Working at THE IKEA GROUP
There is a co-worker story
behind every product
We encourage you to follow your passions, try new roles or keep growing in a position you love. Explore just a few of our co-worker stories and you’ll see that each journey is unique and rewarding. What will your IKEA journey be?
Siluettes of IKEA products representing different workareas
Image of Hector Bianchi, Project Controller, Project Management
Hector Bianchi
Project Controller,
Project Management
Silhouette of an IKEA product representing work area Project Management
How did you get started in IKEA and what
have you done so far?
My journey with IKEA started in USA as a customer. I was a fan of IKEA. My girlfriend got a job with IKEA and we moved to Sweden. I figured I would love to work for IKEA and after some months I started at IKEA Communication as product communicator. I had worked with web design and online marketing in the USA. I went to work with symbols, instructions and packaging. It was quite fun with assembly instructions, trying to communicate with just images. It was fantastic because we were always trying to make it better and easier to understand. I was itching for project management experience, so I started exploring in IKEA of Sweden (Range & Supply). I met with a recruiter and got a job as a Project Controller. We take ideas into an action plan and turn them into physical products in the store. Specifically, I keep the project on time and manage the time plans and risks.
Why did you want to work with IKEA?
One of the things that drew me to IKEA is the company values. I share these values as a person. I think the values are common sense. A lot of the things we do are good for customer and the environment. Then as a consequence they are good for IKEA. We don’t start the other way around. We really want to create a better life.
What are the most inspiring responsibilities or
tasks you have in your current role?
I feel like we are literally changing people’s lives. I come to work every day and I feel I can make a lot of small differences. I am responsible for keeping projects on time, but it’s a team effort. We build the plan together and we have to keep it on track together. For me it’s the most rewarding task because we get to build it as a group.
What advice would you give someone thinking
about this job?
It’s really, really fun. And IKEA has so many different aspects in the furniture business. We have supply, product development, retail and more. There are many ways you can contribute. It’s a fantastic place to grow as a person and professionally.
What is your favourite aspect of the
IKEA culture and values?
One of the big values that I relate to is cost consciousness. It doesn’t mean making cheap furniture. It means making furniture that will last and that is good for your home. We are inclusive and we want everyone to have a better life. We have the space to experiment. It’s okay to make mistakes and try things because we know that in the end that’s the way to success. IKEA values are something that make me feel welcome. But they also challenge me.
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Image of Samuel Blom, Operator, IKEA Industry
Samuel Blom
Operator,
IKEA Industry
Silhouette of an IKEA product representing work area IKEA Industry
How did you get started in IKEA and what
have you done so far?
I started with a summer job. From that I was offered a permanent contract. They taught me about the production line in more detail and now I run one of the big presses. That’s a lot of responsibility. I have to make sure everything is working well and ensure safety.
Why did you want to work with IKEA?
I was interested in IKEA because of the opportunities. For example, I’ve had the chance to get training and education in safety and security and then share that knowledge with my colleagues. It was really fun to train other co-workers.
What are the most inspiring responsibilities or
tasks you have in your current role?
I think that I get the most energy from knowing that we are at the heart of the operations in our company. We are in the middle of it, so we have to be able to identify any problems. I started without much knowledge about machinery, but now I get to learn about it. I’ve learned very much from the people around me. I’ve learned about mechanics and how things work. Lots of days I learn new stuff. We operate a very large scale. It’s a lot to take in because it’s so much.
What advice would you give someone thinking
about this job?
The best advice is that if you are willing to work and if you want to make a good effort you can learn and grow a lot. The co-workers are inspiring and helpful. They want to teach you. They take the time for you. If you want the answers they will show you and tell you. That was a good thing for me. I like to ask questions and they took the time.
What is your favourite aspect of the
IKEA culture and values?
I want to develop. I want to be a better operator than I was yesterday. I’m still really new, but I’m starting to understand and know more. And I get to train people. I also have opportunities to develop in other ways. My dream is to work with security and training people is one step. It’s a big company, so you have a lot of opportunities. Human resources is very open to show different jobs. Even if you start as an operator, you can expand. You can try different things. Managers are not above us. They treat us as equals. That’s a new experience for me.
