Finding Work as a Freelancer

Thursday, September 29, 2016


Hey April- how exactly do you find work as a freelancer?

I think that this is a major question that has been plaguing readers and potential movers alike- how do I find work when I get to Amsterdam! Ahhh

Have no fear, what I like to say to others (and to myself) where there is a will there is a way! I have had so many random freelance jobs since moving here that I have lost count. My very first job in Amsterdam was as a tour guide for bachelor parties that wanted to go clubbing and through the red light district. Needless to say, I have gathered enough strange experiences to last my grandchildren a week of grandma's stories.

I cannot say that freelancing has been easy- my main goal coming out here was to establish a legitamite marketing agency that does business with large corporate companies as my own consultant. I will not say that that cannot happen, I have just had to roll with the rejections and find income elsewhere. I think that doing odd jobs in the beginning to build up a network is the way to go. So for kicks, here is a short list of jobs that I have done in the past 5 months:

1. Bachelor party tour guide
2. Spa manager of a nudist green vegan party
3. Bartender of various sorts (public relations)
4. Ticket scanner at festivals (street marketing)
5. A marketing baker (start up company needed a marketeer/baker)
6. Indian travel tour guide for Holland
7. Graphic designer for a start up company

I could keep going...

But my main point is that jobs will come to those that are looking for them! I started my search on craigslist, markplaats,, job pages on Facebook, linkedin, friend connections, etc.
I never used just one portal for finding jobs. Once I found the first one, other jobs just presented themselves to me. I was confident in my abilities and presented myself in a way that people were happy to hire me as a freelancer.

Do you have any specific questions about finding jobs as a freelancer when you first move to Holland? Ask away!

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Answering Some Questions About Obtaining a DAFT visa

Friday, September 23, 2016

Hi everyone,

Lately I've received some good questions that I would like to answer for all readers! The process to obtaining your DAFT visa can be a little convoluted but it doesn't have to be- I completed the whole process without a lawyer. I think that living outside of the Netherlands and applying can be trickier and can definitely be harder but it's not impossible. So, below, I've answered some of the most recent questions; if you have some of your own, please feel free to ask me in the comments below.

Did you use a lawyer or service to help you apply? 

No I did not! The DAFT treaty application paperwork provided by the IND provides the steps needed to take in order to have a completed application, so I just followed those steps exactly. A lawyer would have just cut through the waiting times for me at the government buildings and would have eased my anxiety about not being granted my visa. 

Do you know if by being granted the DAFT visa if you can only live in the Netherlands?  Or can you live and work in any EU country?

The DAFT visa is the residence permit and the work visa all rolled into one. So my freelance business is based in the Netherlands but I can do work for other businesses/ clients in other countries just like a normal business. I invoice all of my clients with my company name that is here in The Netherlands. Since my residence permit is for The Netherlands, I cannot live in another country unless I get a residence permit for there too. 

Did you move over there first?

I did! I lived in London and once my visa was done for the UK I moved directly to here and moved in with my partner who was already living here. 

I'm finding that apartments are quite $$$$ and it looks like most people have a roommate?  Is that the case?  What part of the city do you live in?

YES. Housing is expensive and very hard to come by. Everyone I know has a roommate (or a family). We looked at maybe 7 apartments that were either closet sized or we were not selected for (they had other interested parties) and almost gave up our search. We found a beautiful 1 bedroom apartment in Haarlem 15 mins by train from Amsterdam for a reasonable price and I think we got lucky. Be prepared for the housing struggle. 

More questions are welcomed!

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