Excited to start working in The Netherlands? We made a list of things to arrange before you get started!
In order to work in The Netherlands, you will need a BSN number (used to be called “Sofinummer”). This number is needed to pay your (mandatory) taxes, but also to apply for subsidies such as “Zorgtoeslag”, “Kinderbijslag”, “Huursubsidie”, and extra-territorial tax discounts. You can get your BSN by registering at a municipality office (Gemeentekantoor) in the Netherlands. It’s completely free!
In The Netherlands, it’s mandatory for all citizens to have health insurance. Often, your new employer will have a special arrangement with a specific Insurance Broker. In most cases, you will receive some extra benefit, such as a discount on monthly fees, a reduction of your own risk, or free additional services. You could also research Insurance Brokers yourself and pick the one that fits best with what you need.
This may sound funny, but truly, owning a bike opens you up to so many possibilities in The Netherlands! Besides, it truly adds to your Dutch experience. With 32.000 kilometers of bicycle lanes, the Netherlands could easily claim to be the world’s number one cycling country. You can cycle from pretty much anywhere to pretty much anywhere else in The Netherlands in complete safety across a wide web of cycling lanes. If the weather is good, you may like to pick up an ANWB cycling map and plot a route through the countryside. And on the day-to-day, owning a bike can give you great freedom to do groceries, visit friends, go shopping, and more, without having to worry about fuel. You can even travel with your bike on the train and most busses to visit and explore other cities or nature areas.
A solid contract
When first moving to The Netherlands the number of available jobs may be extremely overwhelming. Sure, some jobs fit better with your experience or personality than others, but more often than not, the salary can be the most tempting thing to look out for. Although money in the bank is surely something to strive for, don’t forget to check your contract very well! What is, or is not included? Will you have housing or will you pay extra? What about transport to work? Insurance? Are vacation days included in the salary or do you build them up over the year? Also, keep in mind what your working conditions will be and if the job can be extended for the time you want to stay. It can be a real pain if a job ends and you’re suddenly stranded in The Netherlands without a job or housing!
A good night’s sleep is important and sets you up for the day to come. Unfortunately, the beds in company housing aren’t always the greatest and at the very least other people will have slept on it before you. It can be a great improvement to bring a good mattress protector, mattress cover, and nice sheets to make your rest more comfortable. Want to step it up a notch? Bring your favorite sheets and fabric softener to make it feel more like home!