Why you should be looking for expat jobs in the Netherlands

The Netherlands has always been a cultural hub for people from all over the world. The capitals are attractive for international companies to establish their headquarters and the majority of the locals speak more than one language. This means that the Netherlands is overflowing with expat jobs and opportunities.

Finding expat jobs in the Netherlands is easypeasy. However, securing one can be hard as the competition is high. On top of that, facing the additional barriers of language, law and often confusing bureaucracy can be a daunting task. However, here’s the good news: After you land a job in the Netherlands, you will know that all the searching was worth it. The average salaries are good while social security benefits are of high quality. The best thing about it is the work-life balance, the relaxed sense of hierarchy and the multicultural work environment.

Don’t believe me? Why don’t you ask some of the expats who went on the hunt for expat jobs in this tiny country and succeeded.

Dany from India - 27

After completing my master’s degree in marketing, I landed my first job in Amsterdam in February 2017. What initially began as a six-month contract and a chance to work abroad turned into much more than I ever expected. I soon had a permanent contract, a new apartment, a group of expat and local friends and even a Dutch girlfriend to help me decipher the local way of life.

If there’s anything I’ve learned in my nearly five years of working here. Is that working in the Netherlands will teach you the comfort of a good work-life balance. During my first few weeks I remember being amazed by the fact that at 17.30 everyone shut down their laptops and started to get ready to go home. In India I often struggled trying to get through my massive to-do list before the end of the week. My partner however has a more balanced view of things: “If you can’t finish a project in 40 hours, then there’s clearly something off in the brief you were given or your workload”.

I also really enjoy the relaxed sense of hierarchy. The company I work for has around 80 employees and I know every single one of them quite well. Even the CEO and my managers. The atmosphere at work is very casual and you are actually encouraged to speak your mind even when your input would be critical. And of course there are the vrijmibo’s! These Friday afternoon borrels (drinks) are a really fun way to end the week and you really get to know your colleagues.

Ahlam from Morocco - 31

I’ve been working in the Netherlands for almost 10 years now and I still enjoy it every single day. When I first started looking for expat jobs I hadn’t even thought of the Netherlands as an option. That was until I started to read blogs from expats living and working in the Netherlands. I decided to go on a small holiday to the country and fell in love. From that point on all I wanted to do was work in the Netherlands. The search took me a while as the workfield is quite competitive, but once I landed the job it felt like a warm welcome.

I especially enjoy the mix of cultures in the Netherlands. Not only at work but basically anywhere you go. There are quite a few Moroccan communities here which really helped me through my homesickness. But while living in the Netherlands I’ve been introduced to so many different people from all over the world with different cultures, cuisine and way of life. The locals are also very friendly. During the first month of me moving here my neighbour would always come over to help me with my legal documents and a great friendship has grown ever since.

However, there were also a few things that took me a bit longer to get used to. Especially the Dutch directness was something I wasn’t used to at all. The Dutch are very straightforward, open and direct. And that extends to the office. The first time I became aware of this was when one of my colleagues flat out told me that “no I don’t have a minute to talk”, but that they would get back to me when they had the time. If it would have been me in that situation with a busy schedule I would have listened politely while internally gritting my teeth at the untimely interruption.

I’d be lying if I said this curt approach was easy to take at the beginning. But it has become something I’ve come to appreciate and value. Dutch directness also means honesty and being direct about your feelings. I’ve always felt free to give my honest feedback without sugar coating any issues or problems I might have. Even during one-on-one meetings with my superiors.

Callum from England - 28

I would say I’m the typical case of the expat who fell in love and would do anything to be with their partner even if that means moving to a different country and re-starting your career. When I fell in love with my Dutch partner 6 years ago I knew it was time to start looking for expat jobs in Utrecht and the surrounding areas.

Because my partner is Dutch I already had a bit of a network when I arrived in the Netherlands. Which was a good thing because being the love sick puppy I was, I had moved here without even having a single job opportunity lined up. Looking back on it, it definitely wasn’t my brightest moment. Luckily there are a lot of really good recruitment agencies in the Netherlands offering vacancies for expat jobs. They were really helpful and my recruiter took the time to get to know me and my credentials. I truly believe I managed to land a job as fast as I did because of the recruitment agency.

*Curious? Here is everything you need to know about recruitment.

For anyone who doesn’t want to go through a recruitment agency I would suggest starting your networking as soon as possible. Preferably before you move haha. There are many online platforms and groups that you can use. And sometimes local friends have some small jobs to tie you over for the time being.

Looking for expat jobs with Undutchables

So there you have it. Three people who looked for expat jobs in the Netherlands and succeeded. Hopefully their experiences have inspired you to start looking for expat jobs as well. And if you’re anything like Callum, you might want an extra helping hand. At Undutchables we specialise in helping highly-qualified non-Dutch speaking professionals get ahead in their career. Check out our vacancies here. Or register so you can start your job hunt right away! And should you need help with getting a work-permit for the Netherlands, you can contact the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Services, www.ind.nl.

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