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Leiden University Career Zone

Working in the Netherlands
LU Career Zone Labour Market

Working in the Netherlands

If you're thinking about starting a career in the Netherlands, this is where you will find all you need to know.

Research shows that international students in the Netherlands are quite keen on staying after their studies. That's not a surprise, considering the many job opportunities, the good work-life balance, the high living standards and the excellent public facilities.

Building your future in the Netherlands
Even though the Dutch labour market has a fairly international orientation, as a non-Dutch speaker you could be confronted with certain challenges when entering the Dutch labour market. It’s time to face these challenges!

The challenge of finding a job in a country that is not your own lies in getting a grip on the unknown subtleties of the application process. The Welcome to NL website is an informative guide when thinking about relocating to the Netherlands. Read up on opportunities in your industry, daily life, learning Dutch and things to consider before you move. Find out why graduates from all over the world make the Netherlands their chosen home. 

Aiming to be self-employed and/or start a business? Check out the information page.

Facts and figures (2022)
Did you know:

  • 5 years after graduation, around 23-24% of international students (non-EU around 40%) are still in the Netherlands and around 75% have a job.
  • Around 25% of international students stay in the Netherlands for the rest of their lives.
  • International alumni who stay in the Netherlands for more than 5 years work just as often and earn as much as Dutch nationals.
  • There are (big) differences per region, education level and study background.

Update September 2023

The Dutch working culture
Prepare yourself for the Dutch working culture. Some examples:

  • You are expected to speak your mind, even to higher-ups. Don’t be afraid to have an opinion and voice it, especially in meetings. A typical Dutch meeting can take a long time because everyone is invited to share their opinions;
  • The office culture is often informal, it is common to address each other as ‘je/jij’ regardless of position and talk about your private life (though this does vary);
  • Hierarchies are often not directly visible but don’t think they are non-existent. Your boss may act informal but he/she will still evaluate your performance so act accordingly;
  • Prepare yourself for the infamous Dutch directness. Not only are you expected to have an opinion, you should also be able to take direct feedback from your colleagues and superiors and it may not always come sugar-coated.
LU Career Zone Vacatures

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