Eemi's story: My biggest success is that I have dared to make bold decisions

Career story

I worked for four and a half years in alcohol import and marketing, where I got to know how alcohol is branded in Finland. The work was interesting and challenging, as Finnish law restricts the marketing of alcohol, so I got to explore some of the most creative solutions. I also did a short stint testing B2B sales, which was not my thing at all.

I studied to become a restaurateur and graduated in 2017. I’m currently studying for a Master's degree in digital marketing management. Today I have my own business, DigiEemi, offering digital marketing, more specifically search engine optimisation and Google advertising services. I live a life without alarm clocks, and I enjoy freedom. I’m not yet where I should be financially, but I strongly believe that the time will come. My goal is to live a daily life where I have at least as much free time as I work, and enough money to maintain a comfortable standard of living.

I ended up self-employed after a long period of fruitless job hunting. The digital marketing industry is very competitive and my experience was not enough to beat the other applicants. Entrepreneurship had been on my mind before, so this opportunity came at the right time.

My biggest success in my working life has definitely been the courage to make bold decisions. I have had a permanent job that paid "quite nicely", but I was hoping for something more from my job. I jumped into the abyss to try to discover what I really wanted to do. After that, the next object of interest began to dawn on me, and I set off towards it.

I’ve also resigned during a probationary period because the job didn’t seem suitable due to excessive mental strain. I can point to individual successes and achievements in my working life, but I still consider my own courage to do things the way I want, not the way others want or assume, to be my greatest achievement.

No amount of money can replace mental well-being

I’m inspired by jobs where I get to solve problems and discover new things. I'm motivated by seeing how what I do pays off. It’s also rewarding when I can teach someone something new and difficult. These are the reasons why I like digital marketing.

Challenges in my working life have been constant self-doubt and situations where I’ve been asked to do something but had no one to ask for help. I’ve felt quite helpless, especially if I can't even find any help on Google. I'm also a sensitive person, so some of the feedback I've received has weighed on my mind for a really long time, even if it wasn't meant personally by the person giving the feedback.

Working life has taught me a lot. I’ve learned about teamwork, project management, marketing and sales. These are the first things that come to mind, as they are also very much present in my current work as an entrepreneur.

But the biggest lesson of all has been that no amount of money can replace mental well-being. Even a big salary is no consolation if you don't enjoy your job. In the past, I was always looking for a higher salary but now I appreciate more freedom and free time. I don't deny that money is a motivating factor, but I feel that it’s currently secondary to the freedom that comes with, for example, entrepreneurship.

I have some advice for others for their working life. Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do when you grow up. Go for what interests you at that moment. Work should not eat up all the energy in your life. If your working days feel like a struggle and you can't do anything in your free time because of the workload, it's worth seriously considering a change before you burn out.

When I was younger, I dreamed of being a fireman and I thought I would never be able do a 9-to-5 office job every day. Once I entered the workplace, I changed my mind as office hours brought clarity to my leisure time planning.

In my spare time I play video games, go to the gym or play padel, and spend time with my wife and our dachshund. I take care of my well-being by exercising, although I do far too little of it. Over the years, I’ve learned to listen to myself, and my goal is to find clear routines for maintaining and developing my own mental well-being!

Eemi Kinnunen

Photo: Rosa-Maria Vuori