Moving to the Netherlands: what has changed during the last years

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Although here the crisis impacted less than other European countries ( like the Southern ones), even the Netherlands faced some problems because of the debt crisis that hit the entire Europe. Between the 2011 and 2013, there was a continuous economic dropdown, but as of the 2014 the trend has reversed.

The Netherlands have always had an exportation-based economy, but its economy had to face a weak internal consumption demand. According to the CBS, the Dutch statistic bureau, the unemployement rate has grown from 5,5% to the 8,8% and then dropped to the current level, that is 8.0% ( December 2014).

Viaggio in Olanda...e non solo!!!

Even if it is a solid country and also one of the most developed economies in Europe, it is clear how also here the job market has changed in the last years. It is not uncommon to hear that companies have to close and that people have lower income, but since the Netherlands economy is growing again (despite a modest 1,0% growth) this makes it one of the best destinations regarding the job market in Europe.

The Netherlands are still one of the best places to live in terms of quality of life and safety both in Europe and in the world for different reasons that you will discover in the next posts.

Do you want to read this article in Italian? Please click here.
Well, since 2007, when i moved to Maastricht, I realized that also here things have changed a bit.

7 years ago...

As previously mentioned, in July 2007 I moved from Italy to Maastricht and the conditions were quite different: in that moment I put an English resume on and used the attractive title " project manager - insurance broker" and I started to be called by several Dutch companies and/or recruiting agencies ( or head hunters).

Maybe it was because I was 27 years old, I had a couple of years of working experience in the insurance industry and I was speaking English and Spanish, besides my mother tongue, and besides my degree, what really impressed me was the fact that in Italy I had to send my applications to be "considered", while here it was not needed.

In this context, except the job interviews, I did not have to spend a lot of energies to get here, get a decent working place with a good salary and live a good life.


Even if in 2014 the Dutch economy started its uptrend and the unemployment rate started dropping, the conditions are quite different rather than in 2007. If some years ago being contacted was a complete surprise and companies offered the relocation packages, now they do not offer that much this benefit ( except some of them). In particular, if you do not live here, it's really tough to get a working place, even if you do not have a working position that is appealing.

Although I owned an apartment, the So.Fi number (il codice fiscale olandese) and the residence, I got the same reply: "we only hire people that live in the Netherlands". So until I was living in another country, the possibilities were limited: it seemed to be at the beginning of my working carreer, where I had to send so many cv's and the results were a bit disappointing. So how could I come back here? Sometimes the fortune is like a wheel and you need to wait for the right moment. My chance came when my friend Rossella introduced me to a company where they were looking for a person for the Italian and Spanish market. Let's say that friendship and networking had played a decisive role, whereas cv, languages, working experience did not...

What I noticed is that if you don't live here or if you live abroad and want to work and live in the Netherlands, and if you don't have a working position with a decent demand it is not so easy to get a good job or at the beginning you need to accept what you find.

Another important factor is that many people, especially from the Southern Europe, came over here to look for a job and the expats number has considerely increased and you have to face a major competition.

Do you really want to move to the Netherlands? Here you find my tips:

1) Get a job position that has a good demand in the job market or get trained to get it. It is absolutely important that you are different from the other "normal" job positions. Choose one that will be searched by the companies in the future more and more.

2) If you don't have it, save money, come here and look for a job.

3) Learn Dutch: English and other languages are important, but it is essential, if you want to live here and get a competitive advantage and be better integrated, to learn the national language. Remember that people do not want to talk always in English.

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