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Image of Souzan Meana, Team Manager, IKEA Business Solutions
Souzan Meana
Team Manager,
IKEA Business Solutions
Silhouette of an IKEA product representing work area IKEA Business Solutions
How did you get started in IKEA and what
have you done so far?
I started two years ago when I applied for an IKEA management trainee programme in Sweden. I have a background in IT and as part of the programme I was paired with the CIO. I barely knew IKEA and I was suddenly working with all the leaders. It was amazing, but also quite tough. I was a bit lucky to get to know IKEA so well in a short time. My next step was that I wanted to be a leader. I got a position as a team manager. It has been a great, great experience. The best part of it is that I get to try a lot of things and experience all types of leadership and management. I make a lot of mistakes every day, but it feels like a secure environment where I can test and fail together with my team.
Why did you want to work with IKEA?
I search for meaning in everything I do, so the vision “to create a better everyday life for the many people” is quite meaningful to me. I like that it’s a family-based business, not on the stock market. It means we can think long-term.
What are the most inspiring responsibilities or
tasks you have in your current role?
I like leading people and helping them grow. But it’s easier said than done. It’s what I wanted to do most, but it’s also the most challenging. The role involves much more than this. I try hard to create the right circumstances for co-workers to do a good job. If I can do that I’m happy.
What advice would you give someone thinking
about this job?
Trust yourself and be authentic to yourself. When I’m trying to be someone else I’m not going to be my best. I’m my best when I’m true to myself and what I’m capable of. I have a trusting manager today. I feel like someone believes in me.
What is your favourite aspect of the
IKEA culture and values?
For me it’s togetherness, because it’s one of my core values. I recruit a lot of people and it’s one of the things I look for. If we will make it together you need to share this value.
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Image of Bill Lo, Product Requirement Engineer, Design and Product Development
Bill Lo
Product Requirement Engineer,
Design and Product Development
Silhouette of an IKEA product representing work area Design and Product Development
How did you get started in IKEA and what
have you done so far?
I was in Hong Kong working for an office furniture company and I saw the job advertisement on the IKEA website. I was looking for ways to develop myself and this job seemed like a good way. I got the job and moved to Sweden. I have a lot to learn here. At the same time, I have learned a lot from my colleagues. They taught me everything regarding the product development process, materials and the requirements that we have behind the products. Sometimes our customers see a table and think it is just a table. But what is hidden behind it is that we have done a lot regarding materials, surfaces, safety, durability and much more.
Why did you want to work with IKEA?
One of the main reasons is that IKEA has a really good reputation. When I saw the ad I applied and did some background research. The feedback and reviews of the company are positive. I thought I could be really happy working for IKEA.
What are the most inspiring responsibilities or
tasks you have in your current role?
I like working with products that use new materials. Then we have to develop a lot of requirements and look into factors like mechanical properties, UV resistance, how it reacts to heat and humidity and much more. It’s new for me so I’m happy to work with it. I think it’s good that IKEA is willing to work with new materials. I worked in furniture industry before, but not using new materials. In IKEA we try. Maybe it will fail sometimes, but we want to move forward because it’s environmentally friendly.
What advice would you give someone thinking
about this job?
It’s a good company to work for because you have lots of freedom. And you get lots of support from others. The culture that I’ve been experiencing in IKEA is that we accept failure and learn from it. And then I really remember our leader said that you shouldn’t ask for permission. You should ask for forgiveness.
What is your favourite aspect of the
IKEA culture and values?
Tillsammans. Everything we do is together as a team and we support each other. And I like our dare-to-be-different culture. We are not just satisfied with our current range. We are developing more with different designs and materials. We always ask: Can we do it better?
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Image of David Johansson, Product Developer, IKEA Food/Restaurant
David Johansson
Product Developer,
IKEA Food/Restaurant
Silhouette of an IKEA product representing work area IKEA Food/Restaurant
How did you get started in IKEA and what have you done so far?
I am a chef from the start. I’ve worked in all types of restaurants. I had a chain of Swedish cafes in New York, so I’m used to bringing Swedish food to an international audience. When I moved back to Sweden I started to have the idea to work with IKEA. I contacted IKEA Food and was offered a role as a product developer for the activity range. I did that for two years and it was great, but I felt that the actual product development was too limited. So I suggested we needed someone specialised in recipe development. I got to create my own role. Today we have teams arranged much like we do for developing IKEA furniture products.
