CAREERS ADVICE NEEDED

Old May 14th 2018, 4:37 pm
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Default CAREERS ADVICE NEEDED

Hi
my wife and I are relocating to Amsterdam next year . She works for EMA and agency as relocated due to Brexit. I am a manager in a local authority youth offending team and have a background as a probation officer. Panicking as whilst I have lots of transferable skills I imagine no shortage of middle manager public sector workers on Netherlands. Most jobs seem to be IT, Banking, engineering for expats. Any one else who is not a lawyer, banker , engineer or management consultant, managed to secure an half decent job ( without Dutch )
Cheers
Simon
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Old May 14th 2018, 6:15 pm
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Default Re: CAREERS ADVICE NEEDED

I think you have a fair assessment of how tough it's going to be (as it is for 99% of trailing spouses) to make a career move that won't be a step backwards: sounds like the Expat Admin Pool might for you . Don't worry, admins earn more here than managers do in the UK. You are correct about no shortage of public sector workers (and naturally, without fluent Dutch, public servant is a non-starter because your client group would include many non-English speakers). I will explain a little about the Dutch education system (it's relevant). At 12, youngsters are 'streamed' into one of three routes: Academic/research degree (Masters) - Vocational Degree (Bachelors) - Trade Diploma (NVQs). Because of this, the Dutch rarely recognise transferable skills: the vocation you study for is the one they expect you to end up in - trust me, that can be the mentality you're up against with Dutch HR managers and even recruitment agencies.

I would strongly advise you to begin (a) learning Dutch with free resources online, even if you will only achieve conversational level in a year it shows willingness, and/or (b) taking a vocational qualification that starts you in one of the careers you mention above - although you missed out Pharma which is another large expat employer with minimal Dutch needed. There are other multinationals where English and Manager can go together such as Unilever, Shell or the European Space Agency - or perhaps ask your wife to bring home bulletins with vacancies at EMA as they'll no doubt be recruiting to fill some administrative gaps.
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Old May 16th 2018, 3:33 pm
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Default Re: CAREERS ADVICE NEEDED

It's going to take you about 2 years to learn Dutch to a reasonable level whatever you do. You won't learn it solely in a classroom..getting out there and chatting, making miistakes and having a laugh and socialising is the best way. If you like the kind of work you are already doing, there might be openings at local authorities or institutions in NL where your English would be an asset. There are many immigrants here whose second language is English. Good Luck.
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Old May 16th 2018, 8:13 pm
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Default Re: CAREERS ADVICE NEEDED

You're being very kind Calman, but I've yet to see any non-Dutch-fluent expat work in public service. I stand to be proven wrong though. As long as the Dutch HBO SJB (Sociaal Juridische Dienstverlening) courses (read vocational degrees for gemeente staff, or low-effort degrees if you prefer) remain among the most popular among bilingual, young, native Bachelor students, the competition for jobs in that field will be phenomenal and a middle aged English bloke with no work experience in this country/knowledge of Dutch working etiquette (sorry OP, but that's how these people will see the situation) is a risk in comparison. How's a British guy going to be received by the Dutch parents of a young offender - are they going to swap to English to express how they feel... inadequately? Is their British probation officer going to know all of organisations that could offer them help? Of course not - even the gemeente staff don't know that and they're natives and *professionals*.

The realistic option for trailing spouses is the Multinationals, at least in the short term. There are employment agencies which advertise various jobs with English only, and the likes of Indeed.nl and Monsterboard.nl will give a realistic idea of the kind of work on offer here. Using LinkedIn will open a wider range of options - use it, network, follow interesting prospects, and apply where you think you'll have a chance once you have a moving date. You could get lucky. But be aware that in the Amsterdam area, a place where the smartest among them speak three or four languages fluently, a monolingual Brit is not highly desirable unless they have the kind of in demand skills you mentioned. Starting your own business could be an option, perhaps as a youth counsellor (qualifications?) for expat youths adapting and having a tough time? It's for you to do the research now - best of luck to you.

