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Combining the security of steady employment with the versatility of many employers

After years of working for contractors Martijn Maatman (Civil Engineering business cell) transitioned this year to a job working for the municipality. We talked to this active TMC employeneur about the versatility of the Employeneurship model. As well as about his choice to leave TMC for a while only to return again. ‘It has made me a lot wiser.’

Employeneur Martijn Maatman had several years of working experience as a civil engineer when he decided to make the switch to TMC. This was the time just after the financial crisis when the construction market faced heavy pressures. “The company I was working for went through a difficult time and I had to deal with a reorganization that caused a lot of stress,” says Martijn. “I knew someone at TMC who explained to me the Employeneurship model and it immediately resonated.”

In 2014 Martijn became a TMC employeneur and engaged in assignments as work planner and project coordinator for contractors. He liked the security and versatility the work at TMC provided. Although the crisis in the construction world was still on, it didn’t cause him as much stress. Martijn: “At one of my clients the regular working staff was constantly worried about their jobs due to the crisis. Because of the security I received from TMC that hit me a lot less. Of course it’s unpleasant to have this tension in the workplace, but I was more distanced from it and it affected me much less compared to the time when I was regularly employed.”

Purely commercially driven

Although he enjoyed himself at TMC, Martijn decided to leave the company after three years. “I had approached a company where I had spotted an attractive job opening. Through TMC I was able to work for them for just three months, but after that they wanted me to work directly for them. I had a long talk about it with TMC and in the end I decided to make the transition.”

In his new job Martijn was responsible for the bulk purchasing of materials, something he had also done and loved during his contracting days but had comprised only a small part of his job. Now it became his main task, which he combined with some consulting work for clients. “It seemed like a really cool job, but it was a bit disappointing in real life,” says Martijn. “I discovered the work was purely commercially driven and I missed the technical stuff. Also the people who worked there were a different breed than the construction workers I was used to. The culture was more ego driven. People said ‘I achieved this target myself’ whereas I was like, didn’t we do that together?”

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After talking to both his current employer and TMC Martijn decided after three months to return to his old nest at TMC. His employer took a constructive approach and even arranged his first assignment at TMC. Martijn never regretted his short leave of absence. “It has made me a lot wiser,” he says. “I’m much more critical about switching now. You have to have had the experience to be able to judge and weigh these things correctly. And although my salary increased after switching, I’m now at a point where money isn’t the most important thing anymore. It’s nice, but it’s also just one of the things that count.”

Added value

After years of working for contractors Martijn accepted a job at a municipality this year. As of this summer he works as advisor and work planner for the Dutch town of Almelo. “What’s fun about this job is that I’m able to manage the changeover between the contracting world and the municipality really well. I understand the contractors’ point of view, but I also know when something is reasonable or unreasonable. The discussions often revolve around time requirements, quality or money. I enjoy playing that game.”

Martijn oversees projects from the concept and initiation phase up to the completion phase. Things like redesigning an intersection or building a tunnel. He is part of the very first investigations and then makes sure that working drawings and contracts are drawn up. These are then launched onto the market through procurement.

Working for a municipality was a conscious choice, Martijn says. “In the contracting world you are mainly concerned with the object you’re building and its implementation. But I also wanted to offer added value in the preparatory phase. With a contractor your design freedom is limited, whereas now I can also contribute to the first research. I really enjoy that.”

The town of Almelo often works in a construction team format. It means that contractor and municipality team up to realize a project together from the design phase all the way to the completion phase. These are projects where Martijn’s expertise as connecting link between contractor and municipality really comes into its own.

An active employeneur

At TMC Martijn is also active in different roles. Together with a colleague he takes care of programming all the pizza inspiration sessions for next year. And he just joined the works council. His ambition for the coming years is to become project leader. “I’ve been close to that job for several years and now I feel I’m really ready for it. It doesn’t really matter if it’s for a contractor or a municipality,” he says.

Martijn has been working for TMC for more than seven years now. He is often approached by clients and companies with offers of permanent employment. “I have declined those offers about five or six times,” he says. “It goes to show I really enjoy my time at TMC. I know now that a salary slip isn’t everything and if I’m ever to switch again it really has to feel good.”

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