Why did you want to work with IKEA?
I wanted be able to do something on a global scale with the possibility to influence a lot of people. At IKEA we have a lot of room to play because we have a restaurant, a bistro, a Swedish food market, hot dishes, cold dishes and so on. Democratic design is for furniture, but if you think about food it’s almost the same. So we are trying to work with the things IKEA is good at and translate it to food.
What are the most inspiring responsibilities or tasks you have in your current role?
Working together with suppliers to create products is the most fun. Together we can make a difference.We’ve really just gotten started and the most exciting thing is that now it feels we are doing it.
What advice would you give someone thinking about this job?
A lot of what I do is looking at trend reports, what kinds of products we need to have and how we can translate them into an IKEA way of doing it. And then I start cooking, testing and meeting suppliers.
What is your favourite aspect of the IKEA culture and values?
I like that we think not only about the planet, but also the people. We are interested in the people behind the products we sell. We want to have healthy, happy people working with the right conditions. To look at something on a global scale like that is very unique. We keep the mentality of being local, even if we are global. We are huge, but we think quite small, which is cool. To be given the opportunity to create my own role has been the most amazing to me and that IKEA would listen to it. I’m not sure that many other companies would do that.
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Image of Eldin Topic, Manager Sales & Supply Support, Logistics
Eldin Topic
Manager Sales & Supply Support,
Logistics
Silhouette of an IKEA product representing work area Logistics
How did you get started in IKEA and what
have you done so far?
I started at the distribution centre in Älmhult as a forklift driver and I worked there for six years. Two years ago I started at an IKEA store as a logistics co-worker. Then I joined an “aspirants” programme and found a new job with Sales & Supply Support. All my life I’ve worked with logistics. I’m very comfortable in logistics, but I wanted something more challenging. That’s why I chose to leave my comfort zone. This new job gives me steps into the world of sales, which is interesting.
Why did you want to work with IKEA?
I was studying, so I needed somewhere to work. After working in the distribution centre I took the chance to go for the IKEA store, even though my salary was less. I started with summer job in store for six hours a week. I took the chance, hoping that I could turn it into something more.
What are the most inspiring responsibilities or
tasks you have in your current role?
I get inspired by making my co-workers feel that they can do more and develop. But it’s up to them. I can’t do it for them. I will give them the opportunities and the support they need. But they have to take the step themselves. Inspiring them is very important to me. The customer is our biggest responsibility. Every day we are looking to fulfil the expectations of the customer. And I always say to my co-workers that they are not just moving pallets. To me they are moving people’s dreams. It’s not just driving a forklift and then going home.
What advice would you give someone thinking
about this job?
You shouldn’t choose your job. Choose your manager.
What is your favourite aspect of the
IKEA culture and values?
I really like that we offer products for all kinds of people, from ones with lot of money to ones without. We are always looking for better solutions. Not only cheaper, but better for our customers. It’s like every step we take is for the customer, not for ourselves. We want to meet their expectations. Managers in IKEA are good at seeing the potential in each and every person. Sometimes we are capable of things that we didn’t recognise in ourselves. When I was working as a co-worker I never thought of being a manager. But my manager saw it and sent me to the “aspirant” programme. That’s something that’s quite unique about IKEA.
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Image of Jakob Dackander, Bedroom Sales, Sales
Jakob Dackander
Bedroom Sales,
Sales
Silhouette of an IKEA product representing work area Sales
How did you get started in IKEA and what
have you done so far?
I started in bedroom sales in the summer of 2014. I worked during the summer so I could afford a ticket and visa to Australia. I then applied for a job in Sydney at IKEA, where I worked with logistics. During the weekends, I got to work with what I wanted which was selling beds. It was weird because the range is different over there. I did that for four and a half months and then went to travel. During my time in Australia, I stayed in contact my manager in Älmhult and when I came home to Sweden they offered me a summer job. That’s almost a year ago now. And I’m selling beds again.
Why did you want to work with IKEA?
