Student - September 12, 2013

To be unemployed

Thanks to my upcoming graduation ceremony, my blog title refers to the future rather than the present.

But actually I’ve been unemployed since my zoekjaar began on August 27. What is zoekjaar? It’s a term combined of two Dutch words: zoek (search) and jaar (year). It’s a one-year visa for foreign graduates to look for jobs in Holland.

How to find work and get rid of being jobless? I got some advice from friends.

‘Don’t stay at home. Go out and expand your network', friend A said. And I do try my best to broaden my network: I attended the University’s academic opening; I went to the information day of a traineeship program; I served as a one-day voluntary translator for a meeting of a SINO-Holland project. On these occasions I received some business cards, but I don’t know how useful they will be yet.

‘Polish your profile on LinkedIn to attract more HRs’ eyes,’ B told me. So I spent the whole day roaming on LinkedIn. After reading all the specialties others possessed, such as “sustainability”, “innovation” or “science”, however, I realized I’m handicapped to coin my own bull phases to draw any HR’s attention. I have to be LinkedOut.

‘If you don’t speak Dutch then there is nothing available', C said. It seems the harshest fact I’ve got. I’ve sent applications to a few vacancies in Dutch. But I got the rejections because of my low-level Dutch. Although I’m realistic that I won’t speak perfect Dutch in a year, I will keep learning Dutch because at least it’s a nice pastime as I have nothing else to do.

Among all the tips I’ve had, there is a practical one I enjoy most, that is, ‘be patient’. It can’t be more true. There’s no midas-touch advice. I am prepared for the worst no matter if the best will come or not.