27 August 2019 ... min read Listen

Within a week, everything was cut and dried.

Sarah, Management Assistant in the HR department, talks about her job and the work climate at ING.

I was able to get started quickly at ING. My first interview was on the Monday, and the second a week later. I was in the underground on my way home, when they called with the good news. Within days, my appointment was cut and dried.

I joined the HR department following an unsolicited application. Before the time, I didn't really know what it would imply. I’ve always been a Management Assistant, but HR was something completely new to me. But that was no problem: as I’m keen to learn. Because when you stop learning, you go backwards.

Time to breathe

What my job implies? My colleagues and I support the HR Leadership Team. We mainly manage their diaries. Our HR Leads have to attend a lot of meetings. So it’s important that we also schedule time for them to take a breather and have a peaceful lunch. My job also includes lots of administrative aspects. For example, I organise the practical side of business trips. It can sometimes be quite tricky, but we do our best.

Fortunately the organisational set-up here is very horizontal; I call managers by their first name and can go and see them without any hassle. There’s an open, friendly atmosphere.

I’m keen to learn. Because when you stop learning, you go backwards.

Rise and shine

I’m an early bird: I get up at 5 am so I can be at the office at 7.45. That’s been my routine for the past 10 years. When the work allows it, I start early and stop a bit earlier. My managers are early risers too. That’s very useful when we need to sort certain things out. We don't have specific meeting times, everything happens spontaneously. If they have a question, they can just come to me, and vice versa. That interaction works really well.

In touch with the office environment

My colleagues are very diverse, in terms of age and nationality. Dutch, English, French: we speak a mixture of everything. And we all understand each other. Working in HR, I’m in touch with the office environment. We really focus on mobility and well-being. There's a lot of talk about that. ING also regularly organises team-building activities. For example, there’s “Destination Orange”, a four-day programme where you can get totally immersed in the ING mind frame. Afterwards you go home with lots of new insights.

About Sarah

  • Has been working as Management Assistant at ING for 1 year
  • Often in contact with the Dutch HR branch
  • Travels by train to the office in Brussels
  • Volunteer at the Culture Centre in Herentals and De Roma in Borgerhout
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