Our people and CSR

Interview with NGA HR’s Payroll Hero: John

This interview is part of the Global Payroll Magazine, download the full magazine here!

Your LinkedIn profile says you are a ‘Tier 3 Specialist’, what does that mean exactly?
Apparently, I forgot to add ‘senior’ to the title. Nowadays, it is called a Senior Payroll Specialist. It means I know a lot about payroll and that I have been doing it for a long time already.

What studies did you do before ending up at NGA HR?
John laughs. Do you have a minute? I want to start off by saying that I’ve always combined my studies with my work. I started with an IT Bachelor studies while working as a programmer and graduated in 2002. After that, I kept on combining studies with work. I also have a Bachelor of Business Administration and a social ‘Payroll Professional’ degree. In addition, I recently started studying Fiscal Law, it’s going to take 4 years in total to complete.

Why did you choose to study Fiscal Law?
Because it’s something that’s related to my work and I know that there are not many people that know something about fiscal law. Therefore, I have a good advantage.

Was NGA HR your first employer?
Before NGA I worked at Baan for 9 years as a programmer, where my IT degree came in handy. Before I came to Baan, I worked for 8 years at ‘Sociaal fonds bouwnijverheid’ where I was a technical expert for the unemployment benefits department.
Precedently, I worked at a small record company where I did the bookkeeping and maintenance of the Apple Macintosh.
Even before that, and only few people know this, I was part of the Dutch army as a Sergeant. At that time it was still mandatory to sign up. I got educated in administration and every evening I would read the military laws in advance before class the next morning. This resulted in me knowing more than the teacher, which was fun.

How long have you worked for NGA?
This is my 13th year at NGA HR.

What are nice parts of your job?
Well, I like that everything I want to accomplish turns out the way I want it to. In addition, if I don’t have the necessary knowledge, I make sure I educate myself to obtain the needed knowledge.

On the other hand, what are challenging aspects of your job?
I don’t know if it’s challenging per se but, most of the time, when the customer has a certain change that needs to be achieved in the system, I think about ‘how can we solve this with the current tools we have’. I always try to get things done with as little effort from the employees as possible; getting mostly automated solutions so you get as little errors as possible.

How do you balance work and life?
John smirks for a moment. What life? I’m always studying in my free time but I enjoy doing this. Every part of newly acquired knowledge helps me in my work.

What advice would you give people who are trying to get a job similar to yours?
Just know what you’re doing and why. This is advice for anyone in any role. If you don’t know exactly why you are doing it, then don’t be afraid to ask someone else.

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I think when I was very young I wanted to be a professor.

john magazine interview

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