Living in The Netherlands

Civic integration examination: Employment and income

Employment and income

Living in The Netherlands is very expensive. Everything costs money, and everything is expensive. The Netherlands is a rich country, but that does not mean everyone here is rich: Because living here is so very expensive, a lot of people have financial problems, even people with a good job and a nice house.

It is very important that you find a job as soon as possible. A job provides you with an income, but will also help you to integrate: You will learn the language faster, and you get to know people. In general, both men and women work in The Netherlands. If you don't work your partner will have to take care of you financially.

Finding a job is not always easy. Traditionally, most people worked in agriculture (farming) or industry, but nowadays there is not a lot of work anymore in these sectors. There are many jobs still to be found in security, IT, and care, but you usually need diplomas, and you need to speak Dutch fairly well for these jobs.

If you are looking for a job you should register with the local branch of the national employment centre, CWI. Jobs can be found at the CWI, via a commercial emplyoment agency (uitzendbureau), or via job advertisements on the internet or in local and national newspapers. Don't forget to ask your friends and family if they know about any vacancies: This is often the easiest way to find work.

Before a company offers you a job, you usually have to visit them for a job interview (sollicitatiegesprek). When you get an interview, make sure you are there on time (even if you're five minutes late you will make a bad impression), and you look neat and tidy. When you arrive and meet your potential employer, you introduce yourself and shake hands, and then you will be asked to sit down for the interview. At the end of the interview, you shake hands again before you leave.

Sample question

Question: Krijgt u in Nederland een uitkering of moet uw partner voor u zorgen? (Will you get unemployment benefit in The Netherlands, or does your partner have to take care of you?)

You answer: mijn partner (my partner).

Explanation: Everybody who lives in The Netherlands is expected to take care of his own income, usually by working. There are benefits for the elderly, for people who can't work, and for people who can't find work, but you will not get any benefits if you are just arrived in The Netherlands. Only if you have lived and worked here several years, and then lose your job through no fault of your own, will you get unemployment benefit.


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