The biggest reason is the possibility to travel and the international opportunities. I knew that it would be a possibility if I work with IKEA. What I do here in Älmhult I could easily do in any other country.
What are the most inspiring responsibilities or
tasks you have in your current role?
The most inspiring thing is the ability to help people. Like right now I work mostly for bedroom and it’s very difficult to choose a right bed if you don’t know what you’re doing. My knowledge comes from IKEA training. You learn stuff through IKEA. And then I can really help people and make their lives better.
What advice would you give someone thinking
about this job?
If you just be yourself, people are going to accept you for who you are. And that’s the same with the customers. They accept me for who I am. When I’m out on the sales floor I don’t necessarily try to sell as much as I can. I just try to be myself and talk to people like I normally would. When I was at my interview I think they recruited me for that reason, being myself. It doesn’t make sense to change that. Be yourself.
What is your favourite aspect of the
IKEA culture and values?
Togetherness. The fact that your leader is not above you in any way. They have different responsibilities, but I can come to my boss with anything. I’m only 21 years old, but when I come to my boss with an idea they take me seriously. They don’t wave me away because I’m new. Everyone can contribute with some parts. If it’s only a few people it won’t work. It’s together. Down to earth.
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Image of Maria Andersson, Centre Manager, IKEA Centres
Maria Andersson
Centre Manager,
IKEA Centres
Silhouette of an IKEA product representing work area IKEA Centres
How did you get started in IKEA and what
have you done so far?
I worked with fashion retail for 20 years before coming to IKEA Centres two years ago. I have always had a passion for sales and customers. When I started as a centre manager I had to learn a lot more about building relationships and working together with the tenants. I have developed myself in a way. I really like it because in my work today I can work very broadly, so no two days look the same.
Why did you want to work with IKEA?
I grew up in a village near Älmhult, so IKEA was part of my childhood. IKEA is one of the most attractive employers in Sweden, so when I got the chance to try something new and it was for IKEA I really thought it would be a good opportunity. I also knew that it could lead to other possibilities in the future. So today I’m really satisfied to be where I am. But I also know that if I would like to know a little bit more about the world in the future I will have the opportunity.
What are the most inspiring responsibilities or
tasks you have in your current role?
For me, I really have the passion to work closely with our tenants. It’s fun to create something with them that inspires customers to visit us. The visit starts in the parking area and we need to work with the environment the whole way from parking into shopping centre, while also inspiring people to visit IKEA. The biggest thing we work with is to create meeting places for all people, where they can have great experiences when they visit us. I also get inspired by our team in the shopping centre and how we work together, support one another and involve each other in different tasks.
What advice would you give someone thinking
about this job?
It’s important to always put the customer focus first, both for the tenants and for the visitors. Everything you do should be for the customers. You should always ask yourself, “Is this good for the tenants or customers?” It’s important to involve them in the process and work together.
What is your favourite aspect of the
IKEA culture and values?
I really love the humbleness and willpower. I also like that you talk about values in the everyday work. You can discuss if you are on the right track. When you make a decision as a leader, you can ask yourself whether you are leading by example. If yes, you should do it. I think that it’s my responsibility to make the values come alive in our work. Because if you don’t do that as a leader it will only be words on the wall. It’s important to work together and include all the people you work with.
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Image of Josefin Matsdotter Berggren, Interior Designer, Communication & Interior Design
Josefin Matsdotter Berggren
Interior Designer,
Communication & Interior Design
Silhouette of an IKEA product representing work area Communication & Interior Design
How did you get started in IKEA and what
have you done so far?
I was working as a freelance designer in Stockholm, but always wanted to work with IKEA. I took courses for a year and then got an internship with IKEA. I wanted to be in Älmhult where it all started. For a year now I’ve been working at the IKEA store in Älmhult.
Why did you want to work with IKEA?
Working with IKEA has been in my head since I was small. As a child going to IKEA was so exciting. I kept track of all the collections. IKEA was a big thing for me. We have a design language. I love to see it transforming every year into new things. It’s really exciting to be part of it. Plus, we are lot of cultures, bringing different ideas and endless opportunities.
What are the most inspiring responsibilities or
tasks you have in your current role?
