Meet Renee Welling, a 28-year-old Client Consultant at Rapid Circle, where she has been working for over three years. She has become a familiar face to several loyal clients and is also involved in internal organizational developments, such as the Rapid Circle Green Team. Renee is known as an energy generator who brings people together. From growing up in an entrepreneurial family to pursuing a career in professional cycling and embarking on a world journey, today we delve deeper into the story of our powerwoman, Renee. Are you ready to join us?
Why did you choose a role as a Client Consultant in the IT industry?
“I had just returned from my world journey. Before that, I worked as a quality manager at a brand and strategy agency, but I was ready for the next step and wanted to do something different. During my trip, I had a year to think about making a switch, and Rapid Circle came across my path, fitting well with my aspirations. I come from a male-dominated world. I have three brothers and immersed myself in the professional cycling world, so I never thought that the IT industry wasn’t for me. However, the role of Client Consultant was still in its early stages. When I joined Rapid Circle, we didn’t know exactly what the role entailed, but it essentially involved being the link between clients and the team. I found that very appealing. I enjoy having varied tasks and taking on challenges.”
You enjoy taking on challenges. What drives you to always give that extra bit?
“I think it’s in my character. People often tell me that my energy is contagious, that I generate energy. And when I hear or see things that make me think, ‘We should do something about that,’ I want to act. Especially from the perspective that it makes the work of others more enjoyable or meaningful because I consider that very important. I won’t quickly do something just because it benefits me personally. I look at whether it would benefit the team or the organization, a win-win situation. And that drives me to go the extra mile or work a little harder.”
Do you sometimes feel like you give too much?
“Yes, that can be challenging indeed. You shouldn’t constantly shoot your energy like a cannon at everything. Sometimes you realize that you can’t do everything you want. But I believe I have a good sense of whether things are within my circle of influence. If they’re not, I’m getting better at letting go. In the beginning, I wanted to take on everything, but now I can put things into perspective. I come from an entrepreneurial family, so I know what it means to work hard and take responsibility. That’s how I was raised.”
You are also part of the Green Team. What inspired you to be involved?
“When the Green Team was established, there wasn’t much information available yet. However, I knew I had certain ideas, and I wanted to create more awareness about sustainability within Rapid Circle and bring colleagues together. So, I saw the Green Team as a great opportunity for that. The Green Team doesn’t fully cover the scope; we look at the sustainability strategy, which goes beyond just reducing CO2 emissions. I particularly value the topic of employee well-being in this regard. Another reason for joining the team was that it was the first time I could actively work with colleagues outside my own team and continent. The international aspect strongly appealed to me.”
Do you have any other ambitions or goals for the future?
“Regarding my career, I think it’s important that I continue to develop positively as a person. Not necessarily because I want to climb the ladder myself, but because I want to be a voice for other people and make a difference within the organization. I receive a lot of information, and I think that partly comes from my ability to bring people together, which is something that others recognize in me. People find it easy to talk to me, and I’m genuinely interested. Meeting new people and sharing stories and insights energize me. So, I want to try to grow in that aspect. I want to be able to contribute more to certain topics and take ownership in organizing, establishing, or expanding things.”
And on a personal level, do you have a specific goal you want to achieve?
“I don’t think I can easily say where I want to be in five years. My life motto is always to follow my heart. They say, ‘the sky is the limit,’ but I have a feeling that even the sky has no limit. So, I like to keep my options open and trust my intuition for what comes my way. Maybe in five years, I’ll be living abroad or even acquiring a company.”
They say, ‘the sky is the limit,’ but I have a feeling that even the sky has no limit.Renee Welling, Client Consultant at Rapid Circle
Is there anything in your life or career that you haven’t been able to achieve but really wanted?
