The Netherlands is an amazing destination for the perfect holidays and the perfect international university exchange, yet it is also a great country for those who want to find a job. Whoever wants to work in the Lowers Lands, you will find a job and even better, to have a contract.
There are many part-time jobs you can do in the Netherlands:
- The Cashier at a supermarket
- Hotel Receptionist
- Language Professor
- Delivery Man/Woman
- Sitting (babysitting/catsitting)
- House Keeper/Cleaning
Being able to have a part-time job when you are studying is everything. Not in many countries they give such a big freedom and so many advantages for students who want to work. Don’t get the idea wrong, you are not encouraged to work, you are encouraged to study, yet you have it easier with flexible schedules, flexible holidays and many offers. If you want to know more about it, keep reading!
Getting a Part-time Job in the Netherlands
When I moved to the Netherlands I was doing a full-time exchange programme. I was coming from Spain, studying at a university with a horrible 8 am to 8 pm schedule that wouldn’t allow me to have free time during the day to find a job, nor free time on the weekends to do anything but homework. When I moved to the Netherlands, everything was way more expensive than in Spain (up to 4 or 5 times more expensive!) This means that if I wanted to stay, I needed a job.
I have had many jobs while living in the Netherlands, and here are some of my jobs, my experience, some ideas and friend’s experience on how to earn some money part-time, for students or for anyone who wants to pay the bills and not work full-time.
The best aspect of getting a part-time job in the Netherlands is not only the flexibility with students but also the fact that even students’ jobs are legally declared with a contract and also that you are going to find jobs in English. Once again, not knowing Dutch has proven to be no problem at all. Of course, if you are willing to pursue a career in the Netherlands, learning Dutch may help you there and in many other aspects, yet if you look for a job in bigger cities, in touristic areas or service jobs, there is no problem.
There are many types of jobs of all kinds, anything you want to do or imagine, it exists. Personally. I have worked cleaning, babysitting, as a receptionist in a hotel and giving private Spanish lessons. Anything and everything! Here are some of the part-time jobs you can get:
The Cashier at a supermarket
Being a cashier at a supermarket in the Netherlands is mostly oriented for younger students: 15 to 17-year-olds who want part-time jobs while still being at school, those who work during weekends and holidays. It is also possible for you to apply for it when you are older too as well as doing some other tasks inside supermarkets.
The easiest way of doing this is entering the website of the supermarket you are willing to work, check their jobs section (work with us!) and then have your schedule and address nearby because they are gonna fit you on your schedule and their needs. They are going to try to match with you! Let’s take for instance AH, but you can also go for :
- Enter their website, AH.NL
- Scroll down and look for: Werken bij AH (or in general, werken bij ons)
- Select: Bijbaan (part-time job)
- Check your area, what they ask and what type of job you want. In this case Caissiere.
This is a little bit more complicated to come around to but what has worked for me is networking. There are many ways to get around to work as a receptionist: it can be a hotel, a spa, a clinic for tourist or expats if you have any experience on the specific field, etc. In this type of job, they always need people, to cover night shifts, weekends, holidays, afternoons and so on. It can be flexible if you don’t have that much time. Here there are some tips:
- Ask around: one of the best ways of finding a job is asking around, both to your friend or to your Dutch acquaintances if they know something. This is what has worked the best for me and it may not be immediate but in the long run, it is the best.
- Check big cities: cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and many more, are very touristic cities. This means that you will have higher chances to find a job where they need English speakers and that there will be many hotels.
- Carry your CV around: another good way of finding a job as a receptionist is just to pop into the hotel and handle the CV yourself. It gives you the chance to maybe meet the manager or at least talk to someone.
Another advantage of speaking a different language in the Netherlands is that you can teach it! If you are an English speaker and you see that Dutch people are really good at speaking the language, don’t worry, you can edit thesis, texts and other documents at uni. Here are some of the ways of contacting future language students:
- Boards: all universities have a big corkboard where students can add leaflets, either in common areas such as the cafeteria or in the specific department of your language (for instance, in my case, the Spanish Language Department).
- Superprof: this is a website where you can freely create a profile and offer whatever it is that you can teach, languages or whatever you want. This is something that has worked for me many times.
- Language Institutes: you can always contact language institutes where they teach your language just in case they are ever looking for a native speaker of the language. Give it a try!
This is another great job where you can give lessons in between your university hours, in your free time in the evening or that day of the week you have no obligations.
I would like to talk about these two together because I consider that in the Netherlands finding a job as either a bartender or a waiter is the same. What I mean is: I have never seen so many requests for Bartender/Waiter in my life!
Something I started noticing when I moved to the Netherlands, both in Utrecht and in Amsterdam (and I can imagine that happening in many other cities anyway) is that 8 out of 10 restaurants always have a piece of paper by the entrances asking for people to join their team. Any cafe, any restaurant, even McDonalds! You can walk around the city and just hunt for these jobs.
Another way of doing it, it is identifying your favourite places and go online to see if they have job offers online. Most of the times you are going to find them in Dutch but you have to know that most of the times they wouldn’t mind you speaking English. Look for WERKEN BIJ (ONS).
