As a former PhD student, finding your way towards the private sector is not always easy. This was also the case with Toon Agten, who was doubting what options he had as a Master of Law towards the labor market. In order to map himself out for this, he filled in his myCareerCompass, not knowing that this action would get him a job as a Junior Test Engineer at Bank Van Breda. Read his story here.
Jana made Toon think ánd apply ‘out of the box’
As his search for a job after completing his PhD was not running smoothly, Toon ended up at myCareerCompanion through his brother. With the attitude of having nothing to lose and hoping to be helped in his approach, taking into account his own ambitions and motives, he completed the questionnaires.
Before that, he was only looking for jobs that required a university degree, preferably with a legal aspect. When Jana, one of our Talent Success Managers, asked him if he would be interested in doing something with the interest in technology shown by his myCareerCompass, a world opened up that he thought was beyond his capabilities. “When I was told that there are actually opportunities in line with my interests and not necessarily in line with my degree, it was a relief. It was therefore a nice thought that at myCareerCompanion I am not necessarily in a box based on my diploma, but based on my interests and my person.”
myCareerCompass as an enormous added value in taking that step
Toon knew that he had an interest in IT and a healthy urge to learn hard skills, but that he would actually also receive an opportunity as a Junior Test Engineer at Bank Van Breda, still remains a surreal thought for him.
“I would never have applied at a bank on my own initiative, let alone surf to their website to view their vacancies. I completely ignored that. The same for IT vacancies. What’s the point of applying for such a job if I don’t have that knowledge? That is why my conversation with Jana was a real game changer.”
Now, 7 months later, Toon can call himself an IT specialist at Bank Van Breda. “I am very happy that Bank Van Breda has been so open-minded in offering me this rather unique opportunity. What other company would hire a non-IT person for an IT position? There won’t be many (unfortunately).” Something that we at myCareerCompanion can only be proud of. The fact that companies such as Bank Van Breda dare to hire candidates based on our myCareerCompass and the conversations with our Talent Success managers, indicates that our customers have great confidence in our approach.
“Happy to be on the IT train that I thought was long gone”
“We can indeed confirm that this is a good match” is Toon’s answer when we ask about his experience after his first months at Bank Van Breda. “The tests show that I like working in a clan culture and this is what I find at Bank Van Breda. An environment is created that gives a lot of confidence. I like being here and I have great colleagues. Because I wanted to collaborate more, something that I sometimes missed a bit during my PhD. The fact that everything is new to me made the first few months tough in terms of job content. Now I get good feedback and everyone seems to be happy, even though I feel I still have a lot to learn. But the will to learn is still there after 7 months, so I remain convinced of the match.”
The fact that Toon was able to hit two targets with one shot by retraining and at the same time continue to work is something for which he is very grateful. “I was not able to sufficiently feed my urge to learn hard skills at the time due to my choice of education. For many, this results in a missed opportunity because they later come to a time when their lives no longer allow full-time study. That’s why I also thought my IT train had passed long ago. That thought turned out to be wrong.”
“I am grateful that it all turned out this way and that I came into contact with myCareerCompanion. If I had known that what I am experiencing now was possible, I should have done it much sooner.”