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Old May 16th 2018, 8:20 pm
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Default Re: CAREERS ADVICE NEEDED

Thanks for reply . Less of the middle aged !
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Old May 17th 2018, 12:27 pm
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Default Re: CAREERS ADVICE NEEDED

There is lots of voluntary work around...and for that you won't need any qualifications or fluent Dutch...in fact it could be a good way to stay active whilst learning the language. OK maybe it won't pay anything..but it's an option.
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Old May 17th 2018, 6:04 pm
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Default Re: CAREERS ADVICE NEEDED

Originally Posted by Swhite
Less of the middle aged !
Sorry

Yes, voluntary work is a great step into employment if you have the time and can afford not to work. Street coaches might be a good fit but it's going to take Dutch: perhaps they'd let you volunteer alongside as you learn? Still, have a look around and you might find interesting opportunities in English
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Old May 18th 2018, 9:47 am
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Default Re: CAREERS ADVICE NEEDED

Originally Posted by Red_Wine_Fairy
You're being very kind Calman, but I've yet to see any non-Dutch-fluent expat work in public service. I stand to be proven wrong though. As long as the Dutch HBO SJB (Sociaal Juridische Dienstverlening) courses (read vocational degrees for gemeente staff, or low-effort degrees if you prefer) remain among the most popular among bilingual, young, native Bachelor students, the competition for jobs in that field will be phenomenal and a middle aged English bloke with no work experience in this country/knowledge of Dutch working etiquette (sorry OP, but that's how these people will see the situation) is a risk in comparison. How's a British guy going to be received by the Dutch parents of a young offender - are they going to swap to English to express how they feel... inadequately? Is their British probation officer going to know all of organisations that could offer them help? Of course not - even the gemeente staff don't know that and they're natives and *professionals*.

The realistic option for trailing spouses is the Multinationals, at least in the short term. There are employment agencies which advertise various jobs with English only, and the likes of Indeed.nl and Monsterboard.nl will give a realistic idea of the kind of work on offer here. Using LinkedIn will open a wider range of options - use it, network, follow interesting prospects, and apply where you think you'll have a chance once you have a moving date. You could get lucky. But be aware that in the Amsterdam area, a place where the smartest among them speak three or four languages fluently, a monolingual Brit is not highly desirable unless they have the kind of in demand skills you mentioned. Starting your own business could be an option, perhaps as a youth counsellor (qualifications?) for expat youths adapting and having a tough time? It's for you to do the research now - best of luck to you.
Your spot on Red Wine Fairy.. The Netherlands is an almost impossible nut to crack... UNLESS. you are recruited from outside the country. as was my middle manager OH. He managed to transfer into upper management and on to board level ,finally becoming CEO of a large Dutch concern. This was over a 30yr period during which time I failed entirely to get any sort of job as the 'trailing spouse. despite my fluent Dutch Time and again I was deeply frustrated to meet partners who had gained jobs BEFORE they entered the country. I would strongly recommend the OP try that route first. Good luck

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Old May 18th 2018, 9:58 am
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Default Re: CAREERS ADVICE NEEDED

Originally Posted by calman014
There is lots of voluntary work around...and for that you won't need any qualifications or fluent Dutch...in fact it could be a good way to stay active whilst learning the language. OK maybe it won't pay anything..but it's an option.

Ha ha Calman The Dutch LOVED that... I did unpaid voluntary work amongst the ex-pat community for 30 yrs. It helped these multinationals no end In preventing their expensive recruits from running back to their own countries I and my various committees and clubs helped in the International schools.,with everything from reading groups for the English language,to babysitting Also providing stimulating clubs and lessons for the trailing spouses. etc etc. It was hard unrecognised WORK. A fact that most of these companies who relied heavily on ex-pats still refuse to acknowledge to this day..

. Please try not to go down this route OP.. It was not pleasant to feel undervalued,frustrated and ignored for al those years.I wouldn't wish it on anyone
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