Nine years ago, Sofie and Riet both applied for jobs at Vanbreda Risk & Benefits. Each of them was in search of something different at the time: Riet wanted a supportive team environment, while Sofie was after a fresh challenge. Today they form a strong duo in Claims Management, support our new joiners and have a great friendship both inside and outside work. They have found what they were looking for.
Dinna: already completely herself at Claims Management after six months
Dinna’s job at Vanbreda started six months ago, but her connection with the company goes back much further. She shares her experiences of starting at Vanbreda, the value of diversity and finding her place in a team that feels like family.
Dinna: As a child I often passed the Vanbreda building. Together with my parents I would look at it with wide eyes. When I was looking for a new challenge a few months ago, I was driving past with my father when he said: ‘That building’s been here for so long, it must be a very strong company.’ And stability was exactly what I needed. So my interest grew and a few months later here I am.
Getting off to a good start is very important. What was it like for you starting at Vanbreda?
Dinna: I initially applied for a position in the Marine department. When I had gone through the entire application process, it turned out that there was going to be a reorganisation in that department, so the job was off for the moment. Fortunately, HR didn’t want to just let me go, so together we looked for another option: Claims Management Fleet and Transport. Six months later I can’t imagine being on any other team. It’s as if HR knew what would suit me better than I did.
What is important to you in an employer?
Dinna: When I began my application, I had just three criteria: stability, good work-life balance and being able to wear my headscarf. Life is hard enough as it is: I want an employer that offers stability. So that I don’t have to worry about my job. A place where I have the space to have a life outside work and where I can be myself. Vanbreda is just such a place.
An employer must accept me for what’s in my head, not what’s on it. At Vanbreda the word headscarf has never even been mentioned. I was assessed on my qualities here from day one.
What makes Vanbreda a unique employer?
Dinna: The respect for your private life. They take this to great lengths in my department. I’m not allowed to work overtime here: it’s simply not tolerated. They check my hours in the reverse direction. If they notice that I’m working too much, my manager intervenes. We then look for the cause together and, if necessary, some work is taken away from me and passed on to someone else.
To what extent can you be completely yourself at work?
Dinna: Totally. Diversity isn’t just a word here, you really sense it in practice. It’s even stated in the employment regulations: racism and other forms of exclusion will not be tolerated. You notice that. From the beginning, Vanbreda judged me on my qualities, not on what I wear. For me, that is Completely Vanbreda.
You’ve been working here for six months now. How well do you know your team?
Dinna: I know my colleagues from Fleet and Transport so well, it’s as if I’ve been working here for ten years. All the team members are such different personalities and ages, but we still get along very well and everyone respects everyone else’s skills and knowledge. If you have the qualities for the job, the team will embrace you. It’s that simple.
When did you know you had made the right decision?
Dinna: Purely in terms of job content, it took about a month. I was afraid of making mistakes, because that was absolutely not allowed in my previous job. At one point my manager told me that I was allowed to make mistakes, because they were there to pick up on them. When I was able to flip that switch and really realised how human people are here, it became straightforward. You’re not a number here.
What do you get the most satisfaction from?
Dinna: My job itself. Is it normal to really like your job? (laughs) Every case is different and every time I can find out exactly what happened. It’s so instructive and fascinating. It makes me feel a bit like Superwoman: everything will be fine, because I can solve it for our clients!
Why should someone come and work at Vanbreda?
Dinna: Vanbreda is a place where you’re valued not just as a professional, but also as a person. You get opportunities for growth and self-development. The respect for diversity, the supportive corporate culture, and the focus on employee well-being make Vanbreda unique. My husband is also very proud of me, which says a lot. He’s constantly amazed by the benefits that Vanbreda offers. These are things that many employees take for granted, but that you don’t find at every employer.
To my peers: stop job-hopping. At Vanbreda you’ll find stability, a good work-life balance and an environment where diversity is celebrated. This is a place where you can really settle down and grow, both professionally and personally.
Mario and Lies have been a couple for twenty years now, and for the last year they have also been colleagues at Vanbreda. Lies joined us in January 2022 – with Mario’s encouragement. Mario followed in her footsteps eight months later. ‘Mario has had a high opinion of Vanbreda as an employer for a long time. My good experiences here added confirmation to this,’ says Lies.