“It was not an easy decision, but it was definitely the best decision to take”
One year ago, we interviewed Pedro Pereira, a Portuguese engineer who had just taken the difficult decision to leave his home country in search of better opportunities in the Netherlands. This week we caught up with Pedro, and got an insight into the new life he is building for himself and his family.
or many Europeans working abroad, a positive work atmosphere and experience are factors which can go a long way toward creating a sense of belonging in their new country. Pedro has adapted smoothly to his new role in the Netherlands, citing the Dutch model of a “flat managerial structure” as far more suited to his characteristics than the “pyramid” hierarchy prevalent in Portugal. In the oil and gas company where he works, Pedro can “define tasks depending on goal-orientated priorities, and therefore work more enthusiastically”.
But while job satisfaction is of course crucial in any European worker’s experience abroad, settling in a different Member State often hinges on the ability to reconcile the move with familial obligations. But again, Pedro has been fortunate in this regard. Since he last spoke to the EURES News and Information Bureau his wife and two daughters have joined him in the Netherlands. Indeed, Pedro and his family have overcome significant challenges to make their aspiration of a new life in the Netherlands a reality. Learning Dutch is a priority for the family, as “speaking the local language is essential if we want to be totally integrated in the community”.
As Maikel Meijers, the recruitment specialist who brought Pedro to the Netherlands confirms, his successful move is a consequence of more than just skills, experience, and qualifications: “Pedro has a very pleasant and authentic personality. Since we first met he has always been motivated to do the best for his family and never saw his move here as a temporary venture.” When they met initially through EURES Portugal, it was clear that Pedro was seeking “another life and career”, and that, Maikel holds, is the “base for his success”.
With a healthy work/life balance in the Netherlands, Pedro and his family have no intention of relocating to Portugal in the medium term. Indeed, testament to their cultural assimilation is their desire to do like the Dutch and buy a summer villa in the Algarve for retirement. But nonetheless, Pedro does not look on the past year through rose-tinted glasses. He fully appreciates the difficulties for any jobseeker considering moving abroad, and like so many jobseekers who took the chance, speaks of the necessity of “leaving your comfort zone” in order to realise a new life.
While not every jobseeker aims to settle abroad like Pedro, there are still a great many number of opportunities available and experiences to be had for short and medium term placements. Indeed at Xelvin, the technical recruitment agency Maikel hires for, there is a huge demand for qualified mechanical and electrical engineers. As Pedro notes, for qualified engineers willing to step outside their comfort zone in search of better opportunities there really is no better time than the present.
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