With the debut of my “journey of a leader” articles and a strong connection to the fashion background, I am interviewing my first leader who is currently working as a business controller in H&M.
A short stint about H&M- standing on the tagline of fashion and quality at its best price in a sustainable way, H&M is one of the leading fashion brands out there in the world.
From its good deals to quality materials and now increased focus on the care for the environment, it works on a big sustainable model. But the main question arises, how does it feel to work for such a large brand that too as a business controller?
From waking up every morning at 6 o’clock to prep for the day so that she can start working at 8, the first thing that out of habit (which she agrees is a bad one), Emma reaches, is her phone. That’s not to check the previous day emails, but it’s actually to be on her favourite social media apps. Emma surely has a different explanation for that.
I know it’s a bad habit, but these habits go out only with practice, but when your favourite artist has just released a new song or your other favourite artist has announced a tour or an album, you just can’t keep calm.
On her way of driving to work, she has various educational podcasts. Those are a must, sometimes I feel that whatever I listen to can pump up my day with wisdom and knowledge and I can probably use that today while working.
Arriving at her destination, she greets everyone with a smile and takes a seat in her designated place. What I like working about this place is that most of them are not from a fashion background, but the company stands for people.
From analyzing data to coming up with decisions and discussing them with the team to coming to the execution there are a lot of aspects that have to be considered, but all of them have people as the main focus behind it.
Emma started as a store manager and being handled with such a great responsibility from the start, it was not easy for her. I was this little shy and introvert who somehow did get into the company but for the first few weeks I kept on getting constructive feedback on how I need to push myself more to get to know the people and interact with them. It was hard. A
lot many times I have just gone home and cried my eyes out or probably sat with a tub of ice cream and just said F it.
The never giving attitude brought me back to life. There were a lot many times I had to deal with the co-workers who were completely out of my understanding, but dealing with them was a challenge and slowly through my knowledge, I gained that respect and friendliness. H&M is a place where you can be promoted within the organization at a fast pace but you have to be good at your current role, which I felt was liberating and motivating.
Coming to the question of what advice would she like to give to other ambitious souls to join the organization in a similar role, she gets into deep thought.
The organization is known to select one of the best people for higher and responsible positions, but what they really look for in a person is how easily you engage with people and they test your patience.
Sometimes when you’re working in a store, that too in the sales time, its physically and emotionally draining. That is what is being tested on. How patient you’re and how’re you motivating your team to be calm and composed. A lot of situations would be given and how you tackle them and inspire them to become future leaders is what all they look for.
We bid her goodbye as it is 8 o’clock and time for her to start working and for us to leave, with insights of how is it to work for H&M and what all you can do to if you also want to knock the doors to work for this brand.