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Palle: It feels good to make the decision myself about what to do

59-year-old Palle Jacobsen is busy creating a new life for himself as a freelancer, supplemented by exciting project assignments for banks.

7. Feb 2023
5 min
English / Dansk

A banker who is approaching 60 and prefers short-term employment at reduced hours. He must be scaling down...

"No, on the contrary! I am at full throttle creating a new life at work and feel stronger than ever – professionally, physically, mentally and not least in terms of experience," states Palle Jacobsen.

He has a long career behind him with consultancy and leading positions in the business world.

He is now working towards being self-employed, providing board consultancy and financial advisory services, etc.

"I would like to change roles and carry out more analytical work," he says.

While ramping up activities in his own company, he solves fixed-term project assignments – at the moment for Andelskassen, a cooperative savings bank in Viborg.

"It's super exciting to get to know a new bank, new colleagues and a new city," explains Palle Jacobsen, who lives in Aarhus.

Back to freedom

He embarked on his new combined working life in the wake of a couple of bank acquisitions that changed his former assignments, which was a mixed blessing.   

In 2017, he got a job with Saxo Bank and thrived as a business adviser at the bank's small Aarhus branch. But before a year had passed, Saxo Bank had been bought by Alm. Brand.

"Then I was suddenly part of a large group, but it turned out to be a very positive experience. I was given a greater area of responsibility and good insight into the cooperation between business and insurance," he emphasises.  

In 2020, Alm. Brand Bank was acquired by Sydbank, and here Palle Jacobsen came to fill the position as a traditional business adviser. He describes it as a good job in a highly skilled bank, but a classic 8-16 job with less influence and fewer chances to try out his wings than he was used to.

"There was no prospect of development or something new for me. So I said to myself: I want something else!”

Palle Jacobsen quit the job and offered to stay for a longer period to help with the merger of the two banks' IT systems, help the customers, etc. during his notice period.

"It was important for me to leave the bank in the best possible way. I wanted to finish the job and didn't have the energy to look for anything else in the meantime," he says.

On 1 January 2022, he registered as unemployed.

"It's exciting to be completely free to consider what will happen next," says Palle Jacobsen, who is well aware that not everyone is lucky enough to have the personal finances to do this.

"There was no prospect of development or something new for me. So I said to myself: I want something else!”
- Palle Jacobsen, self-employed

He was never in doubt that new opportunities would present themselves. But rather spend time finding the right job, he thought.

"I have acquired a high level of competence in my field, have worked hard and learnt many things of benefit to others. And so, my confidence is high and I feel well prepared. I have deliberately chosen to work in areas where I feel safe and competent.”

Course opened the door to project employment

At the course "Udsyn og ambitioner" ("Vision and ambitions"), offered by Finansforbundet and its Unemployment Insurance Fund FTFa to unemployed seniors from the financial sector, he met others who were looking ahead, searching for new work.

"It was a fine programme, but I concluded that I already had most of what I wanted under control," he sums up.

A few years before, he had taken a board certificate to be professionally fit for his future job, and he regularly consults a coach to test and streamline his business plan.

However, the course facilitated the link to the cooperative savings bank. The bank's HR manager gave an online presentation to the course participants, and shortly afterwards Palle Jacobsen got in touch.

"I had applied for a job in the analysis department, which looked exciting. The manager called and told me he could use me in the corporate banking branch in Viborg. It took five minutes to agree that I should work for them three to four days a week for six months. It quickly became full-time, and we have now extended the agreement by a year," he says, adding:  

"Nice bank, wonderful colleagues, good manager and an open atmosphere".

Use your network and contact people on your own initiative

After that, you will see new doors opening, he is convinced. There are many interesting interim jobs to explore once you become aware of this category. And Palle Jacobsen, who lives alone, does not mind staying at a hotel for a few business days a week combined with home-based working if the right temporary job is at the opposite end of the country.

He learnt long ago that it is no use applying for jobs in the old-fashioned way.

“Don’t bother! You’ll be put in the pile with everyone else. You need to use your network and your relations and contact people on your own initiative.”

Concurrently with commuting to Viborg and back, Palle works seriously with a couple of customers in his own business.

“It is important for me to insist that this is what I need to do,” he maintains and strongly recommends others to take the reins in their working lives.

”It feels good to make the decision myself about what to do.”

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