Audencia's Career Center and Alumni teams are delighted to to bring you “Go Netherlands!”, the guide to working in the Netherlands.Following the success of the guide to working in France for internationals, this new edition focuses on a country that is a destination of choice for Audencians. Members of its thriving community of students and alumni say they choose the Netherlands for its economic stability, work-hard-play-hard lifestyle, multiculturalism and for being a country where English is often the working language.
“Go Netherlands!” is a valuable resource for students considering a career in the Netherlands after their studies. Starting with HR professionals’ top tips and debunking the myths and realities of the workplace, Go Netherlands! also showcases the experiences of more than 20 alumni who have aced the challenge of finding a job and settling in the Netherlands.
This week, discover what Matthieu Coquet from France has to say.
- Graduated from the Grande Ecole Master in Management programme in 2000
- Currently working as: Senior Program Manager - Treasury & Financial Services at booking.com in Amsterdam
- Native language: French
- Other languages spoken: English
- Level of Dutch: intermediate
- Been living in the Netherlands: since 2018
Matthieu's key message: “The Dutch are very pragmatic and firm believers in the power of consensus."
My biggest challenge
The time you spend at work has to be used efficiently, so there is no time for chitchat or morning coffee breaks like you would do in France. However, it provides you with a much better work-life balance: people leave the office when they need to and enjoy quality time with their family.
My advice & top tips
There are many positives to working in the Netherlands; for example, there is usually a lot of trust among colleagues with flat leadership structures and little micromanagement. The Dutch have a very direct communication style, which can sometimes sound rude or intrusive. Feedback is usually immediate and doesn’t leave room for interpretation.
Quirky & cultural
My most memorable experience so far must surely be the King’s Day celebrations. This is when the Dutch celebrate the birthday of their king (also valid when there is a queen of course!). It’s an opportunity to put on your wildest orange outfit, hop on a boat and visit one of the many markets, and raise a toast to the king with an Oranjebitter.
Even if the Netherlands ranks among the most English-proficient countries in the world, it is also mostly true in large cities. I would absolutely recommend following some Dutch language courses, especially if you plan to stay for more than 2-3 years. You may not necessarily make a lot of Dutch friends, but this will definitely help you get a lot of goodwill from the locals, whether it is at work or in your everyday life (shopping, tourism / visits etc.).