At Vibe Group, it’s inspiring to see that over the years, all types of people with all types of backgrounds have been capable to become Top Performer. Their common ground is focus, drive and resilience. The ability to bounce back. In this story, we speak with Inge Verbraak and Michelle Damm, Vibe Group’s Top Performers of 2019 (who said that working in IT was only for men? ?)Inge started as a Research Consultant with no prior experience and turned Top Performer within three years, where Michelle Damm already had some years of experience under her belt, and started building her market from scratch in a little over a year. These are their stories.
Inge Verbraak (Principal Consultant at Visser & Van Baars) was Top Performer 2019. She started as a Research Consultant three years ago. She learnt to build her market from scratch. Her story is about a slow start, with a lot of struggle in the beginning. She doubted herself: will she make it? However, she was able to bounce back and she turned things around. She succeeded eventually.
Inge: “I started as a Research Consultant three years ago. After six months, I became Consultant. I thought: ‘I’m going to do this, easily. Well, that backfired. After some failures, my confidence went down to zero. I didn’t dare making mistakes anymore. I thought of quitting.” After a good talk with Director Kjell Sipkema and Manager Jurjan de Vries, she bounced back. “I started regaining confidence. Kjell and Jurjan reassured me that making mistakes was okay. I had to take the time to improve my way of working. And the first successes came. My confidence in myself, and as a professional were back and I had fun!”
“At the beginning of 2019, I thought: this will be my year. And it was.” A wise lesson she wants to give to all (prospective) Consultants: “Please, don’t be afraid to make mistakes and learn from them to improve yourself. I come from far, but it’s always possible to succeed! Who knows, maybe you’ll be on our stage collecting your award as Top Performer!”
Where Inge started her career at Vibe Group, Michelle Damm (Lead Consultant at Tergos) already had five years of recruitment experience under her belt. She needed a little over a year to become Top Performer 2019. How she did this? By always keeping oversight when building up a new market in where lots of professionals were needed.
Michelle: “When I started at Tergos (part of Vibe Group), I had a clean slate to work on. When Kjell Sipkema (Director at Vibe Group) approached me to work at Tergos, I had the opportunity to build up my own market from scratch.”
And that’s exactly what she did. Together with Mandy van Keijzerswaard (Business Manager), she set up Tergos’ Governance, Risk and Compliance department. “Because Vibe Group is an IT staffing party, this was met with mixed feelings. But sometimes, it’s good to be a little stubborn. However, where the specialism of a finance and compliance professional used to be far apart from that of an IT professional, we see that these two worlds are increasingly converging. After all, we live in a world where technological developments are accelerating. The financial compliance sector is facing major challenges, partly driven by FinTech, Blockchain, Cybersecurity and AI. This means that thorough knowledge of IT is becoming increasingly important within the domain.”
After convincing the relevant stakeholders, Michelle got to work. Tergos now has the largest network in the Netherlands within IT infrastructure & (cyber) security. Michelle contributed to this by single handedly making sure she knew all relevant candidates to show to her clients. “I knew what everyone was doing, and where they were based. I made sure I talked to them regularly.” This shows once again that building relationships is key.
One might wonder what your next challenge could be after such a successful year. Michelle replies: “I want to be on top of my market even more. And I would like to develop the market within Governance, Risk and Compliance even further. I’m driven to place even more financial compliance specialists on the job of their dreams.”
Do these stories inspire you? We are always looking for new Consultants! Who knows, maybe you’ll be the next to get on stage to collect your Top Performer award.