Job hunting in the Netherlands during a recession

How do you handle your career during the economic crisis? Like the rest of the world, the Netherlands is facing an economic recession.

Currently the unemployment rate is 5,6% which means 435.000 people are without work. And numbers keep rising.

How people react

Do we need to panic? Is it still possible to find work in the Netherlands? Can I still make this career switch that I am planning for some time now? These are questions I get a lot lately.

Recession makes people think they need to keep their jobs and wait until the crisis is over. Recruiters believe there are no jobs out there and just target anything that could possibly provide them with income.

Of course, the ease of finding a job in the Netherlands is directly influenced by the economy. If the economy is strong, then companies are able to expand considerably, which translates into need for additional personnel. In a strong economy, self-promotion is easier and we often do not think about it too much.

Focus: More important than ever!

Here is where the opportunities arise! The crisis forces you to think about how to promote yourself, as there are more candidates to be compared with. And in order to promote yourself, you need to know who you are and what it is that you really want.

Focus is the key and you need to ask yourself some important, work-related questions:
What is important for me?
 What gives me energy?
 Which are the skills I enjoy using?

Look for answers while you are doing something you enjoy or something that fills you with energy. Write them down and translate them into career goals.

You can also create a mood vision board with pictures from magazines or drawings if you can not find the right words. You can hang it on your wall as an inspiration. But make sure you translate it into measurable goals and actions.

And who knows? The crisis may even push you towards a more fulfilling career!

10 tips to manage your career during the economic crisis

 Be prepared to put effort. The first law for everyone embarking on a new career search is that it takes effort. There is no shortcut, although many tools can make the task easier and quicker.

 Know where you are going. Focus!

 Know your strengths that you enjoy using.

 Create your personal career Elevator Pitch (a brief summary of who you are and what you have to offer to a potential employer).

 Explore your new field of interest; gather information and talk to people who already work in that field.

 Build and expand your network. 70% of all jobs in the Netherlands are hidden so networking is a good way to know about openings.

 Make full use of social media networks. Let people know what you are looking for.

 Find support; People who will help you through the ups and downs of your job search. This could also be a career coach.

 Rewrite your CV and assess if it is a good reflection of who you and your strengths are.

 Be motivated. Motivation is one of the most important things during a job interview in the Netherlands.

Erika Berkhof


Erika Berkhof

Culture and Expat coach who helps expats and international professionals to communicatie, work and live succesfully across cultures. Erika is native Dutch and has lived and worked in various countries....

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