I love building up a space. Trying to imagine the people who live there and what they want. Creating a story. That’s really interesting. I’m pretty new, but I really feel like people give you the chance to think outside the box all the time. That keeps my creative fantasy. At the same time, I need to show stuff that sells. It’s a lot about philosophy in some way. About people.
What advice would you give someone thinking
about this job?
It’s a lot more than you think! There are many factors you have to consider, but it always starts with the many people. It’s not about the latest trends, even if you need to know that as well.
What is your favourite aspect of the
IKEA culture and values?
I appreciate the part where everyone helps out. Everyone is appreciated for what strengths they bring, rather than that they are different. IKEA in general is good at bringing out the best in people, instead of making everyone the same. It’s about finding the best in people and letting them step up in that.
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Image of Jackline Kibunja, Team Leader, Customer Relations
Jackline Kibunja
Team Leader,
Customer Relations
Silhouette of an IKEA product representing work area Customer Relations
How did you get started in IKEA and what
have you done so far?
I started in November, 2011 with a six-month internship. I really liked it and I liked what I was doing. They offered me a summer job in 2012 and ever since then I’ve been working at IKEA Malmö.
Why did you want to work with IKEA?
I was looking for a job and IKEA is one of the best employers in Sweden. I wanted to try.
What are the most inspiring responsibilities or
tasks you have in your current role?
I love being on the floor as a team leader. It’s challenging, but I really like it. It’s very fast-moving. You are greeter, a cashier and always helping with so many questions. You learn so much when you are a team leader. It can be challenging and fun. I like working with people. I like talking to people and helping people, both customers and co-workers.
What advice would you give someone thinking
about this job?
I would tell them you have to be a people person. You have to be able to interact with people and tolerate stress. You have to be positive the whole day and have a smile for everyone, from the first customer to the last customer. You get used to it and can concentrate on the customer in front of you.
What is your favourite aspect of the
IKEA culture and values?
I like how we treat each other. We all see each other as equals. Even the manager is treated like an equal. I like that about IKEA. I like the way they hire people from all different cultures. They give everybody opportunities to work there. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what education you have, it’s about getting in and getting the experience. We all have a voice.
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Image of Tobias Johansson, Analyst, E-commerce
Tobias Johansson
Analyst,
E-commerce
Silhouette of an IKEA product representing work area E-commerce
How did you get started in IKEA and what
have you done so far?
I have previously been working as a consultant for a couple of years and wanted to get back working in-house again. When I got the chance to join IKEA I didn’t think twice. Working in-house you get an in-depth understanding of the business and are part of projects from start to end.
Why did you want to work with IKEA?
I have always been fond of the IKEA brand. Born in Sweden, I’ve grown up surrounded by IKEA furniture. From a professional point of view, analysing one of the biggest retail websites in Sweden sounded like a very interesting challenge. With almost 10% of the Swedish population visiting our website every week, we have very solid data to analyse user behaviour and website performance.
What are the most inspiring responsibilities or
tasks you have in your current role?
My job is about making sense of the data collected from our digital platforms. I get inspired by identifying and solving our customers’ pain points, making their shopping experience a little bit better. By understanding our customers’ online behaviour through web analytics, user surveys and A/B testing, we know what areas to improve. If we can find ways to increase our e-commerce conversion rate by even a tiny bit it can make a massive difference to the business. This makes my job very rewarding and a lot of fun. There’s still a lot of potential to make the IKEA shopping experience as good and personal as we want it to be.
What advice would you give someone thinking
about this job?
Patience should be a key word. Being new at IKEA it takes a lot of time to understand how the company works and who is doing what. You will feel new at the job for a long time. One should also understand that we’re not frontrunners in the digital industry, but we are picking up speed and moving in the right direction. There’s great potential.
What is your favourite aspect of the
IKEA culture and values?
Everyone is positive, friendly and supportive, no matter what level or role they have in the company. Even if it’s a multi-national company, you still get that family feeling that exists in small-sized companies.
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Image of Stefania Nervi, Global Content Catalogue Specialist, Marketing and Communication
Stefania Nervi
Global Content Catalogue Specialist,
Marketing and Communication
Silhouette of an IKEA product representing work area Marketing and Communication
How did you get started in IKEA and what
have you done so far?
