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04 Feb 2021

Humans of Kent: Burak Agdeviren, Planner, The Netherlands

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The game of life is a lot like football

My grandfather was one of the first Turkish people who immigrated to Netherlands in the beginning of the 1960’s. My father and I were born and raised in Netherlands and I’m glad that my parents taught me Turkish language while I was growing up. They knew I’d be fluent in English and Dutch when I go to school. It’s because of my parents, I feel this connection to my Turkish roots’ despite being brought up in the Netherlands where they celebrate multiculturalism.

While growing up, like many kids, I wanted to be a professional football player. Whether it is perseverance or discipline, leadership or teamwork, nothing balances our physical fitness with our mental strength like playing a sport does, in my opinion. I played my last semi-professional match about 10 years ago but since then I’ve continued to play football in the amateur league in Netherlands. It’s all about that adrenalin! I frequently travel for football matches to Istanbul. Galatasaray has been my favourite football club since I was a little kid.

My career began in overalls as a mechanic and I worked my way up to be a fitter followed by a foreman and now a Junior Planner. I’m always looking to one up my game and become better than I was yesterday by acquiring new challenges, new skills and utilize my learnings. When preparing for the big game of football, coping with high-pressure situations is a natural occurrence. This has helped me in my professional life to be capable of coping when it gets tough, whether that’s staying calm in an interview or meeting a short deadline.

My job as a Junior Planner at Kent is to provide the right information and documents for my co-workers on-site so they can do their job in the safest and most efficient way possible. Every day is different and that’s what I love about my work. But my work wouldn’t be possible without a supportive team. I like the saying “A boat doesn’t go forward if each one is rowing their own way.” A boat will only race at its fastest when all rowers move in the same direction and rhythm, the same is true for when a goal scored in football is due to the varying skillset of the team and learning to work with others and appreciating how different talents can contribute to one goal is vital to succeed in any project.

Wanting to win goes hand in hand with accepting defeat and there is no better teacher. Learning to accept loss is a much tougher lesson but can be much more valuable. I’ve worked in big projects with a previous employer in which everything that could go wrong went wrong. Bad preparations, bad execution, and even worse planning, but this is how we learn, isn’t it?

Football teaches one lesson above all else – it takes a team to win. It works the same way in life. You win as a team or you lose as one. Eventually, it’s the sense of shared goals and each member’s personal contribution that pave the road to success. To any new joiner, I’d like to say… just like in football, your work demands teamwork, commitment, endurance, and a rah-rah attitude. If you’ve got the drive and put in the work, you’re bound to find your place at Kent. It’s a great company to grow and make a career for yourself. You have the skills which is what got you selected. Now get on to the starting block!

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