In conversation with Lana Mak
Today, we bring you our conversation with Lana Mak, Buyer, UK.
To kick things off, could you tell us a little about yourself?
I am a mother of two little girls aged four and six, so I reserve a wellspring of energy for them. My family is a big part of my being, and I prioritise them over everything else. If I get some spare time, I like to run or take a walk to destress and relax.
How would you describe your path to Lindström and the journey so far?
Seven years ago, I moved from Slovenia to the UK and joined Lindström as a textile worker in production. Working in production was a great way to learn the ins and outs of different processes in Operations like sorting, folding, and packaging. The environment also helped me expand my English language skills while so much activity in this language was happening around me.
Then, right before starting my first parental leave, as physical work became more challenging, I got to work for a brief time in customer service. The new role was very exciting and I learnt the job quickly. When I returned to work, I was offered a position in customer service within months of joining. Back then, there was no buyer role in the UK, and the buying responsibilities fell under the purview of customer service. This was my chance to learn more about the buyer’s role and gain hands-on experience. We grew considerably in the UK, and by the time I returned from my second parental leave, new facilities had opened. There was now a need for a full-time buyer role. It was an easy decision for me to step into a new chapter.
What is your favourite part of the job?
I consider myself very lucky to have been given the chance to grow and evolve, often I have found myself in a new role – even when I have had no idea of the processes and work methods. The great thing about being here is that information is at your fingertips. The more you search and reach out, the more you get to learn. I have never been hesitant to say – “I am new here. How was this done previously?” and am glad that I got to say that often! Collaborating with colleagues across the globe is easy, I have built dependable networks within our organisation in Hungary, India, and Finland, to name a few. There is a strong sense of community and that someone is looking out for you.
Tell us about a recent challenging experience or a learning challenge?
Communicating honestly has always helped me at Lindström. Dealing with the parental paradox and the gripping ambivalence of missing out on time with kids is something every parent goes through when returning to work. Childcare is expensive in the UK, and we have to find ways to balance work and family responsibilities. We have worked out an arrangement with my team to allow me to work remotely and from the office partly, as is convenient.
On the personal learning front, I am pursuing a diploma certification from the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply.
What would be the one thing you would like to share about Lindström with people who may not know the company so well?
Your career doesn’t have to be a straight line. The possibilities are endless if you just say yes and are open. Sometimes, it’s not apparent where a particular move can take you. I have landed in the right roles with the right people at the right time and not always understood the reasons straight away, but in hindsight, they have turned out to be the defining moments of my journey with Lindström.
This series of career stories is built on conversations, ideas and the Lindström community. With a mission to celebrate our colleagues and draw inspiration, it is dedicated to shedding light on the stories of Lindströmers around the world, in various positions, teams and countries, celebrating the diversity of our people. At Lindström, we value and support everyone in their aspiration to become the best they can be.