”The Netherlands has a great business climate”
Country of Origin: Bulgaria
Education: HKU University of the Arts Utrecht
I love creating things and the only field in which you can create anything and have full control is computer animation. Therefore I turned my hobby into my profession and I now make 3D animations and visual effects. I came to the Netherlands because the industry here is more developed than the one in Bulgaria and some of my favourite studios are Dutch.
I decided to stay in the Netherlands because I like the overall business climate. There is no useless bureaucracy, a stable financial system, very good work conditions and a good social security system.
If you want to improve your chances of a job in the Netherlands it is necessary to network. So during your internships, at school and of course at work and networking events, try to meet new people.
There are plenty of networking events, but be critical in deciding which ones to attend (e.g. Holland Alumni has very useful events).
”A positive and entrepreneurial mind-set”
In general Dutch working conditions are very good, including lunch provided by the employer as well as a bike for transport or remuneration for travel costs. What is very interesting about Dutch companies though, is their flat structure. Furthermore, the Dutch mix friendship with work, they are entrepreneurial, they have a positive mind-set and they are strict regarding time.
On the other hand be prepared to get straightforward answers, because the Dutch can be very direct, to an extent in which it is perceived as rude in cultures.
Rewarding and demanding
Living in the Netherlands is a rewarding and demanding experience. During my studies I learned to be more tolerant, improved my communication skills immensely and created lifetime memories of adventures, efforts and fun.
The most important aspect to feel at home is to learn as much as possible about the Dutch system, like the tax and justice system, but also the different supermarkets and the bus and train systems.
Learning more about the culture also means internalising some of the ‘awkward’ Dutch habits, like eating chocolate sprinkles on bread and cycling to work, although this does give me an hour of exercise per day.
Learn the language
Learning the Dutch language, as hard and not crucial as it might seem, is actually very important. If you want to be truly accepted as a part of any Dutch social or professional group, you should know the language. Otherwise you keep a barrier, regardless of how well the Dutch speak English.
I started learning the language the moment I came to the Netherlands, but realised the importance shortly after my graduation. After studying the language I managed to pass the ’Staatsexamen deel 2’. Passing such an exam means that you can start learning the Dutch language on a professional level.
In the future I want to develop my own company and attract more talent to improve my position on the Dutch labour market and in the creative industry sector.