Relocating to the Netherlands Vahid & Elahe

4 min.
2 October 2020

Out of the dictionary

Relocation noun

  1. the action of moving to a new place and establishing one’s home or business there.

“the planned relocation of national headquarters to the Netherlands”

Yes, we have a relocation policy at bol.com. Yes, we will help you every step of the way.

As the world continues to adjust to the unique conditions that the pandemic put into place, bol.com started relocating people from outside of the Netherlands again. To show you how we help you with relocating and how an adventure like this is going, we talked to two of our tech colleagues who turned their lives around. In this blog, they’ll tell you about their experiences with coming to the Netherlands. Still have questions? Don’t hesitate, just ask!

The who and why?

We talked to Elahe and Vahid, both Software Engineers at bol.com. Elahe is the cousin of Vahid’s wife and both used to live in Iran. After Elahe started working for bol.com, she convinced Vahid to also apply. Today both are living in Utrecht and are owning this adventure of getting relocated to the Netherlands. Elahe really loves to go to all the beautiful places that the Netherlands has to offer. She even captures every place she goes to on her Instagram.

Vahid started to work for bol.com three months ago. He is married and can’t wait for his wife to join him on this adventure. She is still in Iran. Because of the corona, it takes a little bit longer than usual, but bol.com also helps with this part of the relocation. Hopefully, she will join him next week in Utrecht.

Why bol.com?

Vahid: “There were two things that attracted me to bol.com. Everything is independent and we work agile. Every team has their own projects. As a team member, you don’t wait, you just do your thing, take responsibility, and go for it. The other thing why I like bol.com is the tech community. The first time I had a question, I went to my direct team member. He told me to put in the public chat and BOOM! A lot of different people answered and discussed my question. I like that a lot because it’s important for me to share our knowledge.”

Elahe: “The reason I love working at bol.com, is that my team is really diverse. We have five different cultures from around the world in our team. That’s so cool. Besides that, it gives me the confidence to say and be who I am, it’s also nice to see how so different backgrounds, religions, and cultures still strive and achieve the same goal.”

A dive into an adventure Relocation

Elahe: “We had two reasons why we wanted to work abroad. The first one is because of the sanctions that Iran has, for example on the internet. I wanted to experience how it is to be a bit freer in life, work and choices. The second reason was that we had a good salary, but the currency of Iran was very low. So, traveling to other countries wasn’t possible. “

Vahid: “Yes, for me the same. I also needed some time to think about it. You’re used to living in a certain country, it’s pretty scary to go to a totally different one. Learn a new language, new culture, leaving a good, safe career behind. But then again, where’s the fun in that? I told myself to just go for it! If it won’t work out, I’ll have a great experience and learned a lot. Now after three months, I’m glad I took this chance. Can’t wait for my wife to join me here. “

Elahe: “I was looking for countries and companies in Europe. That way I could always go back to Iran during the holidays. I was attracted to the Netherlands and via LinkedIn I found bol.com. I checked Glassdoor and that looked very positive. Let’s try it!”

Vahid: “And Elahe was my door to bol.com! 🙂 “

First impression and relocation advice

Vahid: “There isn’t a huge difference in developers from other countries, I always believe you have to fit into the culture. Michael, our Tech Recruiter, helped me a lot. He was really personal in our contact, gave updates throughout the process, and even gave me tips when I was in the Netherlands on what to do, think about, and who I could meet. I met Michael for the first time (at safe distance) at the office for a coffee. The transparency and contact gave me trust and a good feeling about my decision. Michael (and bol.com) helped me during the whole relocation process. Think about the visa, housing, and fun stuff to do in Utrecht.”

We also asked Michael about what he feels is important when relocating people. “In my point of view, it’s very important to have friendly personal contact with possible new colleagues, especially when people come from outside of the Netherlands. I don’t only want to hire them; I want to make sure they made the right decision coming here. It’s a life change, and everybody could use a little bit of help with decisions like that. Of course, I also love the feeling to see a candidate in our office with a happy face knowing it turned out great!”

How’s it going now?

Vahid: “Due to corona, it’s a little bit different of course. It’s harder to meet people, but bol.com makes it possible to arrange meetings with a safe distance once a while. So, I’m really glad, we can come to the office if we need to. In that way, I still get to know my colleagues pretty well.”

Elahe: “Everybody operates on their own with their own teams. It’s self-sustaining. If we share our ideas, you get the freedom to work on those ideas. After projects are a success, we always celebrate. Small or big, every achievement is worth a celebration. It shows that we support each other in doing what we love and appreciate what we do together.”

Vahid: “I’m looking forward to those celebrations at the office (at a safe distance). Upcoming Monday I have my first celebration. Fun to see all my colleagues non-virtual!”