My book

On May 24, 2016 my book A step back? No way! was published in Dutch

Why this book?

Scientific research has shown that in the years ahead one in every three employees runs the risk of having to take a step back in their career. There can be many reasons for this: restructurings, delayering, mergers, the need to work longer before we can retire, etc. This is exactly what happened to me four years ago.

cover groter

It happened to me on 12 December 2012 at 12 o’clock … That day, I learn that within the framework of a major restructuring I would either have to agree to a backwards step in my career or else leave the company.

Who is this book for?

In the first place, this book was written for people who have reached a turning point in their life or career, and are confronted with the need to take a step back, either voluntarily or because they must.

It is also useful for (HR) managers who need to guide people through the demotion process and who want to know what is going on inside the heads of the people they are dealing with, so that they can ensure that the experience takes place in a constructive and professional atmosphere.

What do you find in this book?

A step back? No way! lets you look inside a number of unexpected and personal aspects of my experience and offers insights into what taking a step back can do to a person, in their head and in their heart.

You also learn how as an individual you have the resources to make a positive story out of this career step.

Because you don’t need to be ashamed about taking a step back in your career as long as this step brings you closer to yourself.

Because it is time to break the taboo around “demotion”.
How is this book built?
The book is divided into five parts. The demotion story of the author is the recurring leitmotif throughout the book, in the form of extracts from her ’12-12-12 diary’, extracts that read as a roman fleuve. To add extra clarification and perspective, there are also a series of interviews with other people who have been demoted.

Right from the start, the diary fragments take the reader to the heart of the matter: the notification to the author of her need to take a step back!


  • Part 1 deals with the current terminology associated with demotion and looks at what employees in general think about taking a step back in their career.
  • Part 2 examines the different phases in the process, from before the notification until after the final decision has been taken. The reader is given a number of useful tips and handles for dealing with each phase.
  • Part 3 explores the levers available to people, both as employees and as human beings, which can help them to come to terms with the need to take a backwards step. This includes the additional resources that your employer can provide to make the whole experience (more) acceptable.
  • Part 4 places this backwards step in the broader framework of a policy of sustainable employability and highlights the potential advantages of this policy for employees.

Part 5 makes the connection between taking a step back in your career and self-leadership.


Why would you read this book?

If you

  • want to know more about taking a step back in your career;
  • are looking for answers to all your questions about demotion;
  • are thinking about taking a backwards step but still need a little push;
  • want to know what is happening in the head and the heart of someone who has already taken this step;

Practical information

The English version “A step back? No way!” is available in e-book format via the website of my editor Witsand (15,95 EUR)

The Dutch version “Een stap terug? Ik denk er niet aan!” is available via or via the website of my editor Witsand (22.50 EUR)