Lies and Youssef left, but came back to Unilin Group: “This is where I belong.”

Lies and Youssef enjoyed their job at Unilin Group, but they opted for an adventure with another company. Now they are back working at Unilin Group.

15 July 2022

Lies (40) and Youssef (32) enjoyed their job at Unilin Group, but at a particular moment – and for different reasons – they opted for an adventure with another company. Now they are back working at Unilin Group. Armed with a good measure of experience and insight, and really keen to forge ahead.

Last August, Lies returned as Director Digital Engagement, and in early May of this year, Youssef as Internal Auditor. They both take a moment with us to reminisce about their choices and what they have achieved.

Need for a Reset

So, if you both enjoyed working here so much, why did you leave?

Lies: “I had reached the age of 35 and had been working here for ten years. I was starting to wonder whether I really wanted to stay with the same company for the rest of my life. At that time the answer was “no.” Perhaps I was too much in my comfort zone here: I knew the company like the back of my hand, I felt comfortable here, etc. I felt a growing need for a new challenge. When an IT company in the area contacted me, I decided to leave. I just needed a total reset.”

Youssef: “I have always worked in finance, but I became increasingly interested in HR and recruitment. I was taking courses on those topics. After three years’ working as an Internal Auditor, I wanted to make that transition. However, at that time there was no internal vacancy in line with my interests. So, when a vacancy for a Talent Acquisition Specialist at a recruitment and selection company came along, I went for it. I really did not want to regret not having experienced that world.”

Company Culture

What convinced you to return to the Unilin Group?

Lies: “When I put in my notice, I literally had tears in my eyes because I have always enjoyed working here so much. In the five years after I left, I always kept in touch with my former colleagues. In terms of content, I did like my new job, but the company culture was different. The DNA and the company culture did seem to have more of an impact on my general state of wellbeing than I had thought. When I realised that, it made me decide to come back.”

Youssef: “Even after just half a year, I felt that the job did not quite meet my expectations. After one year, I decided I had to be honest with myself and my environment. Finance is my thing, and the job of Internal Auditor gives me the perfect balance between finance and interaction with people. Of course, I could have looked for another job elsewhere, and I did receive offers from other companies too. But I deliberately opted to return to Unilin Group. It really was the overall picture: the company culture, the job content, the colleagues, the freedom they give you to innovate, the entrepreneurship, etc.”

How does it feel to be back?

Lies: “Unilin Group has grown so much in those five years. But saying that, the company culture is still the same. People who work here are incredibly driven, they have passion and enthusiasm.  On my first day back it honestly felt like coming home. I did worry a little about how my colleagues would react. But that fear was totally unfounded.”

Youssef: “At first, I did have to get used to things again because I had worked completely differently for a whole year and I had missed some training courses. At the same time, I got to grips with my job more quickly because I already knew it. I am now working with the same colleagues and manager again, and they were just as pleased as me to have me back (laughs).”

Bringing In an Outside Point of View

What has that experience taught you?

Lies: “Realising that the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence (laughs). In terms of job content, I learned a great deal at my previous employer’s. And also in terms of managing teams and agile working. I also learned to collaborate with different kinds of people. It is informative to see how another company manages things. I have brought that outside point of view with me, and this can only benefit Unilin Group.”

Youssef: “In just one year I have met many different candidates with various profiles and personalities. This has helped me to further develop my soft skills, such as listening to people’s life stories and to forge ahead with them. And interacting with ease with different kinds of people. I firmly believe that taking a human approach is a real asset to improve as an auditor.”

What does the future hold?

Lies: “I now know for certain that this is where I belong. Unilin Group knows me and I know that they will continue to set me new challenges in the future. I also receive good coaching here. It is good to know that your employer is aware of your weaker points and accepts them.”

Youssef: “I love doing my job as an Internal Auditor, and within the organisation there are plenty of opportunities to try something else if I feel like it.”


<   Lies’s Career Path at Unilin Group

  • Started in 2006 as Functional Analyst in IT
  • Developed to Team Leader, Project Manager and Program Manager
  • Left in 2016
  • Returned in August 2021 to work as Director Digital Engagement


   Youssefs Career Path at Unilin Group

  • In 2014, started as Supplier Accountant at Unilin Insulation
  • Held various roles as Accountant in the Finance Service Centre
  • Worked as an internal auditor from 2018 until June 2021
  • Returned in May 2022 to work as Internal Auditor


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