Some of the examples of websites where you can apply for jobs at restaurants or bars are:
- STACH (in their stores in Amsterdam, Utrecht, Haarlem and Overveen, as a kitchen helper, bartender, barista, cashier, etc). Check out their website.
- Burger King
Keep in mind: you can always look for a job at any train station by checking their vacancies in the same train station website, which is a great idea if you live close by a train station. There are many jobs for baristas in Starbucks, Coffee to go at the platforms, etc.
A great website to check out if you are looking for a Waiter/waitress job in Amsterdam is Glassdoor. There you will be able to find hotel offers, fine restaurants and many other offers for experienced workers. It is a good job if you have free weekends, the period with the highest demand.
This is definitely a good part-time job. Once again, big and touristic cities of the Randstad are always on the search for workers who can fill up the schedule at big retailers, stores that are open every single day of the week from early in the morning until late at night.
I feel like one of the biggest ones and the first we think of is INDITEX, a massive employer who is always in the hunt for new talents. I have many friends having summer jobs, weekend jobs and part-time during the week hours here. It is a relatively easy way of getting a job, a rather tough one but if you need it you get it.
Some of these stores are HM, ZARA, PullandBear, Bershka, Andotherstories, Sissyboy,
In this case, you can either check their websites, go to the store you are interested in and ask for a form to fill up with your details or just ask people working there.
If you have a bike, you are ready to go! Many many companies are constantly looking for delivery people who have a bike and who can cycle fast enough. Some of the companies who are always looking for new employees are:
- Ubereats (NL)
- Takeaway (CO)
P.S. you really, really have to like cycling under the rain, something that happens rather often in this country.
One of my favourite jobs of all times has been babysitting. I am not gonna say it is easy but you can get some good money if you are willing to give up your Friday and Saturday nights when parents want to have some alone time and leave their kids at home. Babysitting is always a good option. What has worked for me is checking apps such as Charlycares.com (app version) or many websites such as The night nanny or 24nannies.
Both on my IG and on my FB, I receive a lot of ads (of all types) for temporary positions in Amsterdam: cat sitting is one of the ones I like the most (you get paid to go visit cats when their owners are away), Cat in a flat. For dog walking and other dog services, you can apply to Petbnb. If you live animals this is definitely your ideal job to do on the side of your life to get some extra money.
If you prefer doing some manual work or if you don’t really like to deal with people that much, in the same hotels where they need receptionists and in the same restaurants where they need cashiers, they also need people who would help cleaning things up.
Once again, one of your options is to go to each of the hotels around you or those you like and give your CV, ask if they have vacancies and so on. Another great option is to join Facebook pages: Amsterdam Free Ads, Utrecht Free Ads. Here people post their needs and you can easily reply to them, check out the places and so on.
It can also be private houses. In my case, I found on an FB page a couple who needed some help to clean once every two weeks, which was ideal during my first weeks of Erasmus because I didn’t have much time and I wanted some extra money for the ESN trips I was enrolled at. It is a good temporary way of getting some money.
How To Get a Part-Time Job
Based on my experience, I have come up with a few tips for those who are looking for a job and don’t know what to do in order to start. Here it is what you have to do:
- BSN Number: This is the first requirement you will need in order to have a job in the Netherlands. Most of the jobs in this country are legal, with a signed contract and all properly made (hard to believe, right?). Therefore, in order to be able to get a job, you need your Social Security Number, so-called BSN (Burgerservicenumber or Citizen Service Number). This number is your official personal number, that you need in order to get a contribution to your pension, get personal health insurance and basically do anything legal in the Netherlands. In order to get one, the only thing that you have to do is register at your accommodation, legally go to the city hall and declare that you are living there and they will give you this number. Easy peasy.
- Get a CV: you will get asked for your CV for whatever you do, even for catsitting or babysitting it may be relevant. In any case, don’t worry, it can be in English. Make sure to add all the languages that you speak and your level of proficiency. That is always an advantage in this country.
- Find the place: Figure out where you want to work
- Apply for the Jobs
- Figure out your schedule: as ridiculous as you think this may sound, you really need to figure your schedule for all the blocks of uni for the upcoming months to be able to apply for a job with a proper schedule or make sure you leave your uncertainty clear to your employer.
- Get Private Health Insurance: this is very important. You can read my latest article about it here, but on a nutshell, if you are not insured and you are working in the Netherlands, you will have to pay a fine. It is a must and something you MUST have since day one of working. Contacting your health insurance company is a good idea to ask for the insurance to apply since the first day you are working. Asking your employer if they offer some sort of insurance or recommend you one is also good.
- Get a bank account: it is as easy as being registered in your address and bring your passport or any ID to the bank in order to get one. You definitely need it in order to sign an agreement and get paid.
How Much Can you Earn?
The Netherlands has a salary system to make sure there is equality and the basic needs of everybody are taken care of. Like jobs will always be under a contract, salary is always going to be regulated by the Government.
Basically, you get paid according to your age, the older you are the more you receive for your work. Here you can check the Government’s official update of how much you have to get paid according to your age (the minimum wage), updated for 2020.
Another good aspect is that you are going to start adding to your pension and you will also have paid holidays, holiday money once a year and other advantages that part-time jobs in other countries don’t give you.