Amsterdam just hosted the “I am not a tourist fair” in the stunning ‘Beurs van Berlage’. During the fair, internationals were able to explore many aspects of living in the Netherlands, from finding a job to meeting people.
To feel really at home in a foreign country, one should ideally feel a sense of belonging.
However, each of us takes a different approach and amount of time to settle in and develop this feeling. In any case, everyone needs to do their homework, to reflect on their own strengths, to think about what they like to do, and to take some steps out of their comfort zone.
As a career coach, my focus is on supporting international expat partners who have just arrived in The Netherlands, as well as on those partners who have returned (‘repats’) after one or more postings abroad.

My goal is to help them find a job.

All expat-partners face a gap in their careers. The first group often left a job behind and need to manage their career change in a completely new environment with different rules and regulations. The second group, the returning partners, usually do know the Dutch working environment, but face other issues, such as how to summarize the relevance of their international experience in a meaningful way on their resume.

Benefits of an international posting

There are many benefits of an international posting, in particular the unavoidable need of building a new life in a foreign country.  Because of this, expat-partners develop strong flexibility and adaptability skills. And these so-called ‘transferable skills’ are exactly the ones that are very useful in today’s unpredictable job market. The thing to do is to reflect on the impact of these skills have had on your life, as these skills are strong selling points in a job interview. Make your own story sell itself by showing how adaptable and flexible you are, thanks to your international life.
Having lived in foreign countries as an expat myself, while maintaining a steady career as a psychologist, I have personal experience with the challenges faced by an international life.  Thanks to this experience, I have been able to design a career-counselling programme to help internationals handle career change.
Through the program, I can assist you in developing a deeper understanding of your talents, in discovering your transferable skills, and in expressing them in clear language, for example, on your resume or during an interview.
For more information, please contact me, Akkie Okma, at Okma Advies
Akkie OkmaAkkie Okma is a careers counsellor. She has over the years established a sound record of succesful counselling. Her experience as a senior HR advisor in a large professional organization, together with her social skills enable her to assist clients to set their goals and change their career in their chosen direction. Email: Mobile: +31(0) 6 1018 5298.