The Reasons you Get Stuck in Your Career and the Importance of Accepting Yourself

MARLEQ: Let's meet you. Who is Torbjörn Strand?

Torbjörn Strand: Oh, that’s the tough question, because you can answer it in so many ways. I wouldn’t like to only present myself through my education, profession, or other title because that is not who you are. Perhaps I am what I do, and I am a man of many things. I am a person who does things differently than others, I question things because I believe change is development. Most of all, I want to help you become self-reliant and create and live the life you want.

MARLEQ: What usually do business owners who are introverts need as professional assistance to thrive in their businesses?

Torbjörn Strand: Firstly, CEOs are often more introverted than you might think, also solopreneurs often are. That is because that role fits them, you are naturally more on your own and in charge of planning, strategy and decisions. It’s not like a person who is more extroverted can do exactly the same, the one who is more introverted will be more satisfied with the solitude.

Every time there’s some kind of challenge, you are often on your own, most don’t have anyone to share their thoughts with. As a leader, you can’t share certain things with your employees and the board, it’s simply not the right thing to do. What these people need support with, is most often about communication and how to handle people. Because that is what business is about, providing resources and supporting people and their well-being, enabling them to perform well.

MARLEQ: How do introverts benefit from your career coaching sessions?

Torbjörn Strand: Introverts tend to be attracted to me, because, perhaps I have a sense of calmness that invites them to be more of themselves. I resonate deeply with the struggles of being more of an introvert in this day and age, through my own experience and observation of others. I also challenge the idea of introversion being a flaw and help you see it in a different way, I’m very pleased that I’m not more extroverted than I am for example.

MARLEQ: How does confidence help to create a sustainable work-life balance and how do you work with clients to achieve this?

Torbjörn Strand: Most people know what they would do, had they only the confidence to do it. We all get sidetracked in our daily lives, suddenly it seems like we don’t know what we want. Through some good exercises, you can get in contact with what you would do if it was possible, and from that, you can increase your confidence in making it happen. It’s about our daily habits and what we need to get better at, 1% better each day is the key.

I can work with small to big changes, like changing fields or starting your own business. We go through your history and background, present situation and future. From that, we look at how to create what you want and who you need to become, all from identity to the actual resources you need in a timeline. 

MARLEQ: In your line of coaching, what's your target audience? What is your added value for them?

Torbjörn Strand: I focus on highly educated generalists wanting to define who they want to be and develop a career based on that. You can be a new graduate, millennial or never really had the opportunity to apply your knowledge in your work. Many people end up in a job that is different than their main expertise, if you would like to change that, I can help you find your true expertise and trust in yourself. So much potential is lost by people not really asking for what they want or getting stuck by being in a safe place.

Although I have a focus on my audience for my services, if you feel I’m speaking to you and want to get clarity and become self-reliant, there’s nothing stopping you from finding out more about me. If it resonates for both of us, it’s possible to work together.

MARLEQ: Can a personal business be treated as a career? Explain.

Torbjörn Strand: In the Nordics, I see young people almost being pressured to succeed with their own company. It has become a thing to show off, that you have this amazing lifestyle, and you want to get all the attention for that.

It doesn’t have to be like that, you should do what you want to and be proud of that. It doesn’t have to look a certain way and you don’t need to start your own business if you don’t want to. 

I don’t pressure anyone on how to live their life, I challenge you to give signals to me about what you want to do. A personal business might be a very good career, and I want to be real with you, it’s not at all as easy as it might seem.

MARLEQ: What advice do you have for young graduates hoping to start up new careers?

Torbjörn Strand: You don’t need to know what you want to do when you graduate.

Having too many options available can be paralyzing, choose wisely, but do choose most of the learning happens after you have started working. 

By exploring the work-life you get a feeling of the flow, and let yourself be attracted to what inspires you.

Start working on your borders and be clear about your limitations, because there are many who take advantage of people who don’t tell you about their limitations.

Start learning about your energy levels during the day, when are you usually at your lowest and when highest?

Do some research about what’s needed in the daily work you are interested in because what you learn in school is sometimes far away from what’s actually used in your job, this depends on your field and major.

MARLEQ: What are the main services you offer to job seekers in Finland to help them land their dream jobs?

Torbjörn Strand: I support you with the whole job search process, which depends on the situation you are in. There’s a big difference between changing both field and task or wanting to advance in your current company to your dream task.

You can find the services on my profile on Marleq’s page, or you can ask me through my LinkedIn profile. In short, it’s about the essentials; job search strategy, CV and cover letter, presenting and interviewing, networking, etc. And because I like to do things differently, I also want to explore how you can stick out and do things differently, challenge yourself to the things you are a little bit afraid of. Things that I can reply to: Yes, you can actually do that!

MARLEQ: How do you relax and what do you do for fun?

Torbjörn Strand: My mind is almost always active, so I tend to enjoy activities that stimulate my intellect. I know this might sound nerdy to some, but it’s really not. I love reading books, doing sudoku now and then, watching documentaries about serious themes, etc. I also play music, drums, bass and guitar in different bands. In many ways I’m completely normal, enjoying good food, going to the gym, doing yoga, etc. I’ve been into meditation, self-compassion and acceptance. What I do on a daily basis is yoga in the morning, good nutrition and a functional schedule, that works for me, the daily habits are key.

MARLEQ: Share your favorite quote. Movie? Book?

Torbjörn Strand: I like the work of Steven R. Covey and Viktor Frankl is also really inspirational. I have subscribed to James Clear's weekly mail, which is phenomenal. 

For this text, I chose, “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” ― by Ralph Waldo Emerson. This is really important when you plan your career and develop your identity.

My favorite movies are probably going to be some of the action and horror movies I watched growing up. 

One of the best books for me personally is ‘’Coraline’’ by Neil Gaiman, it’s about appreciating what you have got, instead of wanting the exact opposite of what you have, and about being proudly different.

Torbjörn Strand


Profile: An ICF Career Coach and Employment Services Expert guiding talents to discover and develop a career aligned with their values, strengths, and personality traits

Expertise: Career Coaching, Job Search, Employment, Transition, Talent Acquisition, Training, Mentoring

Education: MSc in Economics and Business Administration (Finland), Certified ICF and Firework Career Coach 

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