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5 Tips to Get Professionally Active in Brainport Eindhoven by ESI

Written by Expat Spouses Initiative (ESI)

04 May 2023

Written by Expat Spouses Initiative (ESI)

04 May 2023

At the Expat Spouses Initiative (ESI), we often hear from the international community in the Brainport Eindhoven region about the challenges they face entering the Dutch labour market. 

We understand that part of feeling at home in a new place is also about joining the local workforce, especially considering that many accompanying spouses or partners leave significant careers behind to facilitate the international relocation of their partner or spouse.  

Sure, the Dutch labour market can be a difficult egg to crack, but there are opportunities here for everyone! And we at ESI are dedicated to ensuring the international community can access them.  

Our top five tips to help internationals get professionally active in Brabant are:

1. Do Your Research

Like many things in life, preparation is key. We know that planning an international move is time consuming and hard work, but starting your new professional journey on the right foot is important too. Therefore, we recommend that you begin researching what professional opportunities are available as soon as possible. An excellent way to do this is to review what kind of jobs are available in the surrounding area via LinkedIn and job platforms such as Indeed and Monster.  

Beyond your job search, also consider learning about Dutch culture, labour practices, and lifestyle. This information will help you build a realistic picture of life in the Netherlands. Here, here and here are excellent resources to start learning about Dutch employment and life.  

2. Network, Network, Network

Networking is important and there are many ways to connect with other professionals.  

One of the most obvious ways is LinkedIn. As you do your research, reach out to professionals living in Brabant by commenting on posts or privately via LinkedIn Mail. But be sure to avoid sending generic messages to your new potential LinkedIn connections. Instead opt for personalized and sincere communication related to your shared interests, education, or post content. Ideally, you want to start building a mutually beneficial relationship rather than just making requests from your new acquaintances. 

Another way to meet professionals is to attend events. These can be formal networking events or social ones. You never know who you might meet that can point you in the right direction to help achieve your professional goals. 

3. Keep an Open Mind 

It’s great to know what type of employment or organization you want to work for and strive to achieve it but don’t fixate. This could blind you to other potential opportunities that could match your professional ambitions. Instead, take stock of your hard and soft skills and your unique selling points to expand your job search criteria to other positions or areas that might fulfil them.  

4. Volunteer 

Volunteering is a fantastic way to dip your toe in the Dutch labour market, develop new skills, reinforce old ones, and network. There are many organizations that are often looking for volunteers such as Eindhoven Doet, Access, and Samen voor Eindhoven (Together for Eindhoven). If you don't see a volunteering option that suits your experience and skills, just ask. As the saying goes, “fortune favours the bold.” So be bold and ask.  

5. Join a Professional Group 

There are groups for absolutely everything in Eindhoven, both social and professional. By becoming part of one, you are immediately connected to a larger community that shares a common interest which will help you find friends and grow your network. 

Look no further than the Expat Spouses Initiative (ESI) for your professional community. We connect internationals, especially spouses of international knowledge workers, to local professional opportunities and help accelerate them towards the Dutch labour market in a community-driven way, through our innovative Talent100 program.  

Talent100 is a 3-month career acceleration program that helps international professionals re-start their careers and build their professional network in the region. It provides training, support, network, and growth opportunities to help you upskill and transition back into work in a meaningful way. The program is open to everyone regardless of age or professional background and has a success rate of 80% (six months after each edition’s end date). 

We invite you to join a community meetup to find out more about the Expat Spouses Initiative and the Talent100 program. You can also read success stories from various ESI community members.  

With these five tips and the Expat Spouses Initiative, you are one step closer to restarting your career and reaching your professional potential in Brabant.