International colleagues at Voerman Group in the Netherlands

Published on 26 January 2023
Voerman groupBlog

In an organization where international business and international relocation are central, we like to build on the knowledge, expertise, and experience of our own employees.

For example, there are several colleagues at Voerman Group who have experienced first-hand how such an international relocation works. As these experiences are so valuable in our field, we like to let our colleagues speak for themselves.

Anastasiya Zolotukhina

Origin: Russia
Working at Voerman International as International Move Coordinator

How did you end up in the Netherlands?

“I am from Siberia, Russia, where I lived most time of my life. Years ago, I moved to Spain for the warmer weather and to see how life is like abroad. I lived there for 6 years and during my time there, I met my boyfriend who is from The Hague. I currently live in the Netherlands for almost a year. It was quite a big shift from a small town in Spain to a big city like The Hague.”

How did you experience your first weeks in the Netherlands?

“It’s very easy that everyone here speaks English, so there are quite a lot of vacancies for me as a foreigner. After my job search earlier this year, I was happy to find myself at Voerman where I have been working since July 2022. Before I started my work here, I didn’t know much about the industry. Luckily, I’ve moved a few times myself, so I do have first-hand experience.”

“Before I moved to the Netherlands, I was told that the Dutch were very direct and sometimes rude. And yes, the Dutch are very direct, but also very friendly and willing to help. A funny thing that is very different from Spain and Russia is that the Dutch eat a lot of bread. Breakfast, lunch and sometimes even dinner, there will be bread.”

How do you use your own experience with an international relocation during your contact with clients?

“Most of my clients are employees from international companies, who are relocating because of their work. Even though this was not the case for me, I think my personal relocation has brought me knowledge and an experience that I can use to help my clients. When I speak on the phone to a client on the other side of the world, it’s helpful if you’re open to all cultural differences.”

What did you think was the most stressful part of your own international relocation?

“I think it is very stressful to make sure all your papers are correct and to know in advance what you must do. Luckily, the Netherlands is very structured when it comes to paperwork and rules. Many public services also speak to you in English, which makes the process a lot easier to understand.”

Do you have a tip you want to give the reader when it comes to relocating internationally?

“Just let us know what and when you would like to move and we will do the rest. We make sure that everything is handled and goes smoothly, so that you don’t have to stress about things. Be prepared for your move, but leave it to the professionals.”

Kristóf Urbán

Origin: Hungary
Working at Eurohome Relocation as a Relocation Coordinator

What was the reason why you started as a Relocation Coordinator?

“I have a background in diplomacy and have worked at the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for almost 10 years. Around three years ago, I decided that I wanted to leave the political field and look for a new challenge.”

“I always wanted to live abroad in the long term, because I feel most comfortable among people from different cultures. Therefore, I started looking for jobs in countries where I know at least one person. That would make it a bit easier to move there and get to know the country. When I saw the vacancy posting of Eurohome Relocation, I got in touch with Marta and it clicked immediately. Knowing this is what I wanted, I took the plunge.”

How did you experience your first weeks in the Netherlands?

“My move itself was not stressful. As I am from Hungary, which is in the EU, all I had to do was get on a plane and travel here. Fortunately, I had a good friend who helped me with my bank account and general settling-in.”

“I found the directness of the Dutch very refreshing; I like that. In general, I also like how people behave. In big cities I feel not so much indifference as in other countries, nor rudeness, it still feels like a community. I have also received endless support from my colleagues, who are genuinely interested in how your day is going.”

“What I found confusing was that the BSN is only a ‘digital number’ and not a physical card, as we are used to in some other countries.”

Can you use your own experience to help your clients as well?

“Yes, for sure. The moving process of an expat can be frightening to them, and I can use my own experience to comfort them a lot. As an expat I think this work is very interesting because I get to know so many different life situations. Even if somebody is from a completely different culture, I still think you can find some common ground.”

What do you like most about your job?

“If you are the person that an assignee completely relies on, and you really appreciate that and try to do everything you can to help them, I don’t think the outcome could ever be wrong. I consider my work to be extremely satisfying. At the end of the day, sitting on the couch at home, I remember that I helped someone, which is very rewarding. I feel very useful.”

What’s your most valuable tip when it comes to relocating internationally?

“When you relocate to another country, you should not listen to your own peers there.  Don’t even listen to every expat. Try to connect with the locals and only those expats who have been living there for a very long time, or whose job it is to relocate. They really know best how to handle things and can provide you with the best information.”

Ivanna Legka

Origin: Ukraine
Working at Harmony Relocation as a Relocation Coordinator

Can you tell us more about your experience with relocating internationally?

“During the past 10 years I have been living in multiple countries. In 2013, I moved to Poland to study for three years and after that I started working in the Middle East in Oman. I had also visited the Netherlands a few times over the past years. Although this country is totally different compared to my home country, adapting to a new country was not really a challenge for me.”

“It is very helpful that I have experienced an international relocation myself. As a result, I know several useful tips and tricks to help my clients during their relocation process. Especially when it comes to relocations to the Middle East. I know what an assignee can expect, what they must think about and what they need.”

What was the most stressful part of your own relocation?

“When I was moving to Poland for my study, I arrived around 8PM in Warsaw, but there were no trains operating at night. In Ukraine, I was used to a night train. but in Poland there was no transport. It was also an adjustment that everything was closed on Sundays or during public holidays.”

How did you end up as a Relocation Coordinator within the Voerman Group?

“During my time in Oman, I was working as a Travel Coordinator of employees as well. I made sure they had the correct flight tickets, provided their travel itinerary and made sure that everything was handled. When I came to the Netherlands after the war in Ukraine started, I was looking for job opportunities at international companies. A friend of a friend referred me to the Voerman Group. That’s how I ended up here.”

 What’s your most valuable tip when it comes to relocating internationally?

“When you move to another country, I recommend that you adapt to the customs and traditions of your host country. They are not going to change for you, but you must adapt to the country you live in and follow their rules.”