(Editor’s note: This post about Andrey Averyanov’s job hunt strategies originally appeared on Spouse Trail, a website dedicated to telling the stories of career-focused expat spouses in the Netherlands. It’s reposted here with the permission of the author.)
“Be prepared. Applying for jobs is a time-consuming effort.” asserts Andrey Averyanov, the global supply-chain professional and three-time expat spouse, from Russia. He would know. Andrey had meticulously tracked every application he had made to 148 different roles in the Netherlands. “Of these, I was invited by 13 companies for multiple rounds of interviews”, he adds. Brimming with enthusiasm and energy, he is proof that resilience helps you fuel a fulfilling career in the Netherlands.
Andrey already had a growing career in supply chain management, before leaving Russia. For more than four years, he worked with multinational fast-moving consumer goods companies such as L’Oreal and Procter & Gamble, apart from several internships. “In Russia, I have had to just publish my resume on job sites and I got calls from various HR departments within a couple of days.”
Having followed his wife to Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands as an expat spouse, Andrey created strategies to help his career even before he landed in each country. While he decided to pursue his Masters Degree at the Antwerp Management School in Belgium, in Germany, he prepared to take on new industries to gain a wider exposure to supply chain practices. In the Netherlands, he worked at pitching himself as being relevant to the roles he was applying for. He also completed a certification (APICS) as he organised the move out of Germany, to increase his employability in the Netherlands.
Andrey currently works at EyeOn, a Helmond-based specialised supply-chain consulting firm where he is problem-solving for clients across metal, plastics and oil & gas industries. “The working environment here is perfect, compared to any other country I have worked in,” he says. “Co-workers are very open minded and I do not feel alienated at all. In fact, I felt welcome very early on and it is much easier to be understood even if you just spoke English/”
Describing his job-search experiences in Germany, Andrey says, “Finding a job that matched my experience was challenging. Employers tend to discount any experience outside Europe. Moreover, I was told that the time spent doing my masters degree may have made my work experience more ‘blunt’! The companies insisted on treating me as a fresher and not someone with experience. It became very important for me to keep my head held high through all this and be confident”.
My wife had studied in the Netherlands and was keen to take up a role she had been offered. To support her, I decided to move again, though I knew it would be harder for me. Unlike her, I knew nobody here.
I am thankful for my managers in Germany and the Netherlands. They taught me how to build trustful communication despite cultural differences, and gain respect, even though you are younger and a foreigner.
Andrey worked at two organisations in Germany. First, a short stint at Esprit and over two years at C&A, providing him an exposure to the fashion retail industry as well. “I worked with people much older than me. The German work culture taught me a lot about respect and trust.”
Just as things were getting comfortable in Germany, Andrey had another moving decision to make. “My wife had studied in the Netherlands and was keen to take up a role she had been offered. To support her, I decided to move again, though I knew it would be harder for me. Unlike her, I knew nobody here.” Moving to the Netherlands just before the lockdown did not make things easier. However, Andrey’s German experience had primed him for the job hunt.
“I faced a problem opposite to the one I (faced) in Germany. I was overqualified for a lot of basic positions, as – by now – I had nearly eight years of experience across different industries. I was performing advanced tasks in Germany and was ripe for a managerial position.” However, Andrey did not relent. He was confident that the right role would turn up.
Thus began the meticulous tracking of 148 jobs!
Did Andrey expect to move this often across countries? “When I started my career, I wanted to work in different countries, but I did not expect to have to switch this rapidly! Supply chain is globally relevant and a multi-national exposure is quite normal”, answers Andrey. “But, I am thankful for my managers in Germany and the Netherlands. They taught me how to build trustful communication despite cultural differences, and gain respect, even though you are younger and a foreigner.”
Andrey’s advice to expat spouses looking for work is this: “Do not discount your experience. Find ways to explain how relevant and valuable your experience is.” It would also help to have some of his firebrand enthusiasm, as he says “I’m usually excited about a move. I’m always open to new things as it energises me. Then the first problems start and you may find yourself emotionally down. It may not even be complete despair but always some doubts about the right thing to do. But this is when I like to push further and nail it! ”
About the author:
Latha Anand is a passionate communications professional with more than 15 years’ experience in journalism and public relations. Latha thrives on crafting narratives that engage the audience, mobilize opinion and motivate action. When she is not tackling a story, you can find her biking in Utrecht’s Maxima park or fussing over her Persian cats. Her secret sauce for friendship is her delicious Indian cooking.
Also see Latha’s Spouse Trail website here.
See her Dispatches post about ASML here.