What is it like to live and work in the Netherlands?
The Netherlands is a preferred destination not only for tourism but also for education and work. The country is famous for its diverse population and multicultural cities. There is a large number of international companies that have offices in the Netherlands which makes it easy for an expat to find a job in the Netherlands.
We interviewed an expat from India to find out more about what it is like to live and work in the Netherlands. He is 28 years old and has a Bachelor degree in Computer Science Engineering. For the past 7 years, he has been working as a Salesforce developer and consultant.
- At what age did you move to the Netherlands and why?
I was 25 when I first moved to the Netherlands from India. I was offered an opportunity to work for a company to be a part of it. I was always fascinated towards the European culture and places to visit around. I grabbed the opportunity with a desire to learn a new culture and travel as much as I can being in the Netherlands.
- What was your first job in the Netherlands, how did you find it, and how long it took you to find it?
I was offered a job with a big consulting company in the Netherlands while I was working for another consulting company in India. I did not have to put any effort to find the job as I was contacted for the same.
- What are the most common channels to search job in the Netherlands: job boards (please specify the biggest ones), Linkedin, newspapers, others?
LinkedIn for me has been the best way to find an IT related job in the Netherlands. An impressive and honest profile is all that you need to have on LinkedIn. You can either start applying for the roles through the job ads or you would rather be contacted by the recruiters for the opportunities matching your profile.
- In your opinion, is it easy for an expat to find a job in the Netherlands? Is it possible to find a job remotely or the person has to be in the Netherlands?
It is definitely possible to find a job as an expat. It’s not easy but quite possible with a little bit of persistence. The job market for an English speaking expat is opening up than before.
I have seen people finding jobs remotely by contacting the recruiters over LinkedIn and interviewing over Skype or other methods. All said it’s always easy and better to be available locally to contact and interview for the jobs.
- Is it needed to speak Dutch to be able to work in the Netherlands?
It’s an advantage but not mandatory to speak Dutch to find a job here.
- What are the most demanded specialists right now in the Netherlands?
There could be a lot more but to my understanding, IT professionals in Cloud technologies, front-end technologies and data engineering related skills are very much in demand right now.
- Is it easy for an expat to land any job he or she applies for, including management positions, or there are positions that are “reserved” only for Dutch people?
As I said above, there is no bias for an expat to get a top job. But knowing the local language and understanding of the local culture and market is always n advantage to score roles at any level in the hierarchy. I think government related roles have a preference for Dutch or (maybe EU) citizens.
- Have you been treated in a different way at work, either positive or negative, just because you are a foreigner?
No, I have always been treated warmly by the people around. To me, Netherlands is among the most expat friendly country in Europe.
- What is considered to be a good salary for the Netherlands that would allow a single person to have a comfortable living? What about a family with 2 kids?
This is a very subjective question where a good salary may differ depending on an individuals lifestyle and expenses. But аnything аbove 45K gross is already a very good salary for an Individual and salary between 50-60K can be considered decent for a couple.
- In case of an unemployment, do you receive any help from the Government?
- In your opinion, where in the Netherlands are the best places to live and work and why?
I think the cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Den Haag and Utrecht are really good to live and work. These are the cities with the most number of opportunities and also where most of the expats live.
- Would you move to work and live in another country?
Not in the Immediate future but I would definitely want to explore some other Asian country or Australia to live/travel and work.
- Do you know other expats in the Netherlands? Have they had any issues finding a job? What do they work now?
Expats not with the technical background normally face some difficulties to find a job in the Netherlands. I have seen people struggling for almost a year and then re-skilling themselves to finally land a job here.
- What do you like most about the Netherlands?
Freedom and transparency to live and work is the best thing about the Netherlands. People here are very welcoming who will treat you like equals without creating language barriers. It’s country with very good social life too which makes it a good place to spend after work life well.
- What is that you don’t like about the Netherlands?
It can rain at any time of the day throughout the year.