"Over the years, I have worked at many great companies via Progressive" – Marien Bakker.
Marien Bakker has been working as an HSE consultant for seven years and is currently working at Nouryon, via Progressive. We spoke to him about his freelance career, challenges and how Progressive has contributed to his career.
The start of a long freelance career
Marien worked in the Dutch government after getting his master's degree in environmental science. Here, he worked in environmental monitoring until 20 years ago, after which he got the chance to start his own company. This was the start of a long freelance career, which continues to this very day.
From government to business
For the first 10 years of his freelance career, Marien has still mainly been working for the government. As an inspector, he was responsible for processes and fire safety. The government changed its approach, and began to outsource environmental supervision tasks to external parties more frequently. The assignments often required hundreds of hours per week, so the they approached large parties of inspectors to take on the assignments rather than a few freelancers.
This means that Marien, after 10 years of freelancing for the government, had to switch to the corporate sector. He had several great projects in his first few years of working as a freelance HSE professional. However, this wasn’t without issues.
"I noticed that you are on your own as a freelancer. It was difficult to get in with the well-known names, the multinational corporations," says Marien. "Once I contacted a large corporation directly, they informed me that Progressive was the party that provided freelancers. And, of course, I immediately contacted Progressive to discuss the possibilities!"
Initial contact with Progressive
Seven years ago, Marien got in touch with Progressive. He initially contacted Bart Simons and later spoke to Luuk Kok. These contacts landed him his first freelance jobs via Progressive in the food and chemical sectors. In the meantime, Dionne Beugelsdijk has been his consultant at Progressive for many years. Over the past seven years, he has completed at least 10 different assignments and has returned to work with some clients on new projects. "Over the years, I have worked at many great companies, all via Progressive."
Enthusiastic about the relationship
Marien is not only satisfied with the projects he is working on, but also is very enthusiastic about the quality of the relationship and the ease of contact with Progressive. "I believe Progressive's deadline monitoring is superb. They always get in touch on time when a contract is about to end," he says. Marien elaborates on how Dionne asks him about his progress and what new job he is interested in. "It also occurred that a project was not going well, and I wanted to quit after two weeks. Dionne always heard my requests, was open to my story, and immediately started looking for an alternative." Marien felt understood when a project did not go as he had hoped," says Dionne. "Such a response means a lot to me!"
Progressive as a staffing partner
Marien is not alone in his experience of professional contact with Progressive. "Over the years, I have noticed that companies increasingly see Progressive as a staffing partner. This represents a significant shift from the past, where recruitment was primarily focused on sales. Nowadays, greater attention is paid to understanding the client's needs, and I observe that the client values this approach."
Freelancing via Progressive?
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