“I think you should ask me this question again in ten years. I’m ‘only’ 28, and I’m very happy with my studies and where I currently stand in my career. As the icing on the cake, I also went on a year-long world journey, and I look back on that with immense gratitude. So far, everything has gone well. But I must say that these are things for which I have worked hard, sacrificed a lot, and invested. It doesn’t come easy, not at all. What I might regret is putting too much pressure on myself back then. Looking back, I think, ‘Renee, it will be fine, why the pressure?’ Sometimes, my standards are so high that I may struggle to meet them.”
Those are some significant milestones. Are you proud of them?
“Well, I find ‘proud’ to be a big word. It felt more like a burden being lifted off my shoulders. I’m not quick to be proud of myself. I have certain expectations of myself, and if I meet them, I’m okay with it. But I don’t think I would use the word ‘proud’ easily. However, I do try to celebrate personal goals or achievements more often. For example, I have a friend with whom I schedule weekly, monthly, and yearly accountability sessions to discuss our personal goals. We have a planner that we go through, setting weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals. We also keep each other accountable for the small milestones we achieve and celebrate them. So, I’m trying to be more mindful of that. We would also like to publish a book about our approach so that other people can do it too. It works as a solid foundation for the busy lives we lead.”
What do you consider to be the biggest failure in your life?
“I don’t really see it as a failure, but in hindsight, I would have approached my professional cycling career differently. I feel like I didn’t challenge myself enough in that regard. When I see how high I set the bar for myself in my current career compared to the cycling races, I do feel a bit disappointed that I didn’t push myself more. On the other hand, maybe it wasn’t a perfect fit. However, it has brought me a lot in terms of my current mindset and professionalism. So, in that sense, it was a good lesson learned.”
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
“The best advice I’ve received is that you can never make the wrong choice. You can make a choice that, in hindsight, you would have done differently, but it will never be a wrong choice. This advice helps me make decisions and come to terms with the consequences. It aligns with the cycling story as well. If I could do it again, I would do it differently, but it doesn’t mean I made the wrong choices. I have no regrets; I’m at peace with it.”
Have you ever received any negative advice?
“Negative is a strong word. One advice that has stuck with me dates to my primary school days. I was sometimes seen as chaotic and messy. I would occasionally take too much leadership in my enthusiasm. I didn’t intend to be in the spotlight, but with my ideas, I was so fast and enthusiastic that I didn’t realize it. If I get really engaged in something, it may happen that people think, ‘Renee, slow down a bit.’ I was much younger back then, and obviously, I wasn’t as aware of it as I am now. But it did affect me.”
Did this motivate you to work on it?
“No, it held up a mirror to me, but it’s not something I wanted to unlearn. Because I thought, yes, being a bit messy, I could relate to that sometimes. I just want to see results quickly. You’ll never see me resting for a whole afternoon or doing 3D paper crafts because I simply don’t have the patience for that. I do notice that I’m very focused on structure and routines now. I make my bed every morning, and my house is always tidy. I have a very busy and enjoyable life, and when I come home, I want peace and cleanliness. That’s something I’ve gained from that experience—incorporating routines and structure to manage my energy and create balance, so to speak.”
Is there a particular influential person in your life who motivates or inspires you?
“Yes, that’s my grandmother. My grandmother is a true businesswoman. Together with my grandfather, they had one of the first franchise Albert Heijn stores in the Netherlands. They sold it at a young age and retired. They worked extremely hard, which allowed them to retire early. In those times, they worked six or seven days a week. My grandmother was the negotiator, making agreements with suppliers, while my grandfather managed the store and supervised the staff. Especially considering the time in which this happened, I find it very inspiring because my grandmother and grandfather were equal business partners, and my grandmother sometimes handled the tough negotiations. Back then, it was normal for women not to work and stay at home with the children, but my grandparents pursued their own path and succeeded. It was very progressive and modern, aside from the fact that my grandmother was excellent at what she did.
Whenever I’m unsure about things, I turn to her for advice and a listening ear. We are very similar, and I find that amusing to see. She inspires me to be independent and shows me that it doesn’t matter if you’re a woman, man, or anything else; you can achieve what you want. To this day, she is my source of energy and my drive to continue proving my worth, just as she did.”