A Success Story Made in Eindhoven
February 2022 | Written by – Ariel Slaughter
It is said that most people, on average, will change careers between five to seven times during their lifetime, but when you add cross-border relocation with different cultures and languages to that equation, everything becomes more challenging.
This is exactly what Éva Földesi, a recent arrival to the Eindhoven area, has had to navigate over the last six months. Originally from Hungary, Éva arrived in Eindhoven in October of 2021 from Italy with her partner, a PhD candidate at the Eindhoven University of Technology.
From Italy to the Netherlands
Despite not having had much success finding a fulfilling career in business administration in Italy, Éva began looking for her place in the Dutch labor market even before setting foot in the Netherlands. She said, “I started to search for jobs in August 2021. With less applications, I received more calls and invitations for interviews which was really surprising after being unsuccessful in Italy.” In those early days nothing seemed to work out, but she persisted.
“We just landed and the next day I had the kick-off meeting for the VII edition of the Expat Spouses Initiative (ESI) Women to Women (WFW) program and an interview in the afternoon. I didn’t even know how to use the bus system or have my bike. I had to get there following the map. I was really like the tourist in Eindhoven with the mobile phone.”
It was this interview that would lead to her first ‘yes.’
The Second ‘Yes’
However, her elation of starting a new job was short lived. “We just didn’t have a good connection. Somehow, I didn’t fit in in that environment, so I kept looking and participating in interviews.” By this time, the WFW program was in full swing. With her mentor and the other participants of the program by her side, Éva found a supportive community – her tribe. “I got an amazing mentor, Ingrid. She helped me prepare for the interviews, told me what to emphasize, how to present myself, and advised me when things turned serious.”
Éva could not be happier with the outcome her job search:
“I am now working for Salvia BioElectronics at the High Tech Campus Eindhoven as an office manager. Their mission is to provide drug-free solutions that restore health for people suffering from chronic migraines.”
Making the Netherlands Home
Éva now wants to turn her attention to other aspects of moving to a new country like settling in, learning Dutch, and continuing to find members of her tribe. The WFW program has helped:
“I have great connection with the other girls from my tribe. We meet every Wednesday online and everyone shares their weekly success or achievement of that week and we stand up for each other. It’s important to support each other because we are all in the same situation, so we completely understand what the other is going through.”
But she has found connection and community in other places as well. “I also started to look for Italian communities, and found Italians in Eindhoven, a Facebook group. I also participate in Girl Gone International (GGI) Eindhoven, and through that group I have maybe four or five new friends.” While it’s harder to connect with Dutch people right now because of lockdown, Éva hopes that will change in the future. “I want to start doing sports intensively after the lockdown. That will be another point where I can connect with Dutch people and learn the language.”
For other internationals looking to settling in Eindhoven, Éva recommends that you:
Do Your Research
Whether through formal or informal sources, reading as much as she could about the Netherlands before arriving helped her. She also says the Holland Expat Center is an excellent resource, along with IamExpat page. Their websites have everything expats need to know about moving to and living in the area.
Éva recommends that trailing partners find an organization such as the Expat Spouses Initiative, or another program to that can help them find their way into the Dutch labor market. It is an excellent starting point to gather career-related support and to network with other like-minded people.
Join A Community
Of course, having a job is not enough. To really feel at home in your new surroundings you need to find a community either through sports or other activities to meet and connect with new people.
Don’t Give Up
Landing in a new environment is tough and things don’t always fall into place as easily as one would like, but with persistence and being flexible you will remain open to new experiences and opportunities as they come.
Have you been inspired by Éva’s story? Or are you looking to make a professional change or need help finding your own tribe? Contact the Expat Spouses Initiative and see what they have to offer that fits your professional and personal development needs. Also, read the Tips, Trips, and Stories from our Community section for similar stories about living and working in Eindhoven and Dutch culture.
Please feel free to ask questions, make remarks, or suggest other sources.