It’s early morning in Helsinki. The brilliant sun is shining, gleaming off of polished rooftops and into the eyes of Sebastian Kajander, a Oneflow Sales Executive. Squinting as he walks into the office, he prepares himself for a typical, atypical day. Gathering his thoughts over his first cup of coffee, he ponders his time on a recent business trip to Oneflow HQ in Stockholm. The lively atmosphere of the office, the massive amount of information exchanged between colleagues of all backgrounds and the infectious energy in the air that created a constant buzz. The calm contrast of the Finnish office inspires a thought, which is he’s glad to be home in Finland.
Helsinki hasn’t always been home for Sebastian, though. He was born and raised there and is one of the 5% of Finns who are “Finlandssvenskar,” a Swedish-speaking Finn. He said that this has given him a unique perspective and helped him broaden his horizons to open his eyes to new opportunities.
Go west, young man
After completing his studies at the Hanken School of Economics, he dove headfirst into his professional career. He was working in a variety of sales and customer-facing roles in Finland. Eventually, he decided it was time for something or somewhere new.
“I worked awhile first in Finland, but then I noticed that there are a lot of interesting opportunities in Stockholm. So I applied to American Express and moved there for a few years. Then, a bit later, I moved back to Finland,” said Sebastian.
So having a foot in both the Swedish and Finnish speaking world feels natural for Sebastian. It’s the world he’s grown up in. Another thing that feels natural to him is selling.
“I switched lanes a bit (over the years) trying to find new opportunities, but I always felt like sales was a good fit. That’s where I feel the most natural. So then I went back to more selling-focused roles. In customer support positions, there’s always some kind of selling involved. So I learned a lot from those roles, and now I’m delighted to be back in sales.”
Sebastian joined Oneflow as a part of the Finnish team last year, and he’s been an integral part of helping to bring truly digital contracts to the Finnish market.
The eureka effect
As a salesperson, Sebastian has the demanding task of convincing people and businesses to spend their hard-earned money on a product. Yet, when it comes to selling Oneflow, he finds it enjoyable and refreshing—especially dealing with his Finnish prospects and customers.
“Oneflow is super nice and futuristic. It’s a technology heading in the right direction, fun, and refreshing to see on the market. For example, when I call a company and speak with a CEO or a decision-maker, I can see that they immediately understand the value of our product,” Sebastian said. “They have an “A-Ha” moment and know that this change is coming. Maybe not right away, but they know that this is something they’ll need in the future. And then they’re more than happy to meet you going forward.”
That feeling of getting someone to understand you and seeing that look of realization on their face is great! It’s something that people everywhere all over the world chase. And as a salesperson, Sebastian chases it daily. Luckily for him and other Oneflow salespeople, digital contracts demand the attention of their prospects.
“The solution we provide is quite new in Finland as people are used to PDF contracts. So it makes it easier for us to get people interested. It’s always fun to show off Oneflow. And from the first phone call, I mention you don’t have to buy this. I just want you to see the new way of doing things. I want them to understand what truly digital contracts are,” said Sebastian.
He clearly understands what Oneflow does and helps others get to that same level of understanding. But what has his life at Oneflow in Finland been like since joining?
Culture knows no borders
Sebastian’s life at Oneflow in Finland, and in general has been an enjoyable one thus far. He acknowledges that sometimes it can be difficult for people working in other offices to grasp the culture. It can be challenging for them to feel genuinely “part” of the company if they aren’t at HQ. For Sebastian though, being in Finland isn’t a worry for various reasons.
“It’s really nice that we often visit the Stockholm office. It feels like we are still part of the same company. And this, in my opinion, is something that often is neglected in other companies. Even though people often mention that it’s always one big happy family, including every office is tough,” said Sebastian.
He went on to say, “and I think that Oneflow definitely has succeeded in this. We can always discuss things openly, and I never feel like I can’t say something. You can always speak your mind and you always feel included.”
Maintaining a common culture across offices is a challenge that companies worldwide face. It’s a vital issue for management, HR, and everyone inside the organization.
The noisy nordic neighbors
Of course, there are cultural differences between Sweden and Finland, and Sebastian is well versed in them. But according to Sebastian, Oneflow has managed to pull off transporting Oneflow’s culture and core values to Finland.
Sebastian noted, “when we visit the Stockholm office, it’s fun to see that the Swedes are usually really outgoing and super energetic. Usually, you can find them on the dance floor. And then when you look around, you can see every other nationality around as well.”
At Oneflow HQ, diverse ideas, personalities, nationalities, and more are on full display. It’s something that Sebastian believes leads to the company being more effective.
“So it’s fun to go around and speak to people and get to know each other. And then, after a long conversation, work finally comes up as a topic. It’s great to bounce ideas off of each other, and everybody has their own perspective on things. And I think that makes a lot of the work that we do better in quality since we’re a versatile company with a versatile solution,” said Sebastian.
Birds of a feather, fly together
Another thing that Sebastian enjoys about working at Oneflow is the teams that he works with. Both in Finland and around the other offices as well. Despite a few differences, they are more similar and complement the skillsets of each other.
“The salespeople in Finland have totally different backgrounds, but we are quite similar. It’s funny to see how similar you can be despite having completely different backgrounds. Even when you look at the sales team as a whole, we have fun together when we meet, and you feel like a part of something bigger,” said Sebastian.
Realizing they are all a part of something bigger allows them to work together to tackle more significant challenges and achieve more ambitious goals. According to research from Stanford University, it’s a collective and collaborative spirit that leads teams to tremendous success, and Sebastian echoes that sentiment.
He continued, “even though selling to a Finn, a Swede, a Norwegian, or another person can be quite different, we all share our knowledge and strategies. It’s fun to see how well we can work together, and it leads to interesting discussions because it’s easy to get your voice heard at Oneflow.”
Oneflow in Finland – changing the pace
Back in Helsinki, Sebastian’s coffee turns a little cold. He’s had a few meetings, but then things went haywire. Rescheduling calls, handling ad hoc requests, helping out colleagues, and chasing deals. It’s another typical, atypical day for him.
During a brief lull between meetings, he thinks back to what he said he enjoys most about his Life at Oneflow in Finland.
“The colleagues, as everybody is super nice, quite young and we’re a young company. It’s energetic, and it motivates me when I see how much energy everybody has,” Sebastian said. “People are a bit calmer here in Helsinki, so it’s super fun to visit Stockholm, but I tend to be a bit tired when I come home. So it’s nice to come back here and change up the pace a little.”
Life at Oneflow in Finland is an exciting one, and we’re looking for more wonderful people to join us! Are you the next Oneflower? Maybe! Check out our career page as we’re hiring!