Jason – Environmental coordinator, Canada
Jason started working at IKEA as a part-time cashier when he was at high school. After graduating from the University of Toronto, his part time work became his full-time career. “I was studying molecular biology when a store manager asked me if I had thought about a career at IKEA. I had to admit that I hadn’t,” he smiles. “Although I enjoyed my part-time work on the sales floor I didn’t want to be a sales manager. I thought this was the only option. I had no idea about all of the other opportunities IKEA offered.”
After much thought Jason decided he’d like to work in human resources. “On the shop floor, one of the parts of my work that I had enjoyed the most was the interaction with people. My aim was to find a role that would continue to provide this,” he says. After graduating from university he started working as a learning development specialist, and went on to do a part-time course in human resource management.
After four years in HR, Jason was ready for new challenges. “I was enjoying my work but I needed a change. I needed to learn new things”. He therefore seized the opportunity to work as an environmental coordinator. “At first glance the two roles seem totally different but under closer scrutiny there are similarities, the interaction with people is a big part of the job,” he says. The role requires an ability to understand the goals of the organisation and to relay these to co-workers. The employees are encouraged to be conscious of their behaviour and the effect it has on the environment.
“As a business, we recognise that what we do has an effect on the environment. We take responsibility for our actions and work to minimise these effects.”
After 14 years, Jason is proud to be a part of IKEA. He particularly appreciates the down-to-earth nature of the company. “As an organisation, IKEA is humble enough to recognise that we don’t know all the answers. We are therefore constantly searching for more answers and trying to find new solutions”. But most of all, Jason values the opportunity that IKEA has afforded him. “I have always had the freedom to move and I have realised that whatever your goals are, you can realise them in some shape or form at IKEA. If you’d have told me a year ago that I would be an environmental coordinator, I’d have said ‘no way!’” he laughs.