Reflection and efforts to develop

Henrik Hansson Tengberg has an engineering master's degree in production systems from the School of Engineering and a MSc in Innovation and Business Creation from the Jönköping International Business School. He addressed the students as part of the Career Center's series of lectures, entitled "An alumnus explains".

How do you get your dream job? If you are open to change and development, you will do really well on the labour market. "The key to success in your working life is your ability to take every job you have to a new level and to contribute to the development of the operation. Many companies nowadays want employees who, both individually and alongside their colleagues, can generate development and improvements within their area," says Henrik.

Henrik Hasson Tengberg together with Marcello Machado and Askar Muratov students from Jönköping International Business School.

Strategic development and logistics

After graduating, Henrik has worked at both Volvo and SKF. He now works at ABB Robotics in Västerås, as a Strategic Supply Specialist. The company is a global leader within automation technology, focusing on sales and servicing. ABB's robot manufacturing operations are located in Västerås, Shanghai and Michigan, USA. The company manufactures 25,000 robots per year. Customers included BMW, Audi, Volvo and GM, and there is also a servicing organisation with 1,200 employees, which is where Henrik works.

The future demands innovation and creativity

Far too many in industry are holding onto old habits and attitudes regarding how to work, often as a consequence of not having developed in line with the outside world. "Working strategically and looking forwards are decisive for companies to survive nowadays. Technology is offering opportunities for entirely new business models and structures, in both large and small companies," stresses Henrik.

"When it comes to strategic purchasing work, many aspects need to be performed as cost-effectively as possible. This is the view of the market and what is demanded. Total cost analysis and the identification of possible suppliers, raw materials, storage, freight, production costs, warehousing costs and overheads. This holistic approach is something I developed when I was a student, by studying both economics and technology," adds Henrik.

If you do not develop and make changes, the outside world will make sure that change takes place somehow. Studies have shown that 50 per cent of today's jobs will be automated by 2035. Automation has also resulted in the disappearance of 450,000 jobs in Sweden between 2006-2011. Many different professions are affected. Examples include cashiers, sales, invoice processing, banking, the service sector, operators and transport. For this reason, it is important for companies to see where the trend is heading and to adjust their operations accordingly, so that they are not outcompeted by more adaptable competitors.

Identify new business opportunities

But how can we create new jobs? Entrepreneurs can identify new business opportunities when doors are opened through development in the fields of automation and technology. It is now possible to do a great deal with relatively few resources, compared to what was needed before. "People also have to think along new lines and consider how they can do the things they do today even better tomorrow. This is particularly important in large, rigid organisations. Thinking lean and eliminating waste in processes, in order subsequently to automate them, is a winning concept for the future, where the focus is on 'white collar productivity', particularly in countries with high wages costs such as Sweden," says Henrik, adding:

"Development, innovation and creativity have been identified as key elements in the working life of the future. It is important to look at historical trends as well as where technical developments are heading. 3D printing is one such phenomenon that can/will become extremely large."

Reflection on working life

Consider how your behaviour affects other people and their performance and treatment.  Your behaviour is incredibly important, and project management is an example of how difficult it is to steer others in the way you yourself want to go. In addition, people have mental models that hinder development by locking us in the present.

Henrik says that we have to dare to fail and to take some risks. However, we also have to consider and reflect on consequences before we start something new. Even so, never daring to try out our ideas is a waste, in Henrik's opinion. "If you are open to change and have the desire to develop by trying new things, you will do well in your working life," adds Henrik.

How can we match today's working life with our private life? Henrik has met a number of skilled young employees who have suffered from burnout. Things are tough on the labour market today. We are constantly connected and there is always more to do than we have time for. For this reason, we have to be observant and build in time to recover, as well as prioritising alongside our superiors in order to determine what is actually acceptable to leave for the time being. "So the message is: Take it easy and look after yourself! Work is not everything," concludes Henrik.

Text and photography: Christina Almgren