Amsterdam wasn’t the plan. The plan was to move with my boyfriend to London after graduation. When we split 3 weeks before our move date I needed a new plan, and fast.
I had previously worked as an Au Pair in Greece, so I began to search for possibilities to do that again through greataupair.com. Having spent five years learning French, I had my heart set on Paris. However, a lovely family from Amsterdam contacted me and we clicked right away. I decided to give Amsterdam a try, even though I had never visited the city before.
My first introduction to Amsterdam was moving into a house on the Keizersgracht near Rembrandtplein. I was incredibly lucky with the location; the city was literally at my doorstep. I worked as a live-in Au Pair for a year and it was certainly a unique experience.
Having come from the US where I had studied at Stanford University, I imagined finding a job here wouldn’t be an issue. Boy was I wrong! Over a five-month period, I applied to over 60 companies and was still unemployed. Since I didn’t speak Dutch, I decided I needed to change my standards. I began to search all fields and sectors that I was even a little bit interested in and it was then that I came across my first job in a hotel as an Event Coordinator. I also tutored English two days a week and worked as a pet sitter, which were really nice ways to make extra money. I decided to set up my own company called Full Circle Dating as my real passion is to help people. However, I was still searching for that one position that would be a perfect fit for me and I am lucky to have found it, now I help other Expats to find their homes.
My advice to anybody looking for their first job in the Netherlands would be to be realistic with your expectations. Your first job here probably will not be at the same level as your last job and it might end up being in a totally different field as well. Once you’re aware of this and open minded when looking for jobs, it will make a massive difference.
My last bit of advice is for those few people out there, like me, who don’t drink alcohol. I find it super frustrating when the only choice I have at a bar in Amsterdam is soda, so it is really nice to go somewhere where I can also get something fancy! For my fellow non drinkers check out Cafe Brecht and Tales & Spirits, they make the most amazing non-alcoholic cocktails!