Dutch Development Jobs

Fuma

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So there might be an opportunity for me in Rotterdam. It's probably 100 times safer/better than any city in SA. What is the weather like? I have never been outside SA. I hate prolonged cold weather. I can't even handle PTA winter. I wouldn't mind staying outside Rotterdam if I can find a warmer city.

I'm doing some reading about the city of course, but so far it seems to be generally cold from the little reading i have done so far.
 

schuits

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So there might be an opportunity for me in Rotterdam. It's probably 100 times safer/better than any city in SA. What is the weather like? I have never been outside SA. I hate prolonged cold weather. I can't even handle PTA winter. I wouldn't mind staying outside Rotterdam if I can find a warmer city.

I'm doing some reading about the city of course, but so far it seems to be generally cold from the little reading i have done so far.
It can be cold. BUT they have double glass, central heating etc. So normally you put on some warm clothes, travel to wherever you want to be, then once inside you can take off the warm layers.
It rains a bit too, but you sort of get used to it.
The only thing I didn't like like are when the days get short. You go to work in the morning and it's dark, then when you go home in the evening it's dark again. Winter depression is a thing.
 

Fuma

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It can be cold. BUT they have double glass, central heating etc. So normally you put on some warm clothes, travel to wherever you want to be, then once inside you can take off the warm layers.
It rains a bit too, but you sort of get used to it.
The only thing I didn't like like are when the days get short. You go to work in the morning and it's dark, then when you go home in the evening it's dark again. Winter depression is a thing.
That is my concern. I don't do very well when it is cold. I never get used to cold.
 

[)roi(]

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That is my concern. I don't do very well when it is cold. I never get used to cold.
The indoor temperatures are set high, so for the most part you're not going to notice the cold weather at work, at home, shopping, ... the only pita is having to remove layers when entering a building and reclothing on departure.
Naturally you'd invest in warmer winter clothes, scarfs, gloves, ...
 

creeper

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The indoor temperatures are set high, so for the most part you're not going to notice the cold weather at work, at home, shopping, ... the only pita is having to remove layers when entering a building and reclothing on departure.
Naturally you'd invest in warmer winter clothes, scarfs, gloves, ...
Something to get use to.
 

creeper

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So there might be an opportunity for me in Rotterdam. It's probably 100 times safer/better than any city in SA. What is the weather like? I have never been outside SA. I hate prolonged cold weather. I can't even handle PTA winter. I wouldn't mind staying outside Rotterdam if I can find a warmer city.

I'm doing some reading about the city of course, but so far it seems to be generally cold from the little reading i have done so far.
Yes. It is colder than the South. Due it being closer to the ocean. My recommendation is to visit in the worst time which is Dec-Feb according to my research.

Interesting discussion I had with a few Dutch acquaintances and family. Rotterdam people seem to be a different breed (explains some of my family that came from there). More direct than the usual Dutch. That coming from resident Dutch, it says something.

Haarlem is quite nice. Same as Amsterdam, without the tourists. I do like Eindhoven more. More open spaces. And the people are a bit more friendly.

Coming back to SA this weekend. Hoping for the job. I can definitely stay in Ned.
 

HibiscusTunes

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Been in eindhoven for a few days. Ended up (unbeknown) in Dutch Design Week. Weather is cold and wet, but not overly unpleasant. Reminds me of the mist rain and weather in PE and East London.

Jobs are plenty here. There are a few big companies here eg Phillips and ASML. Lots of small high tech startups as well. According to my SO, some of the best packaging design companies are here as well.

Went for a job interview for one of the big firms. Not for development role though, but for a more strategic role.

Now the wait....
Hey, did you ever land the job? Anyone want to share any updates?
I got an offer earlier this week. Remote interviews, so I haven't actually seen the country in person.
 

adidas

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Hey, did you ever land the job? Anyone want to share any updates?
I got an offer earlier this week. Remote interviews, so I haven't actually seen the country in person.
Out of interest, how did you go about applying for jobs in the Netherlands?
 

