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Start Your International Career in The Netherlands

· Career coaching,Expatriate,Career exploration,Job search,Career development

If you are a foreigner or an expatriate looking for a job in the Netherlands, you need to understand all the aspects of starting an international career to advance, maximize and find a job for your new career abroad. Here are some insights:

Learning Dutch for your career in the Netherlands?

Translating your international resume into Dutch is one of the easiest aspects of a career in the Netherlands, but you also require an international profile. It might not be essential to have Dutch language skills for working in international companies and multinationals, where English is the working language. For a career in smaller companies, Dutch language skills can help further your career. Mastering Dutch will help you take part in business discussions and make presentations, as smaller companies use Dutch as a working language. Even though you might not need Dutch in your daily work, mastering some Dutch will help you to gain trust and respect, especially if you intend to stay for a long time in the Netherlands. Not every foreigner is committed to learning the language, knowing it is easy to get by without Dutch if you do not need it on a daily basis. Not only will you break away from the typical ‘expat’ stereotype, but you will benefit from better career opportunities as well as benefiting from better social interactions as most Dutch people speak their native language outside of the workplace.

Job search in the Netherlands

There are a number of ways you can search for the right job in the Netherlands. The unemployment rate is one of the lowest (6,5 % in January 2016 ). There are targeted opportunities and despite a low unemployment rate, the employment market is not always easy to penetrate for foreigners. Networking, recruiting agencies, online job sites or company websites can help you in your job search. If you’re from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you can search for jobs on the EURES (European Employment Services) where you can also find additional advice about working and living in the Netherlands. However, to get the right job in the Netherlands, you must understand the requirements of the current international market trends, as well as have the necessary skills and networks related to those jobs.

Targeted Job search

No doubt there are various international job opportunities, but are they always available in all job sectors? Recruiters can help you understand where to apply and where there will be difficulties in starting a career. Sometimes, the application process itself can be overwhelming for foreigners as the Dutch job market is a little subtle. Even though the unemployment rate is low, the Dutch employment market relies heavily on networking and personal interactions. For instance, LinkedIn is very popular in the Netherlands and is regularly used by recruiters and employers. You can also use the professional social media site LinkedIn to present your profile and brand yourself and make sure you are active by making contacts and networks. As an expatriate or a foreigner, it can be daunting to look for a job in a foreign country. A job search strategist with international experience will help you find and develop a targeted job search in the Netherlands to find your dream job to avoid falling into the trap of the desperate job seeker.

Highly Skilled Workers

Highly skilled workers are in great demand in the Netherlands for certain fields such as technical jobs, engineering, IT, finance and marketing, etc. It, therefore, encourages the recruitment of these highly skilled workers by offering them a fast-track immigration process and tax benefits (30 percent tax ruling). However, foreigners do not know exactly in which fields they will benefit from these concessions, and so they do need to get help from job agencies from within the Netherlands in order to get the right start to their career.


A job search might seem simple, but the application process is never easy. Foreigners outside Europe need to know about the Dutch visa regulations, work permits and residence permits. There are different regulations for people from the EU and from other countries, for temporary and permanent jobs, as well as Blue card holders and highly skilled expatriates. The process is relatively easy for European because they are exempted from work permit.

Dutch working culture

The work culture is a bit different in the Netherlands, as there is less hierarchy and punctuality is considered a virtue. Consensus is very important and if you come from a very hierarchal culture, it would be wise to consider this cultural aspect when working in the Netherlands. An international career coach based in the Netherlands will help you understand the work culture, help you adapt to the working environment, develop strong networks and ensure you enjoy a successful career in the Netherlands.

U Diverse can help you make the change. We provide in-depth coaching from ICF-certified coaches and trainers who speak French, English, Dutch, Spanish and German. Take action and get matched with our coaches today with us today. Call us on +31 6 55 83 24 42 and email us at You can also follow us on LinkedIn and check our website:

About U Diverse’s founder: Magali Toussaint is the founder of U Diverse. She is an ICF-certified leadership and career coach, cross-cultural trainer and job search strategist with an extensive career in recruitment, HR, diversity, and education. She has also helped international organizations on their talent acquisition strategies and diversity plans. She has lived and worked in over four countries. To learn more, visit her Linkedin profile at

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