Blogginlägg av Jonna André Karlin

Jonna André Karlin

Ambitious and driven individual that believes in climbing the professional Jungle Gym rather than the Career Ladder. Student at IHM Complex Sales B2B, now in Atlanta Georgia as Business Development Coordinator for the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce.

Might not come as a shocker, but a common topic within the chamber and in conversation with our members, are observations of differences between Sweden and America. The most recent one is obvious, yet so subtle that it often gets lost among the more striking ones, like skyscrapers and abundances of giant junk food. I am referring to the Americans professional Niceness. The American people, especially the people of the southern states, have refined the art of being nice to each other without making excuses for themselves or being overly humble. They are just professionally Nice. Walking into your average grocery store in Sweden, not finding what you are looking for, you hunt around for someone to ask. Don’t you dare ask the deli counter, you will get no help there, but a clarification that THEY don’t work on the floor. So you find one of the store attendants and they walk you to what you need (if they have it) and off you go to the register. Usually you get a “Hej” and if you are lu...

I had a very interesting discussion about American competitiveness the other day. With a non- american, I should say. We were talking about the necessity of competition in a workplace.  I came home one day, and marveled at the ineffectiveness of the workplace that I´d visited. They stay in the office until 8 p.m. shuffling papers, doing nothing! Why would they do that?! I exclaimed very self righteously. - Because of competition, he responded calmly. And it is encouraged, he continued, everyone is encouraged to compete with their colleagues by arriving the earliest and leaving the latest.  - But it’s so ineffective! ( Swede*) I went on, by now, everyone knows how the human brain works, and that it is impossible to work effectively for twelve hours a day! I’m not saying there are never situations that calls for 15 hour workdays, nor that I have never or wouldn’t do one when called for, I was just reacting to the fact that this is made the norm. - Do you consider yourself competitive?...

When I think of the motivators considered to be the driving forces and characteristics of the stereotypical Saleswoman/man, what first comes to mind is: Money. In other words, Provision: the ability to influence the numbers on your paycheck. Which promotes a competitive mindset as well as “Walking over bodies to get the deal” and  “every man for himself” mentality.  The driving forces for the stereotypical Nonprofit professional would then sound like the complete opposite: Mission. Really meaning: You don't get paid.  Teamspirit is vital, uniting and feeling committed to the mission is absolutely essential for a Nonprofit. Asking for people to give you things - often with “nothing” to offer in return, which means there is really no “deal”.  So how does Sales have anything to do with Nonprofit organizations? In “To sell is Human” by David Pink, Mr Pink is writing from the thesis that everybody is selling something, and that requiring skills in sales is beneficial for everyone, whethe...

My Swenglish is worse than EVER. I mix Swedish and English in every sentence without any respect or regards to grammatical correctness whatsoever. I am, however, comforting myself with the fact that all of my fellow Swedish Expats do exactly the same.  But I have to say that the predominant feeling after one month in Atlanta is (to my own surprise) is patriotism. A sense of pride in being Swedish.  In being part of a country  where education and health care is available to an extent that most americans couldn't even dream of.  In being a woman of one of the most equal countries in the world. And making a mental note to remember this, not to take it for granted, and that it is not something that has been accomplished without effort. My first month in Atlanta is about to end and unlike what my a bit pomp intro would suggest, here are some of my more everyday impressions of Georgia: The beer is BRILLIANT. Period. The breweries here should get  rewards for especially human friendly/ Li...

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