Interview with Peter Kaan, employee whose career at AFINIS Group started 20 years ago, and who has had the longest employment among our staff. Peter joined AFINIS Group in 2000, right after his high school graduation, at first as a part-time employee, but three month later he began working full-time. What he liked about his job was an excellent team of colleagues and possibilities of long drives all around Slovakia and its neighboring countries. Apart from his work, which he still does with passion, he likes spending his free time with his family and friends in his garden, doing sports and walks with his dog. Let’s have a look at his long-term working experience at AFINIS Group®.
1. Can you believe that you have had the longest career with AFINIS Group®? Are you a mentor for younger employees or do you get advice from junior staff members yourself?
I still can’t believe it. Right after the owner, I am officially the oldest in terms of employment. I am not sure whether I’m a mentor, but I’m trying to give a hand to new colleagues. The company’s product range is quite wide and learning the technical parameters of individual products can be really challenging. But on the other hand, I like to learn from new colleagues, after all, they have a different perspective than me.
2. What is your job about and how does your work day look like? What are the pros and cons of your job?
At present, I work as a sales representative and my job is to sell. A regular working day for me, means to find perspective clients and visit them. Advantage of my job is that you are not stuck in a rut and every day offers something new. I am not aware of any disadvantages, if there were any, I would not be working here any longer. (laugh)
3. What were your expectations when you joined the company? Can you evaluate it, after all those years? Did you get what you had been looking for or did you miss something?
When I started my job, I didn’t have high expectations, as the situation was very different back then. Of course, I was eager to learn new things and get a promotion. When I look back at my time here, I’ve realized that I have always accomplished my goals. There were times, obviously, when everything didn’t go as expected, especially during the economic crisis in 2008-2009. Luckily, everything is well right now.
4. From the perspective of an employee, how would you describe the situation among staff, do you help each other, or does everybody do his/her “own thing”?
Generally, there is always a good mood in this company. We try to help each other if we can. And that’s how it is supposed to be, as each of us is unique and good at something else. However, if anyone needs a helping hand, there is always some to turn to.
5. The company is now coming with new ideas, are you open to them? Do you find them positive or negative? If positive, which changes do you consider as most beneficial for the company and for yourself?
New things are always challenging and I am glad if I’m able to fulfill them. As for my personal growth, I find sales trainings and training from our suppliers as the most useful.
6. What are you the proudest of? What have you accomplished in the company that has made you very happy?
I am proud of the fact that I have been the company’s employee for more than 20 years. And what makes me happy? Each concluded a business contract, which is not only a success for me, but for the company as well, as we extend our references and operations.
7. If you could give any advice to junior employees, what would it be?
Try to learn. It might sound like a cliché, but it is true. Not only the times are changing, but technology as well. Therefore it is crucial, not to be satisfied with what you know. It is never enough. You need to learn and grow, both professionally and personally.
8. Why do you still work here? What is your motivation? Which corporate values do you mostly relate to?
I work for this company for several reasons. One of them is definitely the team, thanks to which, I feel happy but also the management, who I can always turn to and I know they will help me. Then it is about continuous growth and development. Last but not least, it is nice to work for a company that is the leader on the Slovak market in the field of seals and sealing technology.
9. What is your approach to the end customer? What do you appreciate when working with people? From the point of view of a customer, what would you expect from an employee of your company?
We try to provide our clients with goods for the best price and best quality. That’s the basis, that’s what is expected and what the customer should get. However, we always add some added value in the form of our service or technical expertise.
This is what it looks like in our company. Whether we look at single employees or the whole staff, we are aware that without our loyal and professional personnel our company wouldn’t have become the leader on the market.
We would like to thank Peter Kaan for the interview and express our hope that he will not lose his motivation to work for us and he will still be a part of our team and be a leader in the world of sales, full of good contacts and satisfied customers. Thank you!