Did you ever have a feeling that you are doing not what you are really able to do? That you are not using your full potential? That your talents, skills and capacities are not applied and you could actually do much more? I had exactly this kind of feeling when we came to the country of tulips and wind mills almost 5 years ago.
There are 4 legal ways to move to the Netherlands: to work, to study, to marry or as a refugee. There is also a fifth way, not many of you are aware about. That’s the way I got here. It’s called – coming as a trailer spouse. It means that one of the partners finds job and brings the other one as a trailer after him or her. That’s exactly the way I felt in the beginning – an extra part with unclear purpose.
This was the beginning of my struggles with finding my place under the Dutch sun. And it’s tremendously difficult to find this place when the sun is always covered with clouds.
However, I was determined to conquer the Dutch labor market. I thought I could easily find job with my skills and abilities, having more than 14 years of working experience in top positions in sales, PR and communications, speaking 5 languages. I decided to focus on international companies and look for the vacancies in the field of my expertise – PR and communication.
But the Dutch labour market was anything but friendly.
- For the positions of my level I was constantly rejected
- For the positions lower than my qualification I received the verdict – overqualified
I still remember my first job interview in Booking.com for a position of Russian speaking customer care representative, which was way lower my qualification. I was aware it was jus a start of my career in the Netherlands and I was ready to take it. I was so well prepared! I rocked the tests, I took the lead in all the group assignments. I was prepared to answer the most scary questions during the personal interview: why do you want to work in this position? Why we should consider you as best candidate? I gave brilliant answers! The manager looked impressed!
After 2 days I received a phone call from HR – Sorry! We have not chosen your candidature because you are too ambitious, too bright and overqualified. And we need someone who will stay long and steady in the offered position. We suggest you to apply for higher positions.
I have to admit that at certain point I felt devastated, underestimated, non appreciated and even desperate. Why in my country the employers would search for me and offer me jobs, and here nothing worked?! What am I doing wrong? Why my skills, knowledge, ambition and leadership qualities are not welcome?
So, I took a deep breath and started reflecting. What if I didn’t lose anything? What if this is a chance for me to start something new, to learn things I always wanted to learn, to pursue my long forgotten dream, to get a new profession where I can combine my knowledge, my experience with my desire to be of service to people and to make their lives easier?
I have started my studies in the Academy of Counseling and Coaching in Amsterdam and launched a journey of discovering the coach within me!
Learning to discover potential in others, I have found myself and my inner balance. I have realized why I couldn’t find job! I haven’t become less experienced, less valuable only because the Dutch employer does not see it. I have not been able to demonstrate it properly. Sending CVs to big international corporations is same as throwing sand in the desert. My CV got literally lost in the Dutch dunes. The employer has to see me. Needless to say that after this realization I quickly found job coming to the Talent Day to a 5 star hotel where I could demonstrate my knowledge, experience and my charisma. I have not given a chance to my competitors and got the position of guest relations officer.
After becoming mother for the third time I have taken a courageous decision, which created a wave of surprise among my Dutch colleagues – to quit my job and start my own practice as a life coach.
Now I’m helping expats in the process of self-realization and job search by boosting their worth & self esteem, by enabling them to see their true value and how to translate it into professional sphere.
And to those of you who are still struggling, I have a message:
📍Your success and your value doesn’t depend on the country You reside, but on your inner state and your mindset
📍Staying in comfort zone will never lead to change and to growth
📍Crisis is fundamentally good. As, according to universal law, every crisis is followed by victory