In this third column The Northern Times’ contributor, (professional career coach) Alice Karmelita looks at various job-seeking challenges common in her experience, and how people can go about getting round them
By Alice Karmelita
The job search process is often a battle. I support about 100 expat job seekers every year and a real challenge for many of them is their mindset. As a professional coach, I truly believe that we all have everything we need to succeed innately, and that the key is then to uncover this potential and start using it consciously. With this article, I want to help you shift your mindset and get closer to the job you deserve.
It may seem to you that your employment options are limited. Ifyou sometimes hear this voice in your head telling you, that in your home country, you’d probably have a lot more opportunities? One way to manage this is totake some distance from the thoughts that don’t serve you and always seem like the only truth, you will have a wider view. You might realise that this limit is only a limit because you define it as one.
If not every job is accessible to you (because of the language, experience, etc), your job search can be more focused on specific offers and types of companies. When your search is narrowed down, you will probably send fewer applications but more tailored that are closer to what you are looking for. The wider your search is, the less focused you are on a specific position, you might send more applications that are less adjusted, receive more rejections,start feeling overwhelmed, and possibly lessen your chances of finding a job by sending out lower quality applications.
Lots of employers that don’t have experience with international candidates, especially those who are not fluent in Dutch, are afraid of a language barrier. Whilst this mentality is changing, if you reinforce this belief , it can be challenging to convince your potential employer otherwise. Here are some ready-to-use arguments, that had always been helpful to me when negotiating with multiple companies in the northern Netherlands, to shift your and the employer’s perspective.
- Communication barriers are created by us, our approach, focus, and not by our language skills. Whenever an employer seemed to be reluctant because he or she was afraid of communication issues between the Dutch and internationals, I’d ask this simple but powerful question: “Does this mean that because all your employees are fluent in Dutch you never have miscommunications between them?
- I have seen people with a very basic level of Dutch being like the right hand of the shift manager, receiving tasks and forwarding them to the team. Because they had to be more focused and cautious when expressing what they wanted to achieve, there were actually fewer mistakes than among Dutch colleagues.
Overqualification for positions that are accessible
For some positions, fluency in Dutch is essential for optimal performance. If you are still in the process of improving your level of proficiency, you often have to apply for positions that can be filled with a basic level of Dutch. However, lots of people I have worked with are overqualified for these jobs. Many, too, worry that an employer would see that and might be afraid of a subsequent low level of motivation.
You can choose positions that are in the same industry as your ideal job, and then explain that you too see the job as a beginning point, not an end.. That way you can make connections, start building your reputation, and learn anyindustry-focused language. Set a career development plan, withthe current offer asthe first step. You would see a purpose in taking this job, be more motivated, and show up more promising to the employer. Everyone has to start somewhere, and if you share your plan with the hiring manager, I’m sure you would be understood and trusted.
Looking for more tips on how to get hired in the Netherlands during the pandemic? Download Alice’s free ebook now: https://ccitrainings.com/f/expat-job-seeker-ebook
Alice Karmelita is a passionate expat, coach, trainer, entrepreneur, and the founder of Conscious Career Institute and Karmelita-Coaching – a space for expat professionals who want to create a fulfilling career with alignment to their values and dreams, using full potential, and experiencing joy and satisfaction even in a foreign country. Her background is in international HRM and recruitment, she has hired hundreds of people from 20 different countries. Alice is the only double-certified professional coach in the region. To learn more visit: karmelita-coaching.com