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Job Hunt in Amsterdam - November 2017

Hey all !

Thanks for your help in advance, ill get straight to the point. I am from New Zealand (so I don't need a MVV) and I am flying to Amsterdam in 2 weeks to get a job, and am in need of some help !

Basically I have 2 years experience in finance, have a bachelors degree and < 25. I have been applying for positions for 6weeks - 2 months now with no success on job boards like monster, indeed etc. so I decided to take the risk and go ahead and job hunt directly in Amsterdam so I can utilise recruitment agents, networking etc.

The punchline: is moving directly to Amsterdam to find work possible? what do the chances look like with my qualifications?

Background info for the move: I will be staying at an AirBnB and have about 2.5k EUR to live on until I find something.

Thanks a lot !!!!!!!!!!11

By the way, I don't speak any dutch

Problems as I see them.

1.  In order to find work, you need a BSN number.  You can't pay taxes, open a bank account, register with a doctor or a car without one.
2.  You get a BSN number when you register with your new address.
3.  You won't be able to register from an AirBnB address (it's not your house).

You haven't said what work you're looking for, but in general, my experience of getting a decent job anywhere in the world, you need:

  Relevant qualifications
  Relevant experience
  Speak the local language
  Luck

The more of those you tick off, the better chance you have of getting a decent job.  Luck is the one that can screw this up (either way).

My own opinion is that you're almost certainly going to be frustrated by the lack of speaking Dutch; many agencies just won't entertain you without this basic requirement; they get paid when they place people in positions, so you won't even get an interview unless they are certain you are capable of getting it.  Advice - speak to the multi-nationals, you're more likely to get an English speaking position there; speak to them before you spend all your money on air travel and hotels.

Don't forget you'll need Health Insurance to cover you until you find a job.  2,500 euro is just about a months average salary in Holland. 1,600 euro is minimum wage.  Make sure you have an open return air-ticket so you can get back home if you're unlucky; if you're lucky, you can always cash it in.

Hey mate!

Cheers for getting back to me. I am looking for something In Sales/Marketing/financial

I am actually locked into my AirBnB contract as I booked it for a month. I thought to go and find something, Once I find something I will transition into a proper place (or after the month). my 2.5k EUR is excluding my months rental stay.

So I guess until then I wont be able to get a BSN number?

You won't be able to get a job without a BSN number; send an e-mail to your AirBnB host and ask him if he'll let you use the address for a temporary registration.

Our daughter did exactly what you're doing, she decided she'd had enough of the UK, quit her job and booked a flight back to Holland with just a months salary and the cash from selling her car in her pocket.  Within a week, she had a job and a place to live; so it can be done, the only significant difference between the 2 of you is she has a Dutch passport (so already had a BSN number) and speaks fluent Dutch.

Again, thanks a lot for your quick response. That's a great idea, I will do that now actually and let you know what happens.

I did some more budgeting and looks like I can have an extra 1000 EUR to live off, which gives me a little more wiggle room I suppose. I have a New Zealand passport and don't have that language advantage. sounds like it'll be tough but doable.

Talking of budgeting; this link will take you to the Numbeo website; it's pretty self-explanatory.

On the lighter-side; with your funny accent, nobody will understand your English anyway. :)

Haha, yeah I did think that could be an issue, and cheers for the budget link.

Just an update so others reading this can get value. From my research, you can ask your AirBNB host to sign a letter saying her permits you to stay at his place. Also if you have a friend, you can ask him/her to ask their landlord to do it for you too. otherwise you can apply for a SOFI number (Which is a social security number for stays under 4 months in NL) which can then be converted into a BSN.

SOFI can be used to get paid and open a bank accounts. Also there are people reporting that even if you have no SOFI or BSN number, banks will still allow you to open an account, but you have 30 days to get a number otherwise they lock your account.

Thanks for the update; just to clarify SOFI/BSN numbers, they are the same thing; they just changed the name.  When I moved to Holland in 1994, I was issued a SOFI number, then the Dutch Government got a joined-up computer system and in Jan 2014, they stopped issuing SOFI numbers, my SOFI number became my BSN, now there are 2 types of BSN number, permanent and temporary.  The temporary BSN is issued to people who only intend to work in Holland for a short-time (i.e. temporary contract, or cross-border workers, but need the number for Bank, doctor, car etc).  As far as the Bank etc are concerned, it's a BSN number, they can't tell any difference.

It's nice of your AirBnB host to allow you to register, he didn't have to.

Your comment regarding banks is not the whole story; not all banks will accept applications from non-BSN holders; not because they don't want to, just the bank systems won't allow them to - it doesn't allow them to progress the transaction without the number.  My advice is to go to the RABO bank, I know they do accept new accounts.

Hope that helps.

Good to know ! thanks for clarifying that, got the picture now. Funny thing you say, the year you moved to Holland is the year I was born :)

My only challenge now is to find a job. My plan for job hunting is and has been that for the 2 months leading up to my flight I have been applying to international companies and getting into contact with recruitment agency's like undutchables, unique multilingual etc. I had an interview but I wasn't completely interested in the job.

I have been joining lots of expat, business networking groups on meetup and seeing what events are going on in town from when I arrive. Apparently only 30-40% of job vacancies are advertised on indeed and all these job boards, so to extend my reach I plan on utilising networking. Additionally, I have about 5-10 international companies that I want to target, for them I will contact a person in each company asking for advice on applying, I will apply sending an unsolicited CV & CL since these will be targeted applications.

While attending networking events, meeting recruiters and applying to targeted companies I will be applying via the job boards as I was doing before flying over.

Anyways, if anyone wants to add or comment something to that we can bounce ideas of there, especially if you have experience could be helpful ! :)

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