How to get the best from the Dutch jobs market

Posted on 22 Aug at 6 PM in Europe News
Story link: How to get the best from the Dutch jobs market
How to get the best from the Dutch jobs market

How to get the best from the Dutch jobs market

So you’re heading to the Netherlands for your new job, but it’s an unfamiliar marketplace and you don’t want to offend.

Every country has its own rules as regards do’s and don’ts in the workplace, with the Netherlands’ version best studied if career advancement is the target. Rules can be written or unwritten, with the latter somewhat tricky to discover for new expat arrivals. Unfortunately, first impressions do count, but no-one’s going to sit the new arrival down and explain what to do and what not to do. Some don’ts are obvious, others are as clear as mud, but all are necessary if advancement is the goal.

Unlike many other European countries where academic titles and formal education rule, the Netherlands work ethic is all about experience. Many expats find themselves in a vastly different job sector than the one they’d originally trained for, with the possible exception of medicine and the law. Going with the flow can bring delightful surprises and change the course of your life. One must is to use Linkedin at every possible opportunity, as it’s highly regarded in the Netherlands and employees looking to better themselves must have updated profiles, terrific headlines and summaries setting out all their talents and achievements.

The Dutch are blunt in speech, so much so that many expats tremble when they’re addressed by senior company employees. However, feedback is always constructive rather than destructive, and shouldn’t be taken as criticism or accusation. As regards actually finding a job, networking either on or offline is the essential tool, and using your existing network to broaden your contacts is acceptable. Being direct is mandatory if you want to get ahead, along with being polite, to the point and asking critical questions the Dutch way. When searching for the perfect expat job, submitting a two-page CV along with a covering letter is the way forward, and stating you’re only looking for a part-time position whilst being interviewed is inadvisable, even although working from home may be acceptable.

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