcome her doubts about whether she was suited to B2B Sales
Looking at Juulia today, it’s hard to imagine how her first weeks at Management Events could have been such an emotional roller coaster for her.
At the same time, she was excited about the new job but felt very insecure about her sales skills.
The fast-paced sales culture and cold calling people in high positions took some getting used to in the first weeks.
Even though Juulia’s sales figures were exceeding expectations week after week, she continued doubting her skills and capabilities. “I was very unsure of my abilities for a while – I even doubted if B2B Sales was right for me after all. Even though I kept reaching my goals, I was still feeling uneasy”, Juulia reveals.
After a while, Juulia started discovering what a supportive environment her new workplace was.
The supportive team boosted Juulia’s professional confidence
Like many of her colleagues, Juulia tends to set the bar high for herself.
She enjoys having ambitious goals, the teamwork and the rush that follows when we go for it!
However, the high expectations she set for herself were working against her in the early days. Juulia’s colleagues soon discovered she didn’t need them to push her forward. It was the other way round! She needed her team to slow her down and reassure her that she will be alright.
“At that time, I had a manager who is calm by nature. I think that was just a perfect match with my fast-tempered nature. His true value for me was in his ability to always slow me down.
He was there for me and genuinely interested in how I was doing. That was just what I needed at that point to build my professional confidence”, Juulia shares.
Juulia gets promoted during the pandemic
6 months into her role as Sales Manager, the pandemic hits.
Like many other businesses built on people meeting people, Management Events was hit really hard as well.
We were forced to rethink our business. This led to us making big changes on the strategic and operational level, leading to what we call a proper business transformation.
Business transformation is tough. It affects everything, from what we sell and promise to our customers, to how we deliver those promises. When you make such big changes to your business operation, it impacts your company culture and your ways of working.
Read more here
How Juulia’s employee experiences were rocked by the pandemic
Juulia was just on her way up: she already had her own routines and felt confident with Management Events’ business concept.
Suddenly everything stops.
The heart of Management Events’ business – providing opportunities for networking – are all cancelled.
We are astonished.
Juulia and her 220 ME colleagues are facing something totally unexpected.
“The change of Management Event’s entire business concept was really quick. Moving from live events to virtual events was only the first step. And there was no guidebook to lean on and look for answers. It was probably the toughest experience in my career so far”, Juulia says.
“But it was also extremely inspiring. To be able to take part in developing something that had not been done before in the history of this company gave new significance to my work and made me feel truly valuable”, Juulia adds.
During our business transformation from physical events to virtual (online) events, Juulia was offered the opportunity to take the lead of her own team as a Sales Team Manager.
Even though she knew that a managerial role was something that she dreamed of for the future, she didn’t feel ready for it just yet.
After weighing up her decision for a while she decided to say yes. Jumping into the unknown was pretty familiar to her by then and no longer scared her.
“I had only worked at Management Events for 1.5 years at that point. It felt extra good to be given a lot of responsibility in such a short period of time. As an ambitious people-person, taking the lead of my own team felt the right move for me in the end”, Juulia says.
“In many companies, you may have to be in the same role for a long time before being given responsibility but at Management Events it’s the other way round – if you show your ambition and determination, you’ll be given responsibility”, Juulia explains.
3 key lessons Juulia has learned during her Management Events career so far
Juulia has certainly had a steep learning curve at Management Events.
Moving so fast from her first ever B2B Sales job to Sales Team Manager in the middle of our major business transformation is quite exceptional. But this kind of career acceleration is not uncommon at Management Events.
Here are the 3 key lessons Juulia has learned about herself during her time with Management Events:
#1 I am pretty tolerant during change
As we know now, life can take unexpected turns, affecting our work as well as our private lives.
“I discovered that my tolerance for change is an asset I need to value in myself.”
“I learned that my tolerance for change is an asset I can utilise in my personal life as well.”
#2 Pushing past my comfort zone and letting go of fear
“My ability to push past my comfort zone has definitely improved during my time at Management Events. I no longer let the fear of the unknown rock me, and now I quite enjoy taking on tasks that at first seem challenging.”
#3 Sometimes unplanned is a positive thing
“I’ve learned that not everything can be planned. And that’s a good thing. Today I face new things much more positively!”
Connect with Juulia on Linkedin and ask about working at Management Events.