Working at CFP – A day at work for starters Julian, Marc and Thijn

A new job always takes some getting used to. What hurdles do you face in your very first job and what questions do you have in the first few weeks? We asked our brand new colleagues Julian, Marc and Thijn. Julian is product owner and is responsible for development of CFP’s online tools. Marc and Thijn are consultants and help our clients keep making their buildings more sustainable.

Your first job – congratulations! How did all of you end up at CFP?

Julian Dreijer

Julian: “Actually, it’s a pretty funny story. I play football and one of my teammates had been approached by a recruiter for a job at CFP. But he wasn’t looking for a job himself right then. He immediately thought of me, though, and let me know about the vacancy. I have some innate knowledge of real estate and I myself studied Technical Business Administration with a minor in Sustainable Business, which happened to be exactly the right combination for this position. I met with the recruiter the next day and had a nice conversation. Two weeks later I was working for CFP.”
Marc: “For me it went pretty fast too. I studied mechanical engineering, but I found that a bit too technical. I was therefore looking for a job where both the technical aspect, as well as the human aspect with customer contacts, were front and center. Via LinkedIn, I ended up at CFP and was able to start two weeks later.”
Thijn: “I had known CFP for a while. Last year, I was looking for a company for my graduating internship to finish my Master’s degree in Facility Real Estate Management, and I had had a few discussions with CFP then. At that time, nothing came of it, because my graduation project did not quite fit in with CFP. But I stayed in touch. After graduating, I heard they were looking for a new consultant and I rolled right into it.”

The location is a beautiful place to work. I live in Apeldoorn myself, but I didn’t realise how beautiful this area is. That really surprised me in a positive way.

– Julian Dreijer, Product owner at CFP

How was the transition from studying to working life?

Thijn de Gries

Marc: “Fortunately, that was easier than expected. I travelled for a while after my studies, so I thought it would take a lot of getting used to. But the pleasant atmosphere in the workplace made it a lot easier for me.” For Thijn, the transition was also smoother than expected: “My Master’s was quite structured and tightly planned, so I was already used to that. I mainly just had to get used to the new rhythm.” Julian: “I had that too, indeed! Whereas I used to be able to spontaneously decide to take an afternoon off, that is no longer the case. It really is a different rhythm.” “And it takes energy in the beginning”, adds Thijn. “There is so much new information and you also want to make a good impression and present yourself well. So all that takes extra energy.” Julian: “But time does fly by because of that!”

What did you encounter in those first weeks?

“Corona… That’s why you don’t see many people in the office,” says Julian. “I saw only three colleagues on my first day of work and when you speak to colleagues remotely, the conversations are not the same as face-to-face.” Marc: “That’s so true. As consultants, we are on the road more often than Julian, so we also see more customers and coworkers. But even for us, most of the contact is fairly straight and to-the-point, because most meetings take place digitally and you miss things like the chat at the coffee machine. But to be honest: we don’t really know any better!” [laughs]

Did you find it exciting to suddenly sit around the table with customers?

Thijn: “I was a bit unsure in the beginning about how best to approach customers. I then asked a colleague for a crash course in approaching customers, and she gave me some useful tips and tricks. That really helped me a lot.” Julian: “Yes, you soon have contact with customers in different ways. In the beginning, you have to see how the communication and e-mail exchanges go. Fortunately, we were included in e-mail conversations from the start, so we were able to learn a lot from that.”

During your studies, your professor is actually your only client. When you suddenly have to deal with real customers and clients, it’s quite a change.”

– Marc Hofstede, consultant at CFP

You all work with all kinds of new tools and tight schedules. What was the learning curve like?

Marc Hofstede

Marc: “During my studies, we often had to switch from one subject or programme to another, so I’m used to that and it doesn’t really cause any problems.” Thine: “You always have to get used to new systems. But by getting to work and trying things out, you automatically get to know the systems and working methods. And in the beginning I had a coworker watch over me, but I soon got the hang of it.” Julian: “Fortunately, the tight schedules are not a problem either. In Online we work with sprints, so that all tasks and responsibilities are clear. The work is well distributed and we help each other where necessary to complete a task.” Thijn and Marc also have a short stand-up every day. Marc: “In the beginning, planning was a challenge, because you want to work on every project. But you soon learn to delegate tasks, which you also have to do to make the deadlines. Fortunately, we also use a capacity planning system that lets us see whether you still have time available or not. And if it turns out that you have too few available hours, you can always ask colleagues to help out.”

Finally, do you have any tips for people who are about to start their first job?

Julian: “Don’t be afraid to ask questions It’s the only way to get to know the organisation well.” Thijn adds: “Indeed, you just can’t know everything right away. Asking questions is so important, and taking the time to understand everything. “And last, but not least: make sure you quickly become proficient in the professional jargon around the place!” Marc concludes.

Are you also interested in working at CFP Green Buildings?

Then maybe you can, because we are still looking for new people. What would you think about a first job as Consultant Energy & Sustainability, for example? For more information on these and other vacancies, please contact us at or by phone on +31 55 – 355 51 99.

Contact Apeldoorn

CFP Green Buildings
J.C. Wilslaan 29
7313 HK Apeldoorn
The Netherlands
+31 (0)55 355 5199

Contact Naarden

CFP Green Buildings
Onderwal 16
1411 LV Naarden
The Netherlands
+31 (0)55 355 5199

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