How is it to have a student job in the Netherlands? What are the differences between the Dutch working culture and other countries? Danna and Demi give an insight on working in the Netherlands from a Dutch and international perspective.
Typical student Job in The Netherlands
It is quite common for students to work as a waiter or waitress. As an international student working in the Netherlands you might find restaurants from your home country. Danna for example worked in an Indonesian restaurant as an Indonesian. She pointed out that cultural differences may occur as when it comes to serving tables. While you might be used to customers raising their hands when they are ready to order, in the Netherlands the waiters/waitresses are the ones approaching the customers to ask whether they are ready to order.
flat working hierarchies
The hierarchies between the boss and their workers are often informal in the Netherlands. Therefore, everyone is treated equally in many Dutch companies and you will probably call everyone by their first name, even your boss. Also, don’t be surprised if you find yourself drinking beer with your whole team at the typical Vrijmibo (= Friday afternoon drinks).
working with international students
Working with internationals brings different perspectives to a company. Furthermore, as internationals often have trouble finding a job they are mostly highly motivated once they are able to work. Even though, applying for work permits might take some extra time for the employer, it is a simple process and worth it.
For international students working is a way of integrating in the culture. As an international you can get to know the values and ways of working of your Dutch colleagues. For instance, the Dutch are known for being direct, which is something you will realise when it comes to openly giving feedback.
Is it possible to have a student job, study and have a social life? Short answer: yes! It is all about prioritising. If you have a clear structure you boost productivity and become more efficient. Additionally, working alongside your studies also teaches you to handle your own money and how to budget your expenses.