After seven years in banking, Albert van Reenen wanted to change his career. He wasn’t sure what path he wanted to take so attended a few job fairs in London and handed in his CV at the SThree stand. He tells us why it was one of the best decisions he ever made.
Why did you choose SThree?
When I came across SThree I’d never heard of them before. I had made a conscious decision to start a new profession and, to do that, I was willing to start from scratch and take a step back – SThree was prepared to give me that opportunity.
The international aspect of a career with them, meeting people from different cultures and working in a challenging environment also really appealed to me.
They talked to me about a career in Amsterdam, however, I was more interested in London at the time. They told me that would always be an option. So fourteen and a half years ago, I started in Amsterdam and I’m still here! With hindsight, I am very happy it turned out this way.
Becoming a father and flexibility
I worked my way up to manager level and then, six years ago, I was delighted to become a father. I wanted to be able to spend more time with my son so I asked to work four days a week. There weren't any other part-time managers at the time at SThree in The Netherlands so it was new for them. However, the reaction from the business was positive and I worked four days a week for the next 18 months.
I did go back to full time for a while and, when my son was four and started school, I decided I wanted to be a big part of his daily routine. I now work flexibly and take him to school which is an important start to the day for both of us.
The key thing when working flexibly is to find a new balance. You have six or seven hours a day to reach the same goals and, no matter how big your team is or how many jobs you are working on, you will always need to make choices. You have to work more efficiently and sometimes this also means learning to say no.
Has your career continued to progress at SThree?
Yes absolutely, I am now the Director for SThree Group’s Computer Futures and JP Gray brands in Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg. I have a good balance between my family and professional life. I am very happy with my decision to change my career, it has brought me a lot. I think you can achieve so much if you have faith in yourself and you are trusted by your business.
If you want something, you need to be willing to work hard for it. And, in terms of working flexibly, there are many options at SThree. If you want certain ways of working, you need to make it known.
How would you sum up working for SThree?
SThree is an incredibly ambitious organisation. It is a truly all-round experience – having your own business, being part of a team as soon as you walk in, the candidates, the trips, the incentives. It’s an extraordinary experience.
If you want to step in Albert’s footsteps and embark on a career with no limits, then apply for one of our roles in the Netherlands today. For example, we're looking for a Business Developer.