Dedicated customer service and training – Erika Järvinen's career leap stems from goal orientation and job satisfaction
Tireless energy, ability to motivate and encourage others and putting her heart into her work spurred the career of Erika Järvinen, 34, trainer of experts.
Järvinen's career at OP began in 2010 at a Tampere Osuuspankki branch. She had just mentioned her dream about a career in banking to a friend and, soon after, the same friend told her about OP's job advertisement in the region's newspaper Aamulehti. She applied for the job and was selected.
After joining OP, nothing has held back the career advancement of the energetic talent with a great spirit. In her almost eight years with OP, Järvinen has taken many career steps from the bank branch to Telephone and Online Services and further to her current job as a trainer of experts within Centralised Service Production (Kepa).
The career path in OP has confirmed Järvinen's awareness of her strengths which, as a matter of fact, have taken her where she is now.
"However, nothing has come for free. I still trust in my father's advice that one should be extremely diligent in work," Järvinen says. This attitude has enabled her to fulfil herself within Kepa, she affirms.
Customer contacts and goal-oriented sales work lead to self-fulfilment and top expertise
Erika Järvinen's OP career begun in branch teller services and info desk where she served and helped customers visiting the bank. Soon she was asked to start assisting customers also by appointment. At that time, Järvinen was new to the banking world but, in her work, she learned a lot about customer contacts and banking duties. Work at the branch also enabled Järvinen to understand the daily operations of a bank.
"I have always had excellent supervisors who have helped me to move on towards new challenges when the time has been ripe", acclaims Järvinen. Supervisors were always understanding and supportive when Järvinen longed for a career move. She hoped to transfer from a bank branch into insurance, and so she did.
In her new job, Järvinen assisted customers contacting the insurance customer service through multiple channels – online or by phone. The work environment was dynamic, even hectic at times, but Järvinen felt instantly at home. She considered telephone work as an educational experience right from the start. Later the goal, sales and performance orientation related to the job have become important motivators for her.
From a customer care rep to trainer of new talents
A quick learner with intrinsic motivation, Järvinen soon moved on from plain insurance customer service into assisting both banking and insurance customers. "I was then able to use the knowledge I had gained during my time at the bank branch too. I really enjoyed my new hybrid job", Järvinen says.
She stayed on the job for more than two years, until her broad-based competence was needed for training newcomers. So she became a trainer of new customer advisors. Keen on working with people and valuing competence, Järvinen liked the new job which also enabled her to improve her presentation skills. The importance of giving feedback was a key element in the job since it helped new talents go forward.
Solution-focused by nature, Järvinen likes to come up with suggestions for improving practices. This is why she has – in addition to her job – participated in various projects and pilots aiming to develop OP's practices even more customer-driven and better than before. Her extensive knowledge of the customer interface and daily routines of customer care representatives has brought valuable insight into OP's development projects.
Meaningful work with the right attitude and big heart
"If you have the right attitude, OP is filled with opportunities to broaden your competence", describes Järvinen. For a while, Järvinen's work also included outbound calls, and calling existing customers further developed her sales skills and courage. The circle was closed as she had gained experience of both inbound and outbound contacts.
"I always put my heart into my work, aiming at creating the highest value to the customer", Järvinen says. For her, it is customers and offering the best service to them that make the job interesting.
She deems her work at Centralised Service Production meaningful for, and valuable to, not only customers but herself too: her enhancing skills and the ensuing career advancement continuously improve her own labour market value.
"The greatest career leap was when I became a coach in the banking team. It enabled me to use everything I had learned and experienced at OP for the benefit of others", says Järvinen. That job gave her great feelings of accomplishment when others succeeded thanks to her efforts.
The move into being a banking team coach and further a Kepa-wide trainer of experts was natural: her broad-based knowledge and experience of the various duties within Centralised Service Production, combined with her performance-oriented attitude, made her the ideal choice for the job.
In her current job as a trainer of experts, being able to have an impact on the development of others motivates her. In addition to factual knowledge, Järvinen also has other skills she uses for the benefit of others. Recently, she lead a coaching session on the effects of creating a positive atmosphere in the workplace. The request for the session came from another city's branch office where they had heard about her cheerful attitude.
Ultimately, Järvinen hopes that her attempts to share her knowhow and create a genuinely motivating and good atmosphere every day helps others go forward too. This way everyone succeeds.