Finding A Job In The Netherlands: PostNL and I


     Let's start with a question. Is it easy to find a job in The Netherlands? If you ask some people, they will say no. If you ask me, I will say yes. Of course, we are not talking about a specific job, but just a job. Any job. Maybe you are thinking about a job like the one you used to have. As for me, that isn't possible. I went to law school but had spent years being an elementary school teacher without a teaching degree. In The Netherlands, I can't teach in a school if I don't have a diploma on education. End of tale. So let us go back the "any job" story.

What did I do first in order to find a job?
     I uploaded my CV to indeed.nl. Why did I do this if I was not looking for a job? Well, I wanted to have the sensation that sooner or later I would receive in my mail an opening for a great and wonderful job that I would adore to apply to. 

How was the process of applying for PostNL? 
     One sunny summer Friday afternoon, and after cleaning the house, I received an email from indeed.nl, which included a job opening at POSTNL. I could apply online and so, I decided to give it a try. What could go wrong? I was not going to get the job anyway, and I could learn a lot from the experience.

How did I end up with a job at PostNL?
Let me explain.
  1. Friday, July 7. I applied online. It took 5 minutes. The multiple choice questions were answered with the help of Google Translate.
  2. Same Friday. Got an SMS saying I would have a phone interview in the next hour. I was ready for a heart attack. (Talking on the phone in Dutch is the most stressing thing ever!) I thought, they will notice I am not ready and this will be a fun experience to tell at parties later!
  3. Still same Friday. I had the phone interview. I spoke to a very polite woman. At one point she asked, "Kun je nummers en adressen lezen?" I think I answered, "Natuurlijk!"
  4. Friday, July 14. I had an appointment for an interview at a PostNL office. I showed up. They offered coffee. I had coffee and waited in their cafeteria. No one came. I went back to ask about my interview. It turned out the interviewer was not working that day, or so I understood because you can't use Google Translate when you are talking to people, at least not when you are there asking for a job. Jammer! I went back home, disappointed. My partner suggested I send an email to POSTNL. I did, using my Google Translate thank goodness. 
  5. Thursday, July 20. New interview. I biked 9 km to the location. We were 3 candidates. We had a presentation about the job and time for questions. Yes, this means we were having a group interview. I tried to nod at the right time and for the right reasons. Lucky me, at the end there were individual interviews. I thought, "Wow! This will really be a good story to tell at parties!"
  6. Monday, July 24. I got an email. I had the job. Ups.
  7. Tuesday, July 25. The contract was in my hands. Isn't the Dutch postal service fast?!
  8. Tuesday, August 15. This, ladies and gentlemen, was my first working day at my first job in The Netherlands. It had been three months since I had arrived. 
What did I learn from this?
     In my case, finding a job was the easy part of moving here. Enjoying my job was something I had to give myself the chance to do. Nevertheless, there are many other things I need to figure out that are way more challenging than this. Don't we all?

Doei!

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