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“I planted more than 300 bushes or trees in one year. The garden is one of my favourite places to relax.”

Julien Dumont is a data analyst who was born for the role. “I am an introvert and rather reserved by nature. In the data department, fortunately I can hide behind my computer all day to collect and analyze data. I’m glad I’m not the one who has to convince customers to jump on board. That’s not my cup of tea.” He performs his job with pride because, he says,
“Mediabrands is not just a company, it is one of the largest agencies in Belgium with a lot of prestigious clients in its portfolio. I consider it a privilege to work here.” 
But that’s not all. Julien especially likes the fact that there is a good mix of personalities and of younger and older profiles. “It’s the ideal combination,” he says. “It means we can achieve a great deal by learning from each other, and we do it in an atmosphere of respect and trust, values that are highly prized here.” Julien particularly appreciates the professional qualities of his colleagues. “I’m fortunate to work in a team of highly skilled and experienced people such as David Lecouvet, my manager. The level in our department is extremely high. That spurs me on to keep getting better,” Julien continues. “When I work on something, I give one hundred percent. As soon as I have a goal and a deadline, my energy doubles.” Julien is very happy that he has been able to help improve the relationship between one specific client and the data department. Because apparently that relationship used to be a bit of a problem. “It was not ideal. There was a great deal of frustration on both sides. We worked hard to remedy this with our team for two years and everyone, both the customer and internally, is delighted with the result. At the end of the day, if you’ve done your job well, it gives you a sense of satisfaction.” In addition to keeping his job-related skills up to date, Julien also tries to work on his mindset. “Look, I’m someone who tends to be pessimistic and cynical. Therefore, I am a little envious of people who always have a positive outlook on life, regardless of the problems they face. It is obviously easier if you see the glass half full rather than half empty.”

“As soon as I have a goal and a deadline, my energy doubles.”

Carte blanche

The fact that Mediabrands puts emphasis on the person behind the employee is demonstrated by the numerous small gestures, activities, parties, etc. that are offered, says Julien. “That’s the advantage of working in a large group,” he laughs. “We are well looked after. I think we owe that mainly to the ladies in the HR department.” He believes that the fact they are all women may have something to do with it. “Women usually have more empathy than men. They also tend to be more understanding of family circumstances. Actually, this is the perfect company for me to combine work and family.” After all, for Julien family comes first. “I’ve been married for 18 years, and my wife means the world to me. Our three beautiful children are my greatest accomplishment and my greatest source of happiness,” he declares with a certain pride. “Seeing them laugh, evolve, complement each other, makes me emotional sometimes. I also try to be a father who is more present than mine was,” Julien explains. At home, he tries to spend as much quality time as possible with his children, and enjoys making their favorite dish, chili con carne. “If it were up to them, chili con carne would be on the menu every day,” he says with a smile. Julien seems like the ideal family man. He cooks, cleans, does the grocery shopping and has just finished building a garden shed. “I planted more than 300 bushes or trees in one year,” he says.
“My garden is the only place where I can relax and forget the time. When I’m working in the garden, I don’t think about anything and I even forget to eat and drink. It is also the place where I can express my creativity. Laying out a garden is a creative process, and fortunately my wife has given me kind of carte blanche.”
Julien hopes to pass on some of his passions to his children. Like Formula 1, for example. “I’m obsessed with Formula 1, it’s almost pathological,” he admits. “I live and breathe it, much to my wife’s annoyance at times. In my next life I want to come back as a professional racing driver,” laughs Julien. Recently, he took his four-year-old son to the Francorchamps track for the first time. “It was great to see the mixture of wonder and delight in his eyes. That was a moment of pure joy for me.” So, it seems like the bug has already been passed on. His best memory in the four years that he has worked at Mediabrands is the day he went racing with some colleagues on a circuit in Wallonia. “I received an e-mail from Nathalie L’Hoir with an invitation for a driving day on the Mettet circuit and I immediately accepted.” he says enthusiastically. Julien hopes there will be more activities of this kind in the future. “It’s a good way to get to know people from other departments,” he says. “If I were CEO for a day, I would make everyone switch jobs and workloads so that we would have even more respect for each other. It is not that easy to put yourself in someone else’s shoes if you have never done that kind of work before. For example, I would like to know what it feels like to face clients every day.” We consider that a really daring proposal, especially coming from an introvert who likes to hide behind his computer screen all day!
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