Roles that make you grow
Anyone who knows Josefine Göthe knows that she is a genuine leader. She is confident, clear and has plenty of good ideas. She believes that her ability to inspire was one of the reasons why she was asked to join Semcon as acting Team Manager. She also considers how motherhood has made her ready to take on greater strategic responsibilities; “Now I know what I’m capable of!”.
What about your career? People normally ask this question with the best of intentions, but it is a question that I am fairly sure my male counterparts are spared at the time of starting a family. If I had known then what I know now, my answer could have been “it will be absolutely fine!”. Towards the end of my second parental leave, I was asked to join as acting Team Manager for a team of 11 brilliant engineers and take on the responsibility for their development, sales, and strategic work. “I’d love to”, was my answer. I worked in the department’s Core Team for nine months, while also managing a Validation Manager role on a part-time basis. Later, I got my own team and now I focus on leadership and sales every day.
Qualification is communication. Some people think that a qualification process is just a huge amount of paperwork, legal documents and regulations. And yes, they would be right to an extent. However, communications with various company functions, problem-solving, planning and risk assessments are equally prominent – the content in all those documents must come from somewhere! We recently worked on equipment qualifications for a new factory that will fill and pack vaccines. My role as Validation Manager roughly corresponds to that of a Project Manager, but with great insight into the operational work and a high degree of accuracy.
When I started at Semcon three years ago, I mentioned my ambition to be part of the sales team. It may seem like a well-thought-out strategic plan, but for me, it was more about being transparent with my future employer regarding my ambitions. I want to feel that I have enough room to grow at work, and by being clear about my aspirations, I think I have created this opportunity. Now that I have been given a leadership role, I have got to know myself even more. I initially thought that sales activities were my strongest trait and that leading a team would be secondary, but now I consider both parts equally rewarding.
I want my consultants to feel like they can call me. Not only when it comes to work-related issues, but, for example, if something out of the ordinary has happened at work or they just want to share something for fun. So I work actively to create an environment where this feels natural. I believe in being present as much as possible, both in the everyday lives of co-workers and while working on assignments.
As an example: as an experienced commuter, I know how boring it can get at times. So we have created a shared playlist, where everyone can add their favorite songs and listen together. We call it Sound of Semcon. Not only does this mean I get to discover new music. I also get another piece of the puzzle from my colleagues that bond us even more as a team.
As a leader, I sometimes have to be direct and make less enjoyable decisions. But fortunately, I have a good amount of self-esteem and trust in my decisions. Maybe even more so after becoming a mother. Just like the leadership role, motherhood has made me grow. I know I can do it, that I have to prioritize, that I can be flexible and that planning is key. I certainly have become a professional at the latter – and I reckon that most parents of young children would agree.
I find inspiration from other strong, leaders around me, my previous and current managers, women in my private life and public figures. If I could be an inspiration to others, I would hope that it is by showing women that they can have both a family and a career. It is doable!
Title: Team Manager Stockholm / Södertälje
Education: Master of Science in Chemical Engineering KTH
Employed at Semcon since: September 2018
I have the most fun at work when: I get to solve problems alongside my colleagues – and we do it well. When both the client and the consultant are happy, that makes me satisfied too!