HibiscusTunes

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Got referred by someone already working over there that I worked with in he past.
The previous time, a few years back, I was contacted on LinkedIn. Didn't get the job that time.
Having a GitHub profile helps them establish 'something' about you. Better than nothing, and you might avoid having to do a technical take home test and skip a step.
 

creeper

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HO in Den Haag.
Den Haag is in the North. Haven't been there myself (but will give you feedback after the weekend). The North is 'colder' than the South. Public transport is good everywhere, presently you need to where a mask. Den Haag is also nice because you have the beach.

Some things to consider:
  • Cities are expensive to stay in. Most people stay a bit outside of the cities where possible.
  • Car is optional, and can become expensive. There are many ways to rent a car e.g. Snappcar, GreenGo. Don't buy an expensive bicycle. It will be stolen.
  • Get use to smaller places.
  • If you have a family, MAKE SURE THEY ARE ONBOARD. Moving countries were one of the most stressful things I have ever done.
  • Don't buy new if not needed. There are many ways to buy good quality 2nd hand things like chairs, tables, kitchen stuff.
  • It is not the big things you miss, it is the small things. It impacts people differently.
  • Socialising is a bit more difficult with Corona at present, so building social networks are difficult.
  • Culture shock. Dutch people are straight. Don't take it personally.
  • Finding basic things are tricky at first, especially there are only ONE food shop that you will know. SPAR
  • You can buy anything online. You get irritated when things aren't delivered the next day.
  • Most people have liability insurance. It is cheap and in the event that you cause damage, you claim it.
  • Get use to lots of bread, deep fried food and salmon. I mentioned that you miss the small stuff. Cheap red meat is one of them.
  • Depending on the contract, aim for a permanent contract (indefinite contract). It is the closest to permanent work contract.
  • Apply for the 30% rule. Also note that there are sacrifices you make by taking it.
  • Don't expect SA private medical. Nor expect SA public hospitals. Depending where you stay, it is difficult to find a good doctor. The specialists here are however really good. Hospitals are also really impressive.
  • You will miss your friends and family in SA.
  • There are a couple of SA communities that you can connect with to help you.
  • You can get away with Afrikaans and English. Knowing Dutch will take you so much further.
  • Do your research. Understand the tax, education (if you have kids), pension, weather and geography
  • What is a good salary? How long is a piece of string You will need to work out what you are willing to move for
There are so many other things from personal experience, therefore my statement on asking specific questions. My situation was a bit different than most other Saffers (long story), which made my entry easier.
 

schuits

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Small correct, Den Haag is in the South. Great place to live IMO. I especially loved how you can walk to the shops, or hop on a tram if needs be. I even used to jog at night through a forest that took me past the royal palace.
 

stixx

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I am typing this from not so sunny Den Haag, so will give my experiences. Please note that it is not my intention to settle down here so that will also have a bearing on my experiences. As always, YMMV.

Den Haag is in the province of Zuid Holland, but it is considered the northern parts of the country. It is also not a big city, we would consider this a town in the SA context. Den Haag is probably the most international of Dutch cities, due to the number of embassies and international organizations that are based here. It's nice having a beach, but there are very few days a South African would consider a beach day. 20 degrees is still winter weather as far as I am concerned!

Moving abroad is not easy, and especially to a place like NL which is the opposite side of the cultural spectrum from SA - South Africans are warm and friendly people, whereas the Dutch are not. It is not the directness (It took me a few months to get used to that), but just the air they carry themselves with.

The country is an expensive place to live, rent makes up about 70% of my monthly expenses. Food and other goods are reasonably priced for salaries. A note on rental in DH, a by-law was recently passed that states if you earn more than a certain threshold, you cannot rent properties on the lower end of the market. Properties also work differently here, an example will be that you are expected to install and remove your own floors in a rental.

Getting a permanent work contract is not easy, the company I work for does not give permanent contracts immediately (especially to foreigners). You will need to work for at least a year before you are offered a perm contract. I know of South Africans who are living here for 3+ years, working for the same organization, who do not have perm contracts.

The water from the tap is absolutely **** there. It is hard water which I've never had to deal with even in JHB. I do not drink the tap water because of all the chemicals. You will need to wipe down everything to avoid staining from the water.

