‘It's great that you can swap ideas with your buddy’

Robèrt Drost (49) believes that everyone should sign up for ‘A buddy works’. He has been working as a technical administrative assistant at Enexis in Den Bosch for a few months now. He found his new job through the project that pairs an older job seeker with a volunteer who works in business to act as a coach and help find a new job. Robèrt was paired with Olaf Broeders, Head of Airport Development at Eindhoven Airport.

The match worked like a charm. Robèrt: “We had an immediate click and after the first meeting in June last year, we quickly agreed on the next steps I needed to take.” Olaf helped Robèrt to update his CV and gave him tips for the cover letter. They also spent a lot of time swapping ideas and Olaf put in a good word with his professional network. Olaf: “Robèrt was initially aiming for a job as a debt relief worker or a budget coach. But he had no work experience in these fields. So I advised him to keep his sights open and apply for other positions as well.” Robèrt wasn't used to applying for jobs anymore. “I hadn't done it for ten years and because I was already doing volunteer work in financing, I was hoping to find paid work in that area.” An attempt to turn his volunteer job at Lumens Groep's Finance Workshop into a paid job failed, which meant he had to set his sights on something else. Together, they went looking for jobs that would suit Robèrt.

Olaf could see that Robèrt was extremely motivated. That appealed to him, especially because it makes you feel useful as a buddy and to mean something to the job-seeking candidate. “It gave me energy that Robèrt was so eager and that made it easier to introduce him to my network.” Being able to play a part in finding a job for Robèrt gave buddy Olaf satisfaction.      

Robèrt also sees the project as a positive initiative. “It's really useful when someone helps you, gives you tips and swaps ideas with you. It makes you more self-assured and gives you confidence. You have to use the opportunities you get to your advantage.”