I moved to London for a master’s degree. I saw an ad for an internship with IKEA and I thought it would be amazing to work there, even if I was busy studying and it was only for a few months. Then they actually offered me a permanent position, which I wouldn’t have even dreamt of. No, I’m just five years into my career and I’ve had the chance to work as part of a global communications team.
Why did you want to work with IKEA?
I have a passion for and an education in communication. As a child in Italy I remember IKEA was very different than other companies. The external communication style expressed that it was a very inclusive company, and that’s also what I’ve experienced inside the company. IKEA communications were always the most unique ones and I noticed and appreciated them. The catalogue was a collection of dream houses and every time I’d flick through the pages I’d imagine a day living in those rooms, choosing a different one every time. I wanted to work with the IKEA catalogue since forever. My dream job was always to work on the content of catalogue. I didn’t even know my current position existed. It’s my dream job.
What are the most inspiring responsibilities or
tasks you have in your current role?
My passion for the catalogue was one of the things that got me this job. I’m most excited to work on the catalogue because I see it as a global communication that lands on so many people’s doorsteps. It really can change lives. I don’t see any other communication that you receive that has the intent to give you a better everyday life. It’s a life changing medium.
What advice would you give someone thinking
about this job?
The IKEA catalogue lands on so many people’s doorsteps with so much inspiration for how to live a better life at home. It can kick start thinking about your home in a different way: from fixing those little annoyances that we wouldn’t even know we had, to bigger projects and solutions. In IKEA it’s really about a passion for how to improve people’s lives. How to live better in your home. And the IKEA catalogue is a global medium, so we have to keep in mind the global diversity and how different cultures perceive different messages.
What is your favourite aspect of the
IKEA culture and values?
I like that the company and your colleagues help you develop. I also like the chance for international mobility. You can go all over the world and do so many things. There really are endless possibilities in the company. You can go from Logistics to Human Resources to Marketing, crossing all the functions.
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Image of Sofie Johansson, Exchanges & Returns, Customer Relations
Sofie Johansson
Exchanges & Returns,
Customer Relations
Silhouette of an IKEA product representing work area Customer Relations
How did you get started in IKEA and what have you done so far?
I started at an IKEA customer support centre answering phone calls. I like being social and I love people. My manager saw that and understood that I would be happier serving customers face-to-face. He helped me contact the Customer Relations manager at an IKEA store. I came for a chat and we both knew it was really right for me. When a job came up I applied for it and got the job.
Why did you want to work with IKEA?
I’ve grown up with IKEA. I didn’t know much about IKEA, but who wouldn’t want to work there? You can do so much and be who you want to be. It’s really for everybody. It really is a family.
What are the most inspiring responsibilities or tasks you have in your current role?
I love to solve issues. It’s perfect for me. Starting in the store was one of the happiest moments. I’m so happy and I love doing it. Every customer is different. I’m creative, so solving the issues is really fun for me, even if it’s hard sometimes. They’ve given me brilliant education in the product range. My knowledge is really good and I love giving it to my co-workers. It’s inspiring to help angry, disappointed customers and get them to trust IKEA again. That’s the best feeling.
What advice would you give someone thinking about this job?
In Customer Relations our greeters are the first function customers meet and our cashiers are the last. We tie the experience together for customers and we build a really nice relationship. We know so much because we have knowledge from the whole store. For me it’s really inspiring. That’s why I work at Customer Relations. You have to love customers. You learn so much about yourself. You learn about people, customers and yourself. That’s inspiring and it’s why I love my job so much.
What is your favourite aspect of the IKEA culture and values?
I’m humble myself. But I always have a sparkle in my eye to make a situation easy. For me it’s close to my heart. I don’t need a gap between a manager and a co-worker. My manager and my co-workers are people just like everyone else and that’s inspiring for me. For me it’s really important to have a good leader. That’s why I like to lead by example. I really love it when I feel from my manager that I can actually do what I want. I can feel that I can go from knowing a little to knowing a lot. I can make progress. I really feel that my manager and my co-workers want to trigger me to be better and help me make progress.
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ABOUT THE IKEA GROUP
Our organisation
If you would like to find out more about what we do before you apply for a position, you can learn all about us here. ABOUT THE IKEA GROUP
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