Temporary assignments as a springboard for career development

Luukt Veltmans - Eindhoven
Luuk Veltmans - Manager
Luuk Veltmans
Reading time2 minutes

Getting better in your field, working purposefully toward the next step, and collaborating with experienced peers. These are just a few of the energizers for young professionals, according to major research by Careerwise. Recent graduates in their twenties and the thirty-somethings who are rising through the ranks want their employer to care about their professional and personal growth paths. Rabobank offers various options, such as a personal development budget, Talent Managers, and coaching for the next step in your career. How can you make optimum use of these opportunities?

Put your development first

Luuk Veltmans (34) was grateful for the opportunities he had to keep working on his development at Rabobank. Thanks to a temporary internal assignment he was able to move ahead. He has worked for Rabobank since he was a student. He began as an intern, went on to do a traineeship, got an MBA, and held positions like SME account manager and finance specialist. Luke went on: “the common thread throughout my time at Rabobank is that I was encouraged in every role I had to learn new things. Every manager I’ve had has taken me seriously. The focus was always on my development, not just when we talked about work, but also when we spoke about my skills and ambitions.”

"I feel taken seriously as an employee of Rabobank because of the focus on my development and growth. " 
Luuk Veltmans

But what do you do if you don’t know what next step you want to take in your career? How do you decide which way to go? To help employees with these questions, we have an internal CareerHub at Rabobank. There, career specialists help you with advice and coaching, and you can do temporary internal assignments. Career specialists link supply and demand: employees who want to try something new and departments that temporarily need an extra colleague.

Career specialist Ted Vonk explained his work: “If, for example, a colleague wants to progress to another department, or would like to take on a management position, it can be a good idea to first explore whether that is a good fit in a temporary assignment. In a confidential conversation, we explore the possibilities and look at what could be a good next step.”

Luukt Veltmans in gesprek met collega's

A step forward

Luuk is the ideal example of continuing to develop oneself within the organization. “I played volleyball at a high level and love getting results. That’s why the work as account manager and finance specialist attracts me. Closing deals feels great, plus I find helping companies rewarding work. An entrepreneur has a plan, and we can make it possible. Especially if it’s a complex story that other financiers are wary of, I will go the extra mile. That’s how you really make dreams come true.”

“In my last position as a finance specialist, sparring with colleagues and helping them move forward on their business issues gave me energy. I increasingly took on leadership responsibilities and when my team lead was on vacation, I automatically stepped forward. At one point, a teammate asked me why I wasn’t a team lead, and I thought, ‘yeah, why not?’ I wanted to see what it was like.”

Luuk Veltmans op trap

Discovering your qualities

Luuk discussed his management ambitions with his team lead, who encouraged him to find a way to test whether it was the right move. Luuk recalled how he found an opportunity, “In the summer of 2022 I saw an opening for an internal secondment assignment. Six months in a different department struck me as the ideal way to explore my leadership qualities with no strings attached.”

“My new department was wrestling with different questions pertaining to automation and reorganization. It wasn’t the easiest start for me as a new team lead, and I had a lot to deal with. All of a sudden I was standing in front of 60 strangers talking about complex topics.”

“Some team members were having a hard time with the changing work. I learned how to engage them in conversation the way my manager had done with me and how to ask them questions. What kind of work do you like? What part of your job do you enjoy?

Finding your place in a new environment

“I’ve really found my niche. Making customer service better, brainstorming with people, and choosing which direction to go in together: that makes me happy. I am glad that I was able to get a first taste of it through a temporary assignment.”

“I now know that management really suits me, and I got a permanent position in the new department. Halfway through the secondment period, my manager told me that the position would not be as temporary as anticipated. He asked if I wanted to stay. I didn’t have to think long about it: I like this new role and all its new challenges.”

Luuk Veltmans achter laptop met collega

In charge of your career

“I strongly believe that you have to plot out your own path. If you don’t have a plan, you end up going along with somebody else’s plan. I am in charge of my own career, I say what my ambitions are, and I find my own opportunities. Rabobank’s Careerhub helped me do that.” As a team lead, Luuk is now looking to fill his own temporary assignments and giving his Rabobank colleagues a chance to develop their careers.