This is a place where you can choose your own path
We owe the dynamics of our group to our talented employees. Everyone contributes to a fine selection of projects and constructions. Some already have a proven track record, others are at the beginning of their careers. Or rather: at the beginning of their growth trajectory, because this is a place where you can develop yourself and choose your own path. That's how it feels for ‘Young talent’ Cedric Verheyen.
What exactly are your tasks? “I am currently working in the welding department of Iemants in Arendonk, more specifically in hall F. I participate in several projects. Now, for example, I am working on parts of electricity pylons and I've also worked on parts for bridges.”
How did you join lemants/Smulders? “After my welding-construction training I got my first job at a different company in the steel construction industry. This company wasn't doing so well, so I, as well as some other colleagues, took a chance at lemants. This is how I started here in August 2019.
What about your induction period? “At the start everything was new. I started a trial period at an assembly site. I soon felt that working outdoors wasn't my thing. So, I took matters into my own hands and went to ask my foreman if I could try working indoors. Welding is more my thing than assembly. Right from the beginning I got the support I needed from my colleagues at the department. There's about 15 of us and we can ask each other anything.
What do you like most about your work? “Contributing to super interesting projects, that feels great. We work here together in a nice atmosphere, with the best materials around. When a machine breaks, it is immediately replaced so we can continue our work. And what’s also important, when you need some time off, no one makes it difficult on you. The working hours are fixed, but you can always start earlier. I really appreciate that flexibility.
What do you see as your greatest talent? “Maybe the fact that I'm a hard worker and if I really want something, I am not afraid to take the initiative to change and move forward. This also enabled me to make the switch from outdoors to indoors. My superiors also appreciated the fact that I took this matter into my own hands.”
And what about your further ambitions? “I am 22 years old and I realise I can still learn a lot as a welder. I want to become better and better and I realise that it is important to listen carefully to colleagues with more experience. It seems that I have found my place in the company, although I will not fail to take the initiative again and speak to the right people when the time is ripe for a different challenge. I am really glad I dared to ask to work as a welder indoors back then.”
Why should more young talent choose to work at Smulders? “People care for you and give you the support you need. There are a number of initiatives that are unique and motivating, especially for young talent. For example, the monthly toolbox meetings for all departments. That’s where we, welders, hear everything about new tools, safety actions, events and more. During these sessions you can also express your questions and doubts. It strengthens the group atmosphere. Sometimes, after work, we go out for a pint with colleagues.”
Work hard, play hard: that goes for you too? “Certainly, there's more than work alone. I like working as a welder, but I also like to play football with my friends, go on holiday, drive around on my moped, get out and about with my friends and in times of corona also gaming. It keeps everything in balance.”
What did you think about us asking you for this interview? “It was a pleasant surprise. There's so many people around here and then you ask me. Really, a great initiative. It is also nice to see that the job of welder is put in the spotlight.