Living and Working in the Netherlands
If we had to describe the Netherlands as a job position, this is the profile we would look for:
• You are open-minded & dynamic • Problem solver • You thrive in a flat hierarchy environment • Autonomous • You like social events • International mindset
Extra points: • You can ride a bike
Sounds like you? Keep reading….
Living in the Netherlands
Even being a tiny country, the Netherlands go way beyond Amsterdam. You can still choose to have a calm lifestyle out of city sight without having to give up on any cosmopolitan career opportunity. The cities and the countryside blend very well together, thanks to extensive train lines that give you many options!
Discounts for all
If anyone loves promotions, it’s the Dutch! You often find the ‘pay 1, take 2’ strategy on supermarket shelves and the locals always choose the best deal they can have. Aldi and Lidl are the winners of cheap groceries, however, if you have been in a Gourmet mood you can always try Albert Heijn!
Another option is to go straight to the source and do your grocery shopping outside of supermarket walls. The Netherlands are one of the biggest agricultural producers in the world, therefore, street markets are easily found every now and then with fresh products at fair prices.
Did you know? Netherlands ranks top 1 country in the world in the global food index by Oxfam.
27th of April
Save the date because this is the famous Kingsday celebration! All the country dresses in orange, flea markets step out, and festivals get loud. Make sure you get dressed for the occasion and experience this lively atmosphere.
A Word to Remember: Gezellig
Cannot be translated into other languages but can be defined as the Dutch Spirit. It goes from enjoyable, to friendly and cozy and basically pairs something/someone with having a nice time.
Learning Dutch may take longer than what it seems. One reason is that the pronunciation itself is hard and accents change, the other one is because English is widely spoken across the country so you do not get that mandatory push to practice your speaking skills.
The language is somewhere between German and English, so if you can speak German, you should definitely give it a try! Mastering the rough “G” can open the doors to having a Dutch circle of friends. On the other hand, you will have no problem meeting people in cosmopolitan cities such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam or The Hague.
The Dutch are very straightforward and you will feel it in many different ways. That makes them super efficient - things are done fast and well - however, it also makes them very direct in their approach. But hey, no hard feelings.
Finding a place to stay is usually easy and there are plenty of websites with offers.
The renting process is not tricky, but pricey. To find the perfect place, we recommend looking in advance as some cities have big seasonality because of students. Make sure to be ahead of the game and all those acceptance letters to get the best in the market.
After the housing, you should start looking for a bike and waterproof clothing.
There are many options available once you are in the country. While Facebook and Marktplaats are the place to go for second hand bikes, we recommend using online bike rental services, such as Swapfiets - it's a great solution for expats and insurance is included, how great is this?
Working in the Netherlands
Flat Country, Flat Business Culture
The Dutch egalitarian society is printed within it's business culture.
A typical working schedule is from 9 to 5 but, what makes it so great, is that efficiency and punctuality are highly respected. Companies are known for allowing a great work-life balance and you will have a salary that allows you to enjoy your free time.
The dress code in the Netherlands is relatively informal depending on the sector. The somewhat conservative banking industry still requires men to wear a suit & tie and women to wear skirts and heels. However, in most industries it is widely accepted that both men and women just wear casual clothes. Never forget to leave home with an umbrella though!
What makes the Dutch stand out from the crowd, is the flat hierarchy. Every team member from top to bottom is allowed and even expected to contribute to the decision making process. All voices are heard before a decision is made.
The Dutch like to end their week on a good note by having drinks with colleagues called a vrijdagmiddagborrel abbreviated to vrijmibo. This weekly occasion is a good way to get to know your colleagues better in an informal setting. Cheers!
Did you know that the Netherlands are one of the happiest countries in the world? If you were not convinced so far, here is your ultimate reason to become a Dutchie :)
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