Whether you are in a job or looking for one, at some point you would surely want to fast-track your career. Well, the good news is that the Netherlands is a land of opportunities if you want to do this.

Self-developmentBeing open to learning and self-development is highly valued in the Netherlands. An openness to learning new things and enhancing your learning curve is seen as a positive attitude.

So, it is not surprising that the key factor to fast-tracking your career in the Netherlands is investing in self-development through training, courses and studies. There are plenty of these here in the Netherlands, if you are interested and motivated to learn the extra skills or knowledge that could be key to getting to the next level in your career.

Invest in yourselfThe Dutch culture is an individualistic culture where you take responsibility for yourself and your choices, and be independent. In other words, if you are from a culture of interdependence, you will soon realise that if you do not invest in yourself or take the initiative to invest in your own self-development here, then no one will. Simple as that.

Take advantage of employers’ study budgetSome organisations have an annual education or learning budget, sometimes even per employee, for studies or courses. Be advised to ask your employer about such an existing budget and make good use of it. If you do not, then the budget may be dissolved in the general budget for the next year, which would be a pity.

Organisations have these study budgets because they are aware that people are not perfect and that some skills are learnable, which would not only help the learning curve of the employee but also be an asset to the company in the long run.

Ask and make use of this opportunity. It will not only give you extra skills but it will be seen as positive in the organisation. Wanting to learn is not a loss of face but adds credibility and may result in promotions as well.

Learn extra skills in between jobsIf you happen to be looking for a job and have some time on your hands, I would advise you to spend your time and money on a course that would help you land the job you’re looking for. This puts you in a positive position as someone who is open to learning and taking the initiative to self-invest, not to forget the extra skills you will be bringing to the table when applying for a job. Believe me, you will earn the money you invest in yourself back in the long run.

Don’t be tight-fistedIf you come from a culture where investing in yourself is perceived as being arrogant or self-centred, or are tight-fisted when it comes to investing in training, just realise that the people who provide the training or education are not out to get you. Freebies are “nice to have”, but they often lack the value and quality of the paid product. Educators are trying to help you by sharing their knowledge and experience and earning their living at the same time.

Leaving your knowledge and skills behindAnd hey, if you do have to leave your job, or are fired for some reason, the employer cannot ask you to leave your knowledge and skills behind. The knowledge gained goes wherever you go. In short, you have everything to gain by investing in training and courses that will help fast-track your career.

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