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Mike – Commercial activities manager, Canada
Mike left his exhausting shift work at a local factory when he came across an IKEA job fair in a municipal building in downtown Toronto. “I had heard that if you applied to work at IKEA on that day you would get a free Bang mug,” he quips, “It turned out to be the best decision of my life.” Mike was interviewed on the spot and immediately felt a connection to the business. “They were more interested to know what I wanted to achieve in life rather than what I had already done in life; this really hit home for me,” he says.

Mike started as a ‘max 19er’, a term for those who work a maximum of 19 hours per week, in the wall units department. He was immediately inspired. “Having worked in a factory for three years, I suddenly found myself in a job where people would listen to what I was saying; they valued my judgement no matter what their position within IKEA. I found this very motivating,” he recalls. After five months Mike became sales coordinator for sofa and wall units and started to really appreciate the IKEA work ethics.

“It’s the open flow of ideas, the appreciation for individual opinions and the recognition of those who work hard that I really cherish about IKEA,” says Mike. Six months on, Mike was promoted again to the position of assistant sales manager and now, after three more years, he works as a commercial activities manager. “I have only been in my current position for 3 weeks,” he explains, “My new role puts me in charge of in store add-ons, activities, internal promotions and I am responsible for finding commercial opportunities on the shop floor.”

For Mike the job’s not just about the selling high volumes, it’s also about helping people to create their ideal home. “Every day we change people’s lives around the Greater Toronto Area. IKEA is here to make the home a nicer place and I am thrilled to be a part of it,” he says.

On being asked how he would like to see his career continue, Mike laughs: “If you’d asked me four weeks ago I would have said a sales manager, now that I have achieved this I need to re-think my goals.” He pauses for a moment considering his options. “Four years ago I only knew about a wrench and screwdriver from my factory work. I never thought I would be in the position that I’m in now. I know there are many opportunities for me at IKEA.”
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