You are both consultants now for 1 year: do you experience this differently than your first two years as 'high potential'?
Liesbeth: For me, in the the first two years my projects mostly focused on a supporting role as PMO. After two years, I was soon able to take on the Project Manager role at the next client. This provided more depth and responsibility. The first two years were very useful and interesting to participate in a large ongoing international program in order to learn the ins and outs of project and program management, including the diversity of stakeholders in a multinational corporate. In the past year I have also been able to delve more into the field of HR systems, data and job management within another company. The differences between the two customers are also very educational.
Koen: During the first 2 years I was able to work for 6 different companies. Sometimes in different and sometimes in comparable roles, in which I was involved in renewing employment conditions packages. It also brought a lot of variety with it: from the full range of HR tasks as HR advisor, to PMO and project management experience in a large-scale program. The fact that I was seeing different organisations made starting new assignments increasingly easier. You learn to switch quickly and to fully cooperate with the customer in a short time. More and more often I noticed that I could use insights from previous assignments in new assignments.
Where are you working on right now?
Liesbeth: At the moment I am working as a Project Manager in the HR Global department of an international chemical company. In this project regarding Job Management I deal with many different stakeholders. They differ in terms of levels, countries and organisational units, from R&D, factories to HR. That makes it extra diverse and challenging. It helped that I had been working here for a while before covid-19 took off, so I knew most of the people before everything suddenly had to be remote. On the other hand, many people do not normally work in The Netherlands, so digital calling was already embedded within the organisation.
Koen: After doing several projects at the same time for a while, I am now working full-time for one customer again. Currently I am working in a program, which consists of several projects, at a large dairy cooperative. Here I am the right hand of the program manager. This means that I manage the financial side of the projects in the background, but I am also involved in delivery and transition management in the foreground. In addition to the client’s assignment, I also find it important to maintain good contact with the rest of the Quintoppers. For example, Liesbeth and I are together in an intervision group in which we exchange knowledge and experiences. Now that everyone works from home, it is also very nice to have a weekly check-in together. In this way we still keep in good contact with each other.