The 30% tax ruling is great, especially for someone like me who is only planning to stay for a few years. If you are planning to stay permanently, it is also great but you do get reduced benefits in the long run.

You will have to do TB tests for the every 6 months for the first 2 years that you are here as you come from a high-risk TB country.

Almost everyone speaks English here, to various degrees of proficiency. You do not need to know Dutch to survive, although it will make your life a lot easier if you do know it.

In terms of food, you get good quality fruits and vegetables (I don't know about meat). Dutch food is very very bad though. For such rich people, they truly eat like beggars with their cheese sandwiches (boterhams) and orange juice. This for me is probably the most disappointing part of the Dutch. Luckily there is a variety of other foods to try, but all are imported from abroad.

The weather is very bad by SA standards, and the Dutch love to complain about it. There are more cloudy/rainy days than sunny days. The late sunsets/early sunrises in summer are also terrible for me, it really affects my sleeping patterns as I need it to be dark for a few hours before I can sleep. In winter it is the complete opposite, with late sunrises and early sunsets. This leads a lot of people

Speaking of complaining, the Dutch complain ALOT! and about everything. I find it extremely annoying that they cannot see positives in all the things they complain about (like the trains). I am not a complainer by nature so that makes it even worse.

If you come here expecting the Dutch to be open-minded, you will be disappointed. You will be expected to change and adapt to the Dutch way of doing things if you stay for a long period of time.

At work, I find it very frustrating to work with the Dutch. I find them to be very lazy and slow with tasks, and things must be discussed to the nth degree before work can proceed. This can be just the organisation I work for, I have no idea.

If you have any specific questions, feel free to drop a PM or leave a message here.
 

creeper

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^^^ Good summary

I'll wave to you when entering Den Haag this weekend. :)

You are more than welcome to visit the 'gatkant' of NL. Eindhoven is the more industrial city (history of Phillips), but really green and 'open'. The North looks down upon Brabant. People here are generally friendlier. Lots of expats due to the HiTech companies.
 

HibiscusTunes

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So just an update, I accepted the offer. We are scrambling to get all our unabridged documentation. Our submissions for preliminary 30% ruling applications to the payroll office is in.

We should be in Den Haag anytime between Nov-Jan....
 

creeper

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So just an update, I accepted the offer. We are scrambling to get all our unabridged documentation. Our submissions for preliminary 30% ruling applications to the payroll office is in.

We should be in Den Haag anytime between Nov-Jan....
Congrats.
 

^^vampire^^

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<snip>

At work, I find it very frustrating to work with the Dutch. I find them to be very lazy and slow with tasks, and things must be discussed to the nth degree before work can proceed. This can be just the organisation I work for, I have no idea.

If you have any specific questions, feel free to drop a PM or leave a message here.
You'll find this in most first world countries. South Africa is still struggling with trying to get people employed and so it leaves lots of room for people to work themselves to death to "prove" themselves. First world countries have had plenty of time to regulate everything into oblivion. I find this not too bad in the IT space in Aus however I have worked in places with more employees which tends to create environments with lazier peope where the smaller, tighter knit businesses have plenty of high performers.

A friend of mine in Aus recently went into the social welfare space. She has been verbally reprimanded in her second week of the job for working after hours and most of her proposals to clean up and streamline the work process have been shot down in favour of maintaining the status quo. They will not even let her organise documents on the google drive (they currently have every single document the business has ever had in a single folder) because it will "confuse the other employees". You'll find many workspaces in the first world are so heavily regulated by the whiners and complainers that they very much stamp out any innovation or at the basic level any kind of simple change to how anything gets done. I also find that amongst the stories of all the saffers I talk to here that they often get told that they have high expectations and can't realistically expect everyone to perform to this level.

Sure, everyone gets treated fairly and earns well but you often have to break out on your own if you aim to do something even remotely different and you have to be careful to surround yourself with those that can get onboard with the vision otherwise those people can very quickly destroy what you aim to create. If anything, this highlights and gives a new perspective to what entrepreneurs mean when they say work hard to achieve your dream. In the first world people work/don't work to pass the time and buy nice things. In third world countries people work to not die.
 
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