To be the first

Friday, May 22, 2020

Jette van Eldjik is young and ambitious. And she has her eye on the prize: To be the first female Business Unit Manager at Axians. Throughout her career, she has been customer-driven. Currently, she is a Customer Experience Manager at Axians. Axians provides a broad range of IT solutions and services, ranging from networking and cybersecurity to software development and business intelligence. RightBrains asked Jette a few questions.

What is a Customer Experience Manager?

I focus on the end-user ultimately; so I’m the liaison between the technology we provide and the customer. In my business unit, we focus on workplace solutions and end-user support. It is essential to understand the needs of the customer to provide them with the best service possible.

Tell us more about your journey?

In my career, I have always been involved in customer-related projects at various organisations. I started at Axians in 2017 as a Service Manager and completed their Young Professional Programme. Last mentioned is an intensive traineeship with the focus on your career goals.

It was during this traineeship that I noticed that even though there is a big focus on diversity within Axians, there are no female Business Unit Managers. At the end of my final presentation for the traineeship, I told the panel I want to change this, and that I would be the first female business unit manager!

As a Service Manager, I took part in several projects of our Business Unit. In one of these projects, they appointed me as the lead, and we integrated the XLA® (eXperience Level Agreement) method in all our processes. This method incorporates design thinking, and it starts with defining the desired customer experience, and everything follows from there.

They promoted me to Customer Experience Manager in 2020, and I’m currently busy with my Master’s Degree in Management, Culture and Change with Coaching as a focus.

What do you hope to achieve in your career?

My goal is to help and coach businesses and their employees to be open to change. I also want to inspire others to be the best they can.

Another important goal is to improve the ratio between men and women in management positions and to promote diversity. With diversity in a team, you can view problems from different perspectives and achieve better solutions.

For me, fairness is key. The right person should get the job, regardless of gender or cultural background.

What has been the greatest lesson you have learned thus far?

If you want something, go for it! You are the director of your career, so take the initiative! And don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand something. Another important lesson I learned is to be true to yourself, don’t change to fit other’s mould. I always refer to this sentence in my mind: ‘Say it simply, say it straight and say it with a smile’.

I think a common misconception is that you have to be technical to work for an IT company, or that you have to have done a technical study. This is not the case at all. I’m not technical, but I’m very interested in IT, and I’m keen to learn and understand more! We need more women in this industry, so my advice for younger women would be to broaden your career scope.

And remember to have balance! Yoga and meditation are vital to me because it teaches me to listen to myself and find peace, be it at work or at home.