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The rewards of self-improvement

Some people are born entrepreneurs. Taking risks gives them positive energy and they function best when they can put their own ideas into practice. Other people are born employees: they function best within the context of an organization, working together towards a common goal without having to carry all the responsibility. Then, there are the people in between. For them, TMC’s Employeneurship Model offers the best of both worlds. ‘It took me a while,’ says Toine Kuipers, ‘but at TMC, I think I’ve finally found the style of working that suits my personality best.’

A born Employeneur

After a diverse career, spanning almost 30 years, Toine took a bold step in 2017: triggered by a LinkedIn-post, he joined TMC and started working at Sioux Assembly as Lead Test Engineer – a role he wasn’t too familiar with. ‘I’d mostly been working in the aviation industry. I’ve worked as RADAR/IFF/Communication Technician for the Royal Dutch Air Force, I’ve worked for NATO in Germany, and for Boeing in Seattle – among other projects. So, as you can imagine, the fields of electronics and mechanics were quite new to me.’

Still, Toine had a ton of experience in other types of testing, and he is not the type to shy away from a challenge. There were some practical advantages to the new position too: ‘After many years of working far away from home, I was really looking forward to working close to Eindhoven, where I’ve lived for most of my life. When I realized the new project wouldn’t just be nearby, but also very exciting in itself, my decision was quite easy. It also helped that I immediately hit it off with everyone I met at TMC’s Test & Integration Cell.’

Now and then, he wondered whether his new working environment would be right for him, but, he says, ‘I’ve always been a hard worker, and I was fairly confident that my drive and my eagerness to learn would make up for what I lacked in practical experience.’ It did: within a matter of weeks, Toine felt comfortable in his new role, and TMC’s Employeneurship Model was an eye-opener for him. 

‘Working completely independently, fully on my own, felt like too big a leap. But I wasn’t completely satisfied with my previous experiences either. Often, the balance between energy and rewards didn’t feel quite right. I’ve always had a fixed contract: no matter how hard I worked or how much value I added for the organization, the benefits would all go to the company. Of course, I always knew that beforehand, and I still enjoyed my work – but I’m very happy that at TMC, Employeneurs are able to benefit from their own achievements, while still having a stable salary.’

'At TMC, I think I’ve finally found the style of working that suits my personality best.’

After his time at Sioux, Toine soon found other projects that sparked his interest. Beside his current project at VDL ETG, where he works as NPI Test Engineer, he takes part in several side projects. With a group of Employeneurs from a variety of cells, he is working on a new type of surveillance robot. With another group of content and software designers, he participated in the latest edition of GLOW, a yearly light art festival in Eindhoven.

He is enthusiastic about TMC’s training and coaching sessions, and he fully takes advantage of everything the organization has to offer. By continually striving to improve himself, he also helps improve the company. In other words: Toine Kuipers is a born Employeneur. 

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