Major industries in Amsterdam include engineering, IT, logistics, fashion, finance and media. Expats with experience, qualifications and specialised skills in these areas have the best chance of finding a job in Amsterdam.
By and large, Amsterdam is a vibrant city with a healthy economy. As is the case throughout the Netherlands, its economy did take a knock during the pandemic, but the city is gradually recovering.
Note that those from outside the EU will need a work permit to legally work in the Netherlands. These can be tricky to obtain because they require the Dutch employer to prove that an EU citizen could not fill the role in question.
Job market in Amsterdam
Amsterdam's finance industry thrives on innovation and has bragging rights to numerous historic firsts, including establishing the world's first central bank and the first joint stock company. Today, finance continues to be one of Amsterdam's key industries. The spirit of innovation remains strong, and Amsterdam has become a leader in the field of financial technology. The industry draws on talent from around the world, recruiting professionals to take up high-level finance positions.
The field of IT is another strong industry in Amsterdam, with many major tech companies – including the likes of LinkedIn, Uber and Netflix – setting up shop here. Multinational corporations such as these provide a great opportunity for expats.
Finding a job in Amsterdam
Most expat workers in Amsterdam come to the city with a job already in hand, or as part of an intra-company transfer. Expats starting the job hunt from scratch will be in competition with numerous other experienced and well-qualified candidates, and it may take some time to secure employment.
Those able to speak Dutch as well as English will be in the best position to find a job. While speaking Dutch isn't a requirement for working in the Netherlands, candidates who can do so fluently will have significantly more opportunities open to them than those who can't speak Dutch.
When looking for jobs, a good place to start is major online job portals, including LinkedIn, Monsterboard and Indeed. Another good source is the UWV (Employee Insurance Agency). The UWV's website hosts job listings, and also has valuable information on work permits and other documentation requirements.
Contacting companies directly can also open up opportunities, and it can also be helpful to register with a reputable recruitment agency, which will be able to connect expats with suitable positions.
Work culture in Amsterdam
Work-life balance is valued in Amsterdam, and expats will notice that, while hard work is expected when one is at the office, the time outside the office is the worker's own.
Dutch labour law is favourable towards employees, with maximum working hours being nine hours a day or 45 hours a week. The minimum paid annual leave is at least 20 days, but most companies offer 30 in addition to public holidays.