Knowledge-sharing and acquisition for management support staff - from Boomer to Gen Z. 53 years ago, the secretarial profession was very different to what it is today. Indeed, the management support field has changed tremendously over the years and will continue to do so. 

The NVDM is the biggest Dutch national association for all management support professions and unites everyone working in the field, from secretaries and event managers to executive assistants, virtual assistants and office managers.

It also facilitates members from various disciplines and regions to share their specialized knowledge and discuss sector issues. NVDM has over 625 members and business partners spread over eight regions.

The management support sector is rapidly developing. “That makes continual self-development vital”, asserts NVDM President Jolanda Maasakkers. Her organization stimulates and helps its members to do just that. “Whether in terms of personal development, enlarging your professional knowledge or expanding your network. And, if possible, always incorporating an element of fun.”

Among the activities the NVDM organizes are online webinars delving into key themes and in-person gatherings to talk shop and network with fellow professionals. “As an NVDM member, you’re spurred to continue developing”, affirms Monica Kuppens, regional manager for Noord-Holland and Flevoland. “Digitization, automation and the evolution of AI make it impossible to stand still. The NVDM keeps you updated about recent developments and shares knowledge about how to integrate them.”

Knowledge sharing
The association hosts six regional meetings per year where people working in the field can share ideas. Besides that, NVDM offers specific courses within their Academy and hosts national seminars (online and offline) like the online ‘Energy talk’ every first working day of the month, adds Vice-President Mandy van Schaik, “when we share knowledge about a relevant topic, often followed by a workshop. The topics range from new features in Microsoft Teams to personal development, and everything in between. Our governing board and regional team members are made up of volunteers who work in the field themselves, so they’re good judges of the types of issues you run into as a secretary and what you might need.”

The whole management support sector has undergone some big changes over the past decade, Monica notes. “Fifty years ago, an executive secretary was a seasoned professional with a long career behind them. These days, you can advance a lot faster. There is less hierarchy and you’re on a more equal footing with your boss. The job has definitely changed over the years.”

The next generation

Currently, Mandy is working to draw a younger target group into the NVDM. “I see substantial differences between this younger generation and those 35 and up. The lifestyle is different, ideas are different, and to tune into that I’m mapping out what this target group is after and how we can best connect with young professionals. So, if there are young management support professionals in the Amsterdam region reading this who feel like ‘this is me’, I would love to get in touch to trade ideas!” 

Jolanda urges all management support staff to join the NVDM. “The key advantage of membership is that you’re always up on the latest sector developments and can share experiences with fellow professionals in a low-key setting. And we give you positive encouragement to think constructively about your career development.”


Bron: Hello Zuidas mei/juni 2023




NVDM archiefartikelen fysieke bijeenkomsten en webinars Overzicht