Don't let opportunities pass you by

Jacqueline van de Laar, business manager


“Since the beginning of 2020 I manage a team of eighteen professionals: consultants, architects and specialists. That was quite exciting at first – I’d became the manager of my colleagues. I was confident that they would be pleased for me, but these days I have to make different decisions or act in a different position than as a direct colleague, and that took some getting used to. Discussions about content can be difficult at times. So I always prepare myself well: ‘what do I think?’ rather than ‘what should I do?’ Sometimes that's a gray area.


I've been at APG for a long time now. Two years ago I took a sabbatical. When I came back I decided that I wanted to do something completely different. But that didn't happen. When my manager decided to step down, my current position became vacant. I did have some doubts at first. After all, I wanted something completely different: more actual interaction with clients or a job outside APG. But I also wanted to have more responsibility, to take part in policymaking and steering, so accepting this position was a very logical step for me. Don't let opportunities pass you by. It presents a challenge, and that sometimes made me wonder “can I do that?”

I’m still not sure if this is the job for me. It's a nice job, but there are a lot of nice jobs out there. I have to stand behind what a company does. In that respect, APG is a good fit. Another aspect that is important to me: Job security, a good income and plenty of flexibility: you can plan your day however you want to and no one tells you how to do things. What does irritate me sometimes is that so many people insist on having an opinion about everything.


I always want to have a job that allows me to provide for my family and do things I know I'm good at. On the other hand, I have to be able to put my energy into it and have fresh and enjoyable challenges to deal with. So there are two sides to me. I need a certain grounding, but no one is too surprised if I start doing things differently again. This is possible at APG. It teaches me a great deal about myself."


I have to stand behind what a company does.