Personal stories

Causes of happiness differ from person to person. But having your own place, a place where you fit in, where you are seen and listened to, and where you are given the opportunity to grow, these are themes that crop up again and again. It is remarkable that success often appears to be the result of how you deal with setbacks. This yields stories about happiness at work that are worth telling.

'Look at the total picture and focus on the things that go well'

‘Negativity’ is not part of Gabriela Smit’s vocabulary. Gabriela (42), Site Manager Gom Hospitality, enjoys life to the full. Every day, this optimistic Rumanian cheerfully goes to work and comes home in the best of spirits. Her secret? ‘I have lived a happy life,’ Gabriela says, radiant with joy. ‘When you are happy, everything becomes nicer.’ >> Read more (Dutch)

'My mouth is my best weapon'

Harrie Dabrowski (59), security officer at Trigion for Vodafone/Ziggo in Maastricht, whistles while cycling to work and while cycling home almost every day, 32.5 kilometres each way. He has been doing this for over twenty years. ‘Because I like cycling, but also because I’m a fortunate guy. I rarely have a bad day, even though things happen at work once in a while that are less pleasant.’ >> Read more (Dutch)

'Happiness at work begins with being proud of yourself and of the work you do'

Happiness at work is synonymous with Brigitte Silvis (50). As the ambassador for Happiness at Work, Trainer/Coach Hospitality and Training Coordinator, she stirs up the happiness at work among her colleagues at Gom – and consequently the clients’ happiness at work as well. ‘Happiness at work begins with being proud of yourself and of the work you do,’ says Brigitte, explaining the concept, because “Happy people make happy people”.’ >> Read more (Dutch)

‘It takes you places, and you always meet new people’

Andreas Leenders (62) has been a window cleaner at Gom in the province of Limburg for 32 years, and he cannot think of any better job. ‘Nice and free, and I’m outdoors. What else could I wish for?’, Andreas says with his broad Limburg accent. Andreas is currently recovering from a knee operation. He can hardly wait to get back to work, although it will be less challenging than it used to be. >> Read more (Dutch)

To Lale Mageramova (30) happiness at work is equal to location happiness. She has been working at the UWV location at Delflandlaan in Amsterdam for three years now and as a security officer at Trigion for two years. ‘I also worked at other locations, but Delflandlaan is really my favourite location,’ Lale says. ‘It’s where I feel at home.’ >> Read more (Dutch)

‘Go for it, choose what you like best’

Confidence in particular is what Cor Norder (44) wants to inspire in his children. ‘Choose what you like best and go for it. It’s what I often tell them, maybe too often,’ Cor says with a smile, although he thinks you can hardly tell them often enough. ‘If someone had told me this when I was young, my choices would have been entirely different.’ >> Read more (Dutch)

‘Independent, thanks to my job’

You have to be strong in life. It is a promise Ariana Karta (32) made to herself. She combines a five-day catering job with caring for her little daughter. “If the two of us can manage well enough, it’s all right.” >> Read more (Dutch)

‘This is where I grew up’

For Joey Griffin (27) things went pretty fast. What started as a job on the side as a cleaner soon appeared to be the reason of a surprising career move. Today, as a district manager at Gom Hospitality, his development has not ended yet. “I love to meet with resistance in order to learn.” >>Read more (Dutch)

‘Especially the relationship you build with owners in the food service industry is very valuable’

When Gerard Hollink (60) is called in, you know that beer is involved. What we actually mean is beer engines in cafés, restaurants and other companies in the sector in the Enschede region, for Gerard has been in the business since Tapwacht was founded. Now, thirty-six years later, the difficult question is how to bring a career to a close. >> Read more (Dutch)