At Nedap we’re not big fans of rigid frameworks: we challenge you to take the lead in your own career. It’s only natural that people sometimes realize they are not in the right place or that they want to develop further over time. Isabelle Walter made the move from our business unit Security Management to the IT department.
Isabelle is 32 and lives in Hengelo in the province of Overijssel. Her passions are traveling and diving. The most beautiful place she has traveled to to dive is Raja Ampat in Indonesia. That fact alone should tell you that we are talking to an enterprising, adventurous Nedap’er.
Isabelle joined Nedap in March 2020, just before COVID-19 shook the world. She worked as an EPS project manager at our business unit Security Management (EPS is Enterprise Professional Services). The team focuses on providing services to end clients, mainly multinationals, who require a more individual approach to consultancy when it comes to matters like security design and project management. In addition to being a project manager, Isabelle was also a program manager for a big client. On 11 April 2022, she switched over to the IT team, where she now works as an IT business partner & project manager. Together with colleague Silke Oude Aarninkhof, she surveys and analyses new IT initiatives that could potentially be put into practice as a project. Isabelle is also working on the further development of process support for Nedap. Intensive collaboration with staff from the business side and IT is central in this liaising role.
“It took a while before it really hit me”
Two years of working in one place and then making a switch to something else may sound pretty quick, but did Isabelle see it that way? “I used to work at a software company. There I experienced how much fun it is to work together with colleagues and clients to bring applications and processes together based on analyses. At Security Management I often worked using a standardized process, a process where hardware and everything that comes with that are the key components in a project. I soon missed being able to really manage a project and the synergy, where you achieve great goals together with a team.” Because of working from home becoming the ‘new normal’ thanks to COVID-19, Isabelle didn’t jump to conclusions. “I suspected that all that working from home affected my day-to-day work and that it might be different if we could work more in the office again. What’s more, I was part of a really great team. That meant that I initially ignored my gut feeling.”
Process optimization soon became part of her work at Security Management from time to time. This involved mapping out processes and making optimizations within the EPS team. It fueled Isabelle’s desire to be able to combine this with the project management work she enjoyed so much and to take findings and turn these into actions herself. Why did it still take some time before Isabelle took decisive action? “It was especially because of the great team of colleagues and my loyalty to them that it took a while before I really took the plunge,” she answers. “It was only when I realized that I was enjoying my work less and less, that I was constantly tired and that this was also having an impact on my private life that I realized it was time for a change. It was December 2021 when it finally really hit me and I decided something had to be done.”
Coincidence can also be just around the corner
Early in 2021, during the Survival Skills training, Isabelle met Marjolein Evers (Recruitment). That’s how she knew who to talk to about what was on her mind. Marjolein referred Isabelle to Maaike van Huet (HR) and that set the ball rolling for her career switch. “After an in-depth conversation about my wishes and ambitions, Maaike put me in touch with Silke so I could learn more about the work she does. It sounded very much like the kind of job I was looking for. I felt very enthusiastic about it. As it turned out, there was an external vacancy for an IT business partner and project manager, so I put myself forward for the recruitment round that was happening at the time,” says Isabelle. It wasn’t just a formality either: she took part in an intensive recruitment procedure, a procedure that even involved handling a case. “What gives me a lot of confidence is that I didn’t get the job just because I was already working at Nedap anyway. I really had to apply and was hired based on my qualifications and skills.”
Asked what she gets out of her new job, Isabelle replies, “Being able to combine the analytical side with offering and implementing targeted solutions gives me fresh, positive energy. I feel very comfortable in a liaising role. I enjoy working with colleagues as ‘internal customers’ and actually being able to contribute something in response to their requests for help. It is also a field in which I myself am a client for external suppliers; that gives my work yet another dimension. I now end my working days feeling satisfied and start each new working day in good spirits.” At the same time, Isabelle hopes to add value with her experience as a project manager. “I’m a structured person by nature and I like to create a relatively simple overview in more complex work environments at different levels. I hope to be able to bring more calm to the processes we have to deal with in IT.”
Finally, we are curious where Isabelle hopes to find herself in five years’ time. “I was always really ambitious,” she says. “Moving up seemed like a fantastic ambition. But ‘ambition’ has now taken on a different meaning for me, partly because of this experience. The emphasis is now on having and keeping positive energy in my work. That’s why I strive to continue to grow in the role I have, and to be able to continue to do this every day with a lot of passion and pleasure.”
Which way are you heading?
At Nedap, we’re not so keen on fixed routes: we prefer to challenge you to shape your own future.