Switch Stories – Project Manager Jolien Gabriëls


At Tobania, we value our in-house talent. Because great people are our core business! Therefore, we do everything we can to facilitate internal mobility and empower our more than 1.000 Tobians to take their career at Tobania into their own hands. Many of our great Tobians have already done so, which is why we would like to highlight one of them who embarked on a new Tobania adventure. Featured in this issue: Jolien Gabriëls, Project Manager at Tobania.

Can you briefly introduce yourself, Jolien?

Hi, I am Jolien and more than six years ago I took the decision to join the business unit Tobania.Business.


What were your previous roles?

In the past few years, I have gained experience in compliance, testing, business and functional analysis.


What is your current position at Tobania? 

I am currently working as Project Manager at one of our customers specialising in job placement and professional training. Besides, in 2023, I will combine this role with a change management position.


Why did you choose to switch job domains? 

As a Business Engineer, I acquired a pretty much generic education.  During my studies, I came across analysis and project management courses. I experienced that I was more of a generalist and that my interests turned more towards project management. Since I wanted to obtain a clear understanding of what the different roles within a project involve, I thought it would be a good idea to first gain a few years’ experience as a Business/Functional/Test Analyst before taking the step to Project Manager (PM).


Why did you choose to give your career a new twist at Tobania?

The leap to the position of Project Manager was part of my long-term plan. In fact, my previous positions have been instrumental in helping me in the PM role I can now fill at Tobania.

How would you describe the job of an Analyst and the difference with being a PM? 

As an Analyst, you need to go into detail many times, while a Project Manager is more of a generalist who maintains a helicopter view.


What do you like most about your current position as a PM? What keeps you focused?

I consider it interesting that I interact a lot with the different stakeholders (business and IT) and that I am involved in all phases of the project, from the initiation stage to the adoption and evaluation process.


How did your application process proceed?

When I joined Tobania, I was very transparent about my long-term goal. So, I got the chance to take a few courses that elevated my CV and to get the first assignment as a Project Manager (combined with an analysis role) at one of our customers.

“Seize every opportunity. Even the small ones which help you gain experience in the role you desire. “

Many people like to take on a new professional challenge, but they have to be willing to take the plunge. Can you give them some tips to easily manage their career switch?

Seize every opportunity. Even the small ones which help you gain experience in the role you desire.  You can attend courses, but also take advantage of small opportunities at your current assignment, such as helping the PM where you can and asking for information if they are open to it.


Fancy joining Jolien?

Interested in becoming a Project Manager yourself? Then be sure to dive into our PM vacancy.