Fabio Portugal Software Engineer 26 years old

I’ve expanded my professional network and discovered new ways of working.

Why did you move to the Netherlands?

When I finished my Erasmus semester, I got the curiosity of working abroad. After two years of working in Portugal, I felt that it would be the right moment. The opportunity came up and it sounded good, so after some investigation about the Netherlands and some feedback from friends there were already living there, I decided to jump for it.

Based on your experience, what are the main benefits you got regarding your professional career?

Since the first day that I started working in the Netherlands, I felt super welcome in my work environment. The management layer is often checking if we are happy/integrated into the projects and willing to help us with any problem that could come up. I’m surrounded by many senior people who are open to listen to you regardless of your experience and teach when you face any kind of technical problem. I like the horizontal structure of the companies here. Everyone is part of the group, regardless of the authority they have within the company.

Plus, soft and hard skill courses are suggested for personal/professional development, so you have plenty of opportunities to grow and learn. In the Dutch working culture, they organize a lot of social activities within the company, which make your job an enjoyable place to be and develop yourself.

What about the disadvantages you could face…

If you are a shy person, you will need to make an effort to adapt. Dutch people are known to be quite direct, and it also applies to your professional career. They want to know your ambitions and what you want to reach within the project/company. So, you need to speak up and make it clear.

And from a personal perspective?

The weather would be my first thought about this topic, however, the distance from your loved ones is also a downside when working abroad. Another point I would like to mention is that even if Dutch people are very open and friendly, sometimes they don’t stop to have lunch, they eat on their desks…

Do you feel you made a big step in your career by coming to the NL?

Definitely! The simple fact that you are putting yourself in a new culture and a different environment will boost your personal growth and, with it, your career. Furthermore, I’ve expanded my professional network and discovered new ways of working. Working abroad is always valued by employers, in case you want to return to your home country.

Do you think could you have had the chance to find the same kind of job opportunity in Portugal? 

Yes. However, not with the same conditions of living.

What do you like the most about your life in the NL? 

Better life quality. A better work/life balance. More time to improve me in other areas besides the professional one. Dutch people are very open-minded. Very safe country. You can find many internationals. You can bike to everywhere. If you like to travel, the Netherlands is quite well located in Europe to travel to other countries.

I guess you plan to stay in the Netherlands for more than a couple of years so…

Yes. I feel welcome and that my life is here, it doesn’t make sense to me to think about leaving in the near future. I have my group of friends, a nice team at work, and a lot to explore around me.

Give me some reasons why you would recommend living in the Netherlands to someone else.

You will have a very good experience and a wonderful life balance. You will meet amazing people from all around the world and make unexpected, but priceless connections.