This role brings together everything I’ve always done as an interim manager.

Gonneke Cammel, People Manager at APG’s Shared IT Services


“After 25 years of working on a self-employed basis in HR, I got the opportunity to join APG on a permanent contract. I’d just completed a huge project for APG, the Future Centre, which aimed to encourage the sustainable development of all employees. When I was asked to fill the interim position for a People Manager, I said yes! And I liked it so much that I’m now on a permanent contract. People ask me a lot about it, and I understand why. It’s unusual for someone to move from interim to permanent; most do it the other way around. In my case, it wasn’t for lack of choice – I was actually very keen to take on this role at Shared IT Services (SIS) at this stage of my career.


It was a bit unnerving working at the SIS department, as I have zero background in IT. I also had no experience with the department’s agile way of working. However, the great thing at APG is that you get a lot of opportunities even if you don’t have that specific experience. What I do have a lot experience of is leadership, and that proved to be enough.


At APG, as at many other companies, there’s a big focus on bringing in young talent (my daughter now works here)! However, it’s just as important to have people like me on board, people who are in the last phase of their working life. Being such a great source of knowledge and experience, we’re the ones who can take the younger generation under our wing. Conversely, I also learn a lot from younger colleagues, which keeps me motivated.


As a People Manager, you’re responsible for ‘your’ employees’ development – in my case, there are around forty of them. This means asking questions like: Where are you now, where are you headed, and what do you need in order to get there? Another co-worker deals with content. What I like about this role is that it brings together everything I’ve always done as an interim manager. Leadership, HR, employee development, getting to grips with the big strategic themes... Everything I learnt during my career I can now apply and ‘give back’, so to speak. It’s a win-win situation, both for SIS and me. I really feel I can make an impact.

As a manager, I would much rather work with people rather than breathe down their necks. I love it when people take your feedback on board and use it to make progress. But what I like best of all is when people feel like it was all down to their own efforts. Young managers are often fixated on receiving praise; but at my age, I no longer feel that need. I don’t have to prove myself anymore. I actually think it’s very important to show that it’s okay to make mistakes. If I make a huge mistake, I’m open about it. By making myself vulnerable as a manager, I hope to show younger colleagues that they shouldn’t be afraid of making mistakes.

APG feels like home; I’m completely in my element here. I’ll keep doing this work as long as I enjoy it and feel that I’m adding value. For me, that’s the most important thing.”

I can now ‘give back’ all that experience I’ve gained