Team Manager 
 Filip Jensen

Meet TOP-TOY's Language Team Manager, Filip Jensen

Company: TOP-TOY A/S. Name: Filip Jensen. Title: Language Team Manager. Job responsibilities: Overall responsible for translations. Industry segment: Retail, Wholesale, Toys

What does TOP-TOY produce/deliver?

We strive to make children happy. TOP-TOY owns a rather large retail chain – BR – in the Nordic countries as well as the northern part of Germany. In addition, we also have the retail brand TOYS'R'US in the Nordic countries as well as Iceland. In total, we have more than 300 stores where thousands of children are getting a little bit happier every day. Isn’t that wonderful?

What makes your job the best in the world?

I would have to say that my colleagues – both in my team and at the rest of TOP-TOY – play a significant role in my job satisfaction. However, when all is said and done, even with great colleagues, I would probably not be very happy if I was doing accounting. I love working with languages and I love the challenges I face every day in terms of guiding and coaching my employees. 

What are the core things you focus on in your job?

It’s important to me that my employees go home happy every day. You’re spending a lot of time at work together with your colleagues, so you might as well have a fun day. Therefore I try to enjoy myself with my colleagues every day. Apart from this and other management tasks, I also devote a lot of time to improving workflows and relationships with our key stakeholders, i.e., mostly internal customers who order translations. It is very important to me that they receive the quality and tone they expect … and then some.

What have your biggest challenges been in the past 12 months?

For TOP-TOY as a company, the biggest challenge is probably that children get older faster than before. Example: Previously girls used to play with dolls until they were perhaps nine or ten, but today it’s not long before they’re attracted to playing on iPads or with their parents’ iPhones – an area where it’s impossible for us to make money. On a more personal level, there have been a few challenges ranging from hiring the right maternity cover to restructuring the company, which sadly meant that I had to say goodbye to a number of good colleagues.

How did you deal with these challenges?

I can’t share my company’s strategies, unfortunately. The way I personally handle work challenges is that I try to be very factual and logical about them. When I call people in for a job interview, it’s not to test whether they have the skills required for the position. I can already see that in the CV. It’s to see whether the chemistry is right between me and the applicant.

What do you see as the biggest challenges ahead for you?

It’s always a challenge for translators to be up to date regarding language. For my team it’s important to know what the buzzwords are among small and young children. This way our commercials will seem relevant and not out of date because of an incorrect style or word choice. You also have to be up to date with the latest CAT tools and make the most of them in order to have as high a throughput as possible.

How do you prepare for these challenges?

You always have to be open to change. I think you should see every day as a challenge in terms of surpassing yesterday, improving the way you work and the way you make decisions. Nobody wants to listen to a Negative Nelly and nobody wants such a person on the team.

What opportunities do you see in the market?

Parents want toys that are safe for their children, and I can honestly say that we have stricter standards than EU regulations. I think this is a major advantage that we have compared to our competitors.

Any good tips or tricks you’d like to share from your everyday life?

It may sound naïve or simplistic, but I think you’ve got to have a healthy relationship with your job. Don’t take it home with you, and don’t succumb to the temptation of checking your email on your smartphone all the time. Your brain needs to relax and you need to fill it with things other than just work. Your job can usually do without you for at least 10-16 hours, and even when you’re away on a holiday for several weeks. Do yourself and your family the favour of spending time with them instead.

Your 3 main priorities in regards to translation

1) Accurate

It’s important that translation errors are avoided. I remember we once made a mistake on a children’s swing. It was for indoor use but it said outdoor use in the Danish version. In terms of children’s toys it is of course important that everything is accurate – from the description to the EU-regulated warnings.

2) Price

Every company wants quality and every company needs a fair price. It is important to find the right compromise between the two.

3) Relationship to your translation agency

It is very important to have a good relationship with your contact at the translation agency. At LanguageWire, I know that my contacts will go to great lengths if there is something that I am not happy about.

Different industries experience different opportunities; different companies have different needs; and different positions meet different challenges. However, often we actually face the same thing, or at least something very similar, as all markets tend to experience the overall economic, business and lifestyle trends.

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