"From safe cocoon into the big wide world"
Although I am perceived as an extrovert, I have hidden away in the warm comfort of a cocoon for a long time in my professional life. For the past decade, my primary goal has been to work as hard as I possibly could to win a fixed contract, as soon as I possibly could. During that time, I was afraid to take any decisions that might impact my desired career trajectory. Despite always being ridiculously interested in the enriching tales of a fellow Engineering student's overseas work placement, I never dreamed of taking a similar leap myself; despite his enthusiasm, despite the obvious growth he had experienced as a result.
From safe cocoon into the big wide world
That was until, almost one year ago, a small opening appeared in the cocoon and I made the 'brave' decision to sign up with TMC. I had always been somewhat skeptical about secondment agencies before then. To my mind, those agencies were all about how much they could make out you for the least possible investment.
How wrong I was!
TMC offered me the fantastic opportunity to work at DAF Trucks. Initially, this was also the main driver behind joining TMC. (Not to mention the sincerity and charm of the account manager who recruited me. Or the favorable fringe benefits on offer.) My intention was to eventually transition over to a direct employment contract. In short: the cocoon had expanded, the opening had grown, but my wings hadn't quite spread.
Cherish memories, but look to the future
After a year of working on the DAF project, I had an unexpected revelation: although it was a wonderful no-nonsense firm, with a fantastic product, great colleagues and challenging work, this step made me realize that I wanted to pursue my steep learning curve elsewhere for the foreseeable. Naturally, I felt a deep sense of loyalty towards the client, but my heart lay with TMC.
This decision caused me many sleepless nights - and I still often ask myself whether it was the right one - but ultimately, it opens so many other doors for me. There are still a number of major steps I want to take on my personal development journey. But there are also many brilliant companies with technology we can be proud of that I still want to see in the Eindhoven region. Whenever I see a trailer passing loaded with freshly-made DAF trucks - eager to cover a million miles for their bosses - I think back on that time fondly, whilst looking forward to what the world yet has in store for me.
Whereas in the past I would have always taken the safe option, I now compare myself to a butterfly, exploring the big wide world. Don't get me wrong, I acknowledge my responsibilities as the lucky father of two beautiful sons, aged two and a half and nine months. If I were to leave the country for a month, the sense of guilt would weigh heavier than the any learning curve or loyalty. But putting my feelers out under the security of TMC - preferably within an international work environment - brings me more than enough reward. Robert