Amsterdam is mainly known for its picturesque canals and beautiful parks. However, it also boasts a strong economy and a highly skilled labor force with a high percentage of international employees. A lot of services throughout the city cater to expats working in Amsterdam. From English-speaking attorneys to international schools, Amsterdam is all set up for an international workforce.
Many international companies have their Dutch business headquarters in Amsterdam. The financial and business districts in and around the city are the areas where most expats are employed. Some smaller companies have their offices in the city center. In addition to finance and trade, the tourism industry is another main contributor to the city’s economy.
Expats working in Amsterdam know that this city is the financial and economic capital of the Netherlands. The town of Amstelveen, near Amsterdam, is especially popular among foreign investors. For instance, the headquarters of the KPMG, the international tax, audit, and advisory consultants are situated here. The Boston Consulting Group, on the other hand, is based in Zuidas, the biggest business district, where many people have their offices.
The area around the Sloterdijk railway station is home to some local newspapers as well as the public transportation company and the Belastingdienst (tax office). The neighborhoods around the Amsterdam Arena and the Amstel railway station are also very popular business locations. Here, hundreds of people are working in Amsterdam’s most famous office skyscraper, the Rembrandt Tower, or in the Phillips headquarters.
If you have plans for working in Amsterdam but don’t have a job yet, networking is your best option. Joining professional associations and meeting up with other expats working in Amsterdam will not only help you make new friends in a strange country. You will also extend your professional network and have a chance to find work through word-of-mouth.
Some newspapers have English job ads on their vacancy pages, aimed at expats. You can buy most of these newspapers at the English Bookshop on Lauriergracht. At the Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam and the University of Amsterdam’s library, these newspapers are available as well.
An extensive online search can also help you find an opportunity for working in Amsterdam. Most job agencies and international organizations based in the Netherlands post their job openings online. If you're worried about the language barrier, Jobsin Amsterdam advertise local postitions for English speakers.
In many cases, professional recruitment agencies (uitzendbureaus) are the best choice for expats who are considering working in Amsterdam. They are located all over the city and specialize in either permanent jobs or temp positions. Proficiency in Dutch is often necessary, although some agencies also offer positions for which Dutch is not required.
The public employment service UWV Werkbedrijf provides advice and information to expats and job seekers in general. You can visit one of its branches throughout the city or check their homepage (Dutch only) for vacancies.
Some companies offer coaching and professional training to expats working in Amsterdam. Expats@Work and De Baak, for example, help foreign employees improve their skills and evaluate their career options and goals.
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