‘I hadn’t applied for a job in thirty years.’

The company where Marc worked underwent a long period of restructuring. When his job moved to Paris in 2016 he left the company. Marc was forced to look for a new job. He hadn’t applied for a job since 1985 and had never written a CV.

returning to work: over 50.

‘I sometimes had the impression that my age was an obstacle. My profile was a 90 per cent match with a vacancy yet some companies considered me to be an unsuitable candidate.’  - Marc

‘I began work at the age of twenty-one after my national service and armed with a degree in electricity. My first employer was Bell Telephone in Antwerp. I began work there as a technical draftsman and later worked for other telecom companies.’

He lost his job two years ago. His job disappeared abroad after a restructuring. Marc took a sabbatical of six months. He then began the search for a new job.

‘It was an entirely new world for me. I hadn’t applied for a job in thirty years and had never had a CV. Luckily I received good help from RiseSmart who offered an outplacement. That was a really positive experience. I also ended up in a discussion group with like-minded people. There was a real click there as well.’


In his last job Marc was a trainer. He hoped to do a similar job in another sector, but was unlucky. ‘I sometimes had the impression that my age was an obstacle. My profile was a 90 per cent match with a vacancy yet some companies considered me to be an unsuitable candidate. That taught me to always ask for feedback. You may learn a thing or two and it is also valuable for future discussions.’

‘We were looking for a consultant specialised in IP telephony/unified communications. Such profiles are hard to find.’  - Tanja Somers, head of recruitment Xylos


Marc ended up at Xylos thanks to an external recruitment agency. ‘We were looking for a consultant specialised in IP telephony/unified communications (the merger between email, voip, chat, web conference, etc.). Such profiles are hard to find’, explains Tanja Somers, head of recruitment at Xylos.


‘My first impression was of a calm and pleasant man. The interview was rather awkward to start with, but Marc then helped resolve that with his sense of humour and energy. I soon sensed that he wasn’t going to give up and just wanted to make progress.’


‘Marc had no need to convince us of his experience and technical knowledge. What’s important to us is how dynamic a candidate is and how interseted the person is in IT. Somebody’s potential also plays a key role. That soon became clear during a technical interview. Marc explained that he had done a course in electricity. Using this and another training he developed his own course. It convinced us that he would be a good addition to the team and we offered him a permanent contract.’

Marc is the company’s Nestor. ‘Some colleagues discuss matters I have already experienced, allowing me to offer some advice from time to time. We sometimes joke about it but, above all, we are good colleagues. There’s a pleasant ambiance.’

Tanja knows that too. ‘Under stress Marc always remains calm. Furthermore, the transfer of knowledge is extremely valuable to us. We are all both pupils and teachers at the same time, and Marc really understands that.’