Employee Story Of The Month: Meet José, B2B Sales Manager, Spain

Valeriia: Hi José, the topic for today is a bit more personal and totally focused on you. I would like to talk about your personal values and your work ethic, so thank you very much for joining the employee story of the month series. Can you introduce yourself in a few words?

José: Yeah, of course. I am José, José Manuel Álvarez. I have been working here in Homelike for the last three years. I’m so happy to work here, to help my colleagues, and to help also the market to grow.


I am the B2B Manager for the Spanish market, trying to proceed with all the meetings with my clients, trying to analyze the needs that we have as a market also helping the rest of the team with small projects, and yeah, in general, I am used to managing projects every day to help the B2B department and also to help the company to grow. But yeah it was almost three years, so yeah working hard for the future.

Valeriia: Nice! Thank you. Three years I haven’t realized it was that long already, nice!

José: Yeah, and with Covid in the middle, so I think it counts double.

Valeriia: True, true! Alright, so I think a good place to start is from the very beginning. So, what was your dream job as a kid and why?

José: Huh, I don’t know. I think that actually a lot of people say “I want to be a doctor”, “I want to be a football player”, or “I want to be an astronaut”.


For me, it was so simple because since I was a kid, I think the most important thing is to be surrounded by people and to work as a team. So, for me, no matter what kind of work but for me the most important thing is to maintain personal relationships with my colleagues, also with some clients, and be part of an international team.


It was my dream actually, the dream that I had was to be part of an international company, outside of my comfort zone in Spain. But yeah, I think now I got what I wanted in the past. But yeah, I think I am still young, we can do a lot of things. But yeah, not an astronaut and not a football player, but happy to keep personal relationships with clients and also with my colleagues.

Valeriia: Sounds good. Yeah, I can imagine like 6-year-old Jose, like you know wanting to build relationships with clients and working in a team.

José: No, not with clients but yeah I also, I am also happy to be with people, with my friends, with my family.


So I couldn’t imagine myself working alone, maybe as a software developer or business analyst or something like that. I prefer to be with people and to maintain good relationships with all the people around me and if we can create a common project, having a common goal, everything is perfect for me.

Valeriia: Yeah, that makes sense. Yeah, I really like that. So, now let’s talk about your current role. What is the greatest risk you have taken as a professional?

José: I think, the greatest risk, before starting, I think that coming here to Germany was a really really huge challenge for me because I was imagining myself living in Spain, like trying to, I don’t know, maybe in other cities.


But definitely, Germany was a big challenge because of the culture, because of the language, and also because of different people, and yeah I think that it was a really big challenge.

So in the beginning, I was a little bit nervous about other cultures, and with other people but I am super open, I am so happy to meet new friends and new employees and like to have new onboardings every month. But I think that it was the main risk for me to change completely my routine, to change completely the habits that I used to have in the past.


And I would also say the second one, the second risk, was Covid. I think it definitely had a huge impact on everyone.


For me, it was difficult, because I was so far away from my house, so far away from my comfort zone. So I had to prepare myself, also be realistic and try to adapt myself to the new situation.


In general, I think that everyone used to have different risks, not only in their professional career but also in their personal. So yeah, I think that everyone should be able to manage new challenges, and new problems and in general be adaptable to new changes.

Valeriia: Yeah, for sure. So going out of my comfort zone and also going into a new environment, all make me think about the next question. How do you manage self-doubt?

José: I think it is very important, to manage self-doubt, to manage your feelings, and to manage everything that is happening around you because doubts are something natural and we need to live with them every day, every year during our whole life.


So for me, the first thing that I used to do is to be positive about everything, the good things and also the bad things. Because if we are able to manage difficult situations and also to manage how we react to these difficult situations, everything is going to be better. But if we do it with positivity, if we do it with, if we are negative about everything, we are out of control.


So I think that positivity is the first step and also I try to analyze myself. I think it is really important to see what is happening, which colleagues, for example, can help you or maybe your family or your partner, is important. And also be orientated to a solution.


If we are complaining and being negative – there is a negativity cycle, so it is horrible. But yeah for me the first thing is positivity, the next – is analyzing what is happening, how I can control it, and trying to find a solution.

Valeriia: Yeah, yeah. That’s amazing, I really like your approaches, and couldn’t agree more. But what energizes you at work then? How do you motivate yourself and how do you stay motivated?

José: At the beginning of the call we were talking about people, and how people are important to me.


But also another topic that motivates me every day is learning. I think that we need to believe in long-term learning because if we learn only one thing in our lives, it does not work, you know. So for me, it is to learn every day, trying new challenges, trying to be out of my comfort zone, and trying to find new things to learn in general is good.


For me, I try to set new challenges every week or every month, so I can keep myself out of my comfort zone and it helps me to grow in general.

Valeriia: Yeah you keep yourself busy!

José: Yeah a lot!

Valeriia: You don’t let yourself get bored or demotivated.

José: No, no, no, this is not for me.

Valeriia: Nice. So passion and work commitment is quite important but I think it’s also essential to remember how to unplug from work and get your deserved rest at the end of the day. So, in the remote setup, I think it can get challenging. So is that the case for you? How do you normally unplug from work?

José: It is essential, in every life, especially for me, I want to keep myself super busy when we talk about personal and professional things but you cannot stay the whole day thinking about work. You also have some friends, you also have some family to look after and I think for me personally, I love sports, not in the winter and in Germany it is super difficult outside.


But yeah sport, I used to read or try to read a little bit. It is one of my habits and also meeting friends. As I told you, meeting friends, trying to maintain good relationships in my personal life, and also talking with my family. And now that I am living here in Germany, it is super important for me to maintain relations with old friends, with my family, do a few sports, read, and dance during the week, but it depends.

Valeriia: Cool, cool. Yeah, I think definitely it is important to have something as a hobby or just something apart from work and really have this balance.

José: Totally. I think you have to be ambitious in your work but also be natural and try to be a person outside of your work and yeah, maintain relationships with the people, find like small, small places, I don’t know to go for a beer or to have a good conversation, reading, also be able to maintain the comfort with yourself. Me-time is also really important and if you can be healthy and do a few sports every day is good.

Valeriia: Yeah, yeah for sure. That is why we allow ourselves sometimes at work, once in a while, after the Demo Day, to also get some drinks and enjoy the company of our colleagues. Even though it is in a kind of work environment but still like unplugging from work sometimes is also nice.

José: Totally. It is really important.

Valeriia: Yeah, alright. Jose, I appreciate all your open answers. Thank you for taking the time to discuss your personal values, and your work ethics with me and everyone who is going to see this video. So yeah, thank you very much.

José: Totally. I think you have to be ambitious in your work but also be natural and try to be a person outside of your work and yeah, maintain relationships with the people, find like small, small places, I don’t know to go for a beer or to have a good conversation, reading, also be able to maintain the comfort with yourself. Me-time is also really important and if you can be healthy and do a few sports every day is good.

Valeriia: Yes, you too. Take care!

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