Jobsearch in the Netherlands for expat women.
Jobsearch in the Netherlands for non-Dutch expat women is NOT an easy job.
Searching for a suitable job in the Netherlands for non-Dutch professional expat women is NOT easy.
Did you ever feel:
- misunderstood and lost here in the Netherlands?
- a loss of self-esteem after having received your next rejection after an application or interview?
- or did you start to belief that maybe it was about time to lower your own standards, due to this continuous story of receiving”No”?
- If you do experience this a lot or just a little, please read on and find what will definitvely help you out of this cycle of hope & rejection.
Only 50% of expat women is succesful in their jobsearch in the Netherlands
And that of that 50% that was succesful at their jobsearch, only 30% have a job that alligns with their talents and competencies? And that it is even harder to find English speaking jobs in the Netherlands?
English speaking jobs in the Netherlands
English speaking jobs in the Netherlands is like finding “a needle in a haystack” (speld in een hooiberg).
Meet Lila, she got quite frustrated here in Holland; she was IT Engineer back in India. Part of the High Potential Selection, with great skill and attitude. Her career seemed over to her; not being invited to many interviews, and often rejected after a first interview she got.“Finding a job, is like climbing a Dutch mountain. I just don’t get it. Nor understand what I do wrong, or right here”, is what she said to herself often.
And also to us when we met her. And this lovely Lila, she opened our eyes and hearts for women like her.Having done some research, some discovery work, some role-playing we eventually found what was interfering all the time. It was bi-directional Cultural Bias.
What is bi-directional Cultural Bias during jobsearch in the Netherlands?
A bias is like a prejudice. We give meaning and value to the things we see, hear, feel, taste and experience. As our filtering is deeply connected to our personal situation, we tend to filter out what we either recognize or what we don’t as such. Because all these filters consist of our personality, our culture, our life stage, so in one word our filter could be described as our own perspective.
Because all human beings do this, this is why we feel almost always at home in the area where we were born. Or we feel a deeper connection to someone who is even born in the same region, like the city nearby. Our Lila had her biases, and so did some (she called it ‘a lot’) Dutch recruiters too. As a result of that, Lila did not get the job she was dreaming of in the Netherlands. And many potential employers missed out on this great High Potential called Lila as well.
How to use your Culture in jobsearch in the Netherlands?
How can we get closer to one another and make a better impression than ever?
When we were working with Lila, she explained that she never felt at ease at the end of the interview. They asked her if she had any questions, which she did not have. And than the awkward thing happened; Lila felt the whole atmoshere change and just like that, it felt like she lost the good vibes she had been trying to build up during the conversation. And here is the clue; what you absolutely need to know about Dutch employers & recruiters is this. Never underestimate the power of bias or prejudice on this aspect ever again.
Questions at the end of a job interview
NOT having any questions at the end of a job interview, is a NO GO in the Netherlands. It is a big red flag for every recruiter.
And I mean red as in ‘Danger-Watch out – NOT motivated enough’ red.
Dutch recruiters want to hear, see and feel your engagement at the end of the meeting and are curious what you are going to ask them. Because they are awaiting this at the end, they get highly dissapointed when you don’t ask any.
Our Lila here, was tought not to ask to many questions, especially not at the end of the meeting as people might see and translate this as being not bright-intelligent. Because of that, bi-directional cultural biases lead to great misunderstaing and therefore to the above three bullit points.
Happy End; how a simple thing made a big difference
Or to say it in a different way, how a to make a cultural bias into a Unique Hiring Point (UHP).
End of story, we dived deep into cultural awareness, did a lot of Discovery and role playing. We coached each other and made culture a Unique Hiring Point (UHP). As a result of that, Lila started with the integration of her own culture and asking great questions at the end of interview. And because she did, she was eventually able to choose the job she wanted. How a small thing can make a big difference.