Meet Katja from Procurement
I’ve been working in Lidl since June 2001. I started in a full-time position as a Purchasing Assistant and after having had my first child I continued as a part-time employee in six other roles. As a mother of two the part-time position has suited me perfectly as it has given me the chance to balance work and family life, which is what I always wanted to do.
Over the years I’ve worked as a Purchasing Assistant, Sales Assistant, Secretary to the Board, Logistics Assistant, Portfolio & Facilities Assistant, in reception as a maternity leave cover and as a Procurement Assistant.
Soon after moving to Ireland I was looking for an office assistant position through a job agency and Lidl happened to be recruiting for a Purchasing Assistant role in their new Head Office/Regional Distribution Centre in Newbridge at the time. I had studied German and had also lived in Germany for couple of years, so this was a perfect opportunity for me to use my language skills. I was also fluent in English, so I believe these helped me to get the position.
I am currently working as a part-time Assistant in Procurement Administration in Head Office in Tallaght. My responsibilities and tasks include company fleet administration, fleet database updates and reporting; supplier information and item updates in our ordering system; invoicing and other general office administration tasks. Through these tasks I have regular interaction with regional fleet managers and our external fleet management company, our international ordering system support as well as various head office departments such as Payroll, Accounts, Advertising, Legal and Compliance.
People are often surprised and amazed to hear that I’ve worked in Lidl for 17 years. I believe this is because there generally seems to be a trend that after gathering a few years of experience in one company it’s time to move on and apply for a job somewhere else. I never felt the need to move to another company, as Lidl has over the years given me the opportunity to work in different areas of the business giving variety in tasks and chance to learn new skills. And there is always the option for me to further improve my skills through personal development and internal training courses.
I’m very happy in my current position and feel comfortable and content in it. I also really enjoy working with my current team, I’ve a very nice and supportive group of colleagues and I feel comfortable around them.
I enjoy working for Lidl as it’s a very innovative company. There’s always something new happening in many areas of the business, both during working hours as well as during leisure time. I also started my Lidl journey in the old head office in Newbridge, so it felt like starting in a new company when we moved to the new office building in Tallaght. Also, I’ve seen Lidl change as a company over the years, to the better. Lidl has renewed itself and improved hugely in various areas and has constantly shown it still continues to do so. The company has always been very ambitious in reaching its targets which requires dedication from everyone in the business. And even if the company is still very ambitious and driven to succeed, I’ve been happy to see that during the last few years the focus has also shifted more towards a better work-life balance, staff wellbeing, our customers, charity work and environmental issues with numerous company initiatives.
My biggest challenge over the years have been times when there have been staff changes within my department team due to business requirements or personal choices, as these changes have affected my workload for a period of time. I always aim to complete my tasks in a timely manner and during those times I’ve felt being more under pressure to do so. However, if the pressure ever became overwhelming, this issue was discussed and addressed.
My (biggest) achievement in Lidl has been that I’ve been working for the company for such a long time (17 years) and I feel I’ve received recognition by being offered the opportunity to take up positions in various departments over the years and also new responsibilities in my current department. Through these positions I’ve gained a good knowledge and insight into different areas of the business and feel I’m valued as a person and as an employee for my skills and experience I’ve gained.
Outside of work I like being active and looking after my health and fitness, so over the years I’ve been doing different types of sports. I currently do Pilates, I walk and cycle and I recently started a gym fitness class organised by our Sports and Social Club in Lidl.
I’m also a member of a local art group in my village, where I do paintings with oil and acrylics. We hold yearly exhibitions locally with the group. Other than that, my kids keep me very busy when I’m driving them to their hobbies and back.
A fun fact about me is I am originally from Finland and when I visit home during the winter, one of my favourite traditions is to go first into the sauna, then run outside and roll in the snow and run back into the sauna. It is so refreshing and silly at the same time, it always makes me laugh! I wish I could do it more often!
I’ve always been interested in languages, so over the years I’ve either studied or done beginners classes in eight different foreign languages. In addition to my first language, I’m fluent in three other languages. Hopefully one day I will have the time to improve in the other ones as well!