With a Passion for Fashion - why a textile girl chose to work within IT

March 31, 2015

Meet Anna, one of our amazing team members at TechniaTranscat, who after working within fashion for 20 years, changed her career path and moved into a new industry – IT. She says IT is not about coding, it’s about how you in creative ways can solve business problems.

“I am originally a textile girl. I started to sew early and have never stopped. It was my interest for sewing that got me into the fashion business. I am a technical designer and a trained seamstress. That’s my creative side. My other side is the structured, focused and goal seeking. This side is the one that got me into purchasing, supply chain and later on to consulting and finally IT,” Anna says.

Anna has spent almost all of her working life in the fashion and retail business. “First I worked at H&M as a buyer and I lived in Hong Kong for some time. I continued as purchasing and logistics manager for a couple of smaller retail companies in Sweden. For the last 13 years I have been a consultant, 4 of those with my own company. I have helped companies with processes within purchasing, product development and supplier collaboration,” she says.

After having a training with the apparel team at TechniaTranscat to improve their knowledge about the fashion industry, Anna was offered a job at TechniaTranscat. Now Anna works as team manager for the Apparel & Retail team.

IT can be creative!

“To be honest I had no plan to move into IT. As a consultant you often end up in the IT area so I had run a couple of projects but had no intention to work 100% with it. But when I got the opportunity to try something new I took it. And so far there are no regrets. Working with IT in the way that I do is very creative. You may think it’s all about coding but you need to understand the problem the customer want to solve and find a good easy solution for that. That is the challenge and the interesting part. At least for me.”

With experience from real-life business problems

Since Anna has worked as a buyer, product manager and purchasing manager in retail companies it is easy for her to relate to customers problems and needs. “I have been there and understand what they are saying. I know how to plan collections and the process from idea to product. I have worked with suppliers all over the world and understand the frustration over bad performance from the office in Shanghai. I know the personality of designers and buyers and how uninterested they are of IT. I know their language. I don’t ‘talk as a consultant’ and it makes me a person they can trust quite quickly,” she says.

Challenges that makes work fun

“One of the biggest challenges being a consultant is that you can never plan your day. A customer can call, and you need to leave everything you are doing to support them. In our team we have quite many customers compared to the size of the team we are. It means you need to manage many different things every day. The good thing about it is that it never gets boring and you get to know a lot of nice interesting people from all over the world. The feeling of having a happy customer that really trusts you and who understands that you are doing the work together. That feeling!”

Proud of being a trusted consultant

“I am proud of that most of my customers over the years trust me and want to work with me again. I think it is because I always try to be honest and I often say no to them. I believe in an open relationship built on trust. And saying no builds trust. They know that when I say 'yes' I really mean it.”

TechniaTranscat – a multicultural working place

“TechniaTranscat is a very friendly place to work at. I am a bit of an odd bird here since I am not a ‘normal’ IT person and don’t always understand what the technical guys say. It worried me a bit in the beginning but not anymore. We learn from each other. It is also a multi culture working place which I think is very important,” Anna says.

 

 

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About Anna Liljedahl

Anna has more than 20 years of experience from the fashion and retail business. She has been working at TechinaTranscat since 2012, first as a business consultant with customers as Monoprix and Haglöfs, and now as senior advisor for the apparel and retail business.

 Anna's LinkedIn Profile

Anna’s best tips on questions to ask yourself when choosing a career path

  1. What kind of person are you? Do you need structure around you (bigger companies) or are you more of an entrepreneur type (smaller companies)?
  2. What is important to you more than the actual work? Office location? Travel time to work? Sitting in a landscape or having your own room?
  3. What is important to you in terms of career? Is it important to become a manager or are you more interested in having a work that challenges you in other ways?
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions in the interview. Look at it as if you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you.
  5. Try to set up a long term goal of where you want go with your working life. Sometimes a job “up the ladder” doesn’t help you to meet your long term goal.

Job Openings at TechniaTranscat

TechniaTranscat is recruiting! We are currently looking for business consultants, but also within other areas, such as CAD, programming and sales. Come join us!