About Rob Lit

Who is Rob and what is his approach?
In my work I have always been fascinated by the human side of work.

Rob LitIn 2005 I was awarded a project to build a customer call centre for a health insurance company in Heerlen.
The challenge I was given with this project was to deliver a fully operational call centre with 120 employees within three months. Where was I supposed to start?
The first employee I hired was a P&O Manager by the name of Jos. I found him in my network and we met for coffee in a hotel in Maastricht. Ultimately, I asked him two questions: “How much money do you want?” And: “Can you start tomorrow?” He countered: “When is my job interview?”  I told him: “You just finished it? The coffee is on me!”

That was the best move I could have made. The ball started rolling once this first employee was on board. I told Jos about my idea to give jobs to the unemployed via social services. Jos also liked that idea and thought it would be meaningful to take these people to the Ardennes, something that Jos does regularly in his spare time, just to do something different than sitting at home and feeling useless. I told him I had one condition: there had to be someone there who could guide and support these people. We approached a lady who had been working for an eyewear shop for years and wanted to leave. The three of us paid a visit to Social Services. The Director of Social Services at that time embraced our plans with open arms and in no time we had a total of 43 people who were happy to be gainfully employed again.   

Why am I telling you all this? Because this is the essence of my job as an outplacement coach. Often when we see people through our own eyes, they appear to be at such a disadvantage.  However, are they truly at a disadvantage? I found out that if you have the courage to look at people from a different point of view, they may surprise you with unexpected qualities.  You can never see past the end of your nose.

Nowadays, I look at a candidate’s qualities, social skills and at their desired work-life balance. With that knowledge in mind, I can find a suitable job for that candidate – a job that the candidate enjoys, thus a job that fills the candidate with energy. My average work day is 16 hours. It doesn’t seem too long to me because I enjoy what I do. If I am successful at matching someone to a job that suits them, my energy goes through the roof!

The curriculum vitae (CV) is still a key factor in the recruitment process. Historically, the CV has always contained the applicant’s past jobs and experience. However, it is more important that the CV answer the question of what the candidate can contribute to further developing the company’s business in terms of background and knowledge.

I never look at a CV until I have met the candidate in person. I want to form my own impression without any prior knowledge. If I were to first study the candidate’s file, I would automatically fall into the self-fulfilling prophecy trap, which is to involuntarily look for something that confirms what I have read.
This is precisely the reason why I do not work with models, tests and/or methodologies. I only work with those tools if their use can clearly help the candidate to further develop his or her qualities.

Ultimately, I always come back to what I said in the beginning. Each person is free to make choices and each person is responsible for the quality of his or her life. There are limits to my coaching. I can talk to someone, hold up a mirror for him/her, give advice, use my network and open doors. But in the end, it is up to the candidate to determine what he or she does with that information.

There is an old proverb that states: Work is ennobling. Another proverb states: Idleness rusts the mind.
Both proverbs indicate how important it is to have a job. Work gives you a sense of belonging. It makes you feel like you are doing something worthwhile and that you are valued.
People sometimes forget that – sometimes it seems like it’s only about earning money. Of course everyone needs money to live.  However, having a job is more than just earning money, which is something you often don’t realise until after you have lost your job. Without a job you lose the structure in your life. You end up in social isolation. You are confronted with other things that are also important in life. This is why I do what I do: I want to help people achieve happiness (while working).