There are lucrative job opportunities available in the Netherlands for the right candidates. The recent years have seen jobs open up in various economic sectors such as services, trade, telecommunications and information technology. Here are some useful job-hunting tips for expats moving to the Netherlands.
Working in the Netherlands
Nationals of European Union (EU) countries, European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Swiss citizens can live and work in the Netherlands freely. The exception may be citizens of some of the recent member countries who may have to obtain a work permit for their first year of residency. Nationals of non-EU/EEA countries need to apply for a work permit or residence permit in order to begin working in the country.Finding a job in the Netherlands
Those who are considering working in the country might want to learn some basic Dutch in order to have an edge in the job market. Of course, fluency in English is a huge advantage, especially if you are applying to companies that have an international presence or deal with global customers. The Dutch Labor Administration, called the Centra voor Werk en Inkomen (CWI) is a good place to begin your search, if you are a EU/EEA citizen. You simply need to show your proof of citizenship and income tax number in order to sign up with them. There are also the European employment services, which look for employees for their clients and also serve as employers; and the private employment agencies that search for employees and refer them to other companies. Dutch companies frequently use employment services and agencies when there is a requirement for staff.
The local newspapers such as De Telegraaf, Algemeen Dagblad and Haagsche Courant are another good place to look for job postings. You can read the local newspapers for free at public libraries or alternatively, browse their online versions.
Networking is an effective way to make it known that you are in the job market. There is a considerable expat community in the Netherlands and as a new expat; it would be helpful both professionally and socially to connect with this network. Putting word out that you are looking for a job and giving people an idea of your skills and requirements may just reap results sooner that you think. There are also many expat forums online where expats can network and assist each other.
Another great job search tip is to join a professional or business association. This will put you directly in touch with people who have similar work interests as you. Such associations often organize events where members can come together and network. Similarly, meet-up groups on the Internet create connections between individuals with shared business and professional interests. They too hold events in different cities and you can attend those that are closes to your location.
There are teaching opportunities for those who speak fluent English. Most Dutch people speak good English and so these opportunities may not be widespread, but the Netherlands has a significant foreign population and English language skills may come in handy for them. It is not always necessary to have teaching qualifications.
The Amsterdam Expatcenter was started in the Netherlands to offer professional assistance to highly skilled migrants and scientific researchers. An initiative of the Dutch immigration office, the Expatcenter is located in the World Trade Centre in Amsterdam Zuid. Here you can find information on a range of topics such as immigration procedures, employment law and also assistance with your employment search.
A direct approach, and one that is quite acceptable in the Netherlands is to write a speculative application to companies that are in your sphere of interest. The application should include your CV and a covering letter.
Work environment in the Netherlands
Once you do find suitable employment, here’s what you can expect from the Dutch work environment. There are usually about 36 to 40 work hours a week and in some cases, they are spread over just four days. Organizations are well structured and employees don’t usually work overtime. The egalitarianism of Dutch society permeates the workplace and Dutch companies follow a horizontal organizational structure. Decision-making may take a while since all options are discussed and the aim is always to reach a consensus.