Management requires an interest in people
Medical devices and marketing have been the professional direction for Sandra Feilman, while creating results with and through others has become her focal point. Particularly because she’s interested in people.
“Management is intuitive to me, while education and training have given me tools. You can learn a lot, but management is mostly about taking an interest in people. You have to be aware of well-being, what it takes for employees to perform best, and be able to motivate them.”
As Marketing Manager, Sandra Feilman had direct management responsibility, while today she works on projects and globally in Radiometer across countries, cultures and professional groups.
“I don’t have the answers to everything, but I’m good at putting together a team that can move in one direction, set clear expectations and create results. As a manager, I don’t want people to work for me, but with me.”
Put what you want into words
Her current title as DBS Leader covers a job as an internal project and process consultant. Because the position includes so much personnel management, it also acts as preparation for becoming general manager, i.e. director of one of the group’s subsidiaries.
“My goal is to become a general manager. That goal has matured over time. 10 years ago, it wasn’t formulated. My approach has been to do well where I was and state where I wanted to go next. It’s important to raise your hand and express your wishes.”
As a manager, Sandra has experienced how difficult it is to help employees who can’t say where they want to go. She points out that each position is a job interview for the next one. At Radiometer, she has moved upwards, step by step, over a 10-year period.
In primary school, Sandra’s teachers pushed her towards becoming an engineer because she was good at mathematics, chemistry and physics. But somewhat by chance, she chose an optional business economics course at high school, and this gave her completely new interests, together with a dream of adventure in other countries.
“I have travelled a great deal and my inspiration for choosing qualifications and jobs has always been found elsewhere. It’s important to step out of your comfort zone and meet people who think differently. International travel has helped to give me a perspective on opportunities and career choices.”
Instead of becoming an engineer, Sandra took a master’s degree in international marketing and management, and has worked globally in all her positions. This brings with it a lot of travelling. And this presents logistical challenges with two children and a husband who occupies an executive position.
“Because we’re both career people, there is mutual understanding of work priorities, and that leads to peace at home. We also have a babysitter and sometimes ask friends to pick up our children. Every week we sit down with the family calendar and plan who does what.”
Your home life must be in order
Sandra has never considered dropping or reducing her career because of the children, as she sees many other well-educated women do. The years with small children and a lack of sleep were tough, but she has a great need for independence.
“It’s reassuring to know your strengths and weaknesses and to believe that the results will come. My gender has never been a challenge, because neither the medical devices sector or marketing are typically male dominated. We have several women in our senior management, and it helps to have someone to act as a role model.”
When it comes to choosing qualifications too, Sandra Feilman recommends seeking inspiration, preferably from someone who has your dream qualification, to learn about the jobs available.
“Early in your career, you have a subject-specific focus, but later it’s more about how you handle yourself and others. If you deliver and do well, you’ll go a long way. In time you will find your own formula for success that you take with you when you’re given new areas of responsibility.”