Do you dread a life in which everything becomes a blur? A life where the daily grind drains all your energy? Do you aspire to a job where no day is different, where you can really make an impact and help a company grow and prosper? Then these Dutch startup jobs are just the thing for you.
Dutch Startup Jobs
Tiny as the country might be, the Netherlands has a very strong startup scene. The open culture and a government that is very accommodating to startups make the Netherlands an attractive location to found a company.
For startup companies, the Netherlands is a gateway to the European mainland. The country is strategically located. Thanks to the well-developed infrastructure countries as Germany, Belgium, France, and others are nearby. The United Kingdom is just a short flight away.
Add to this the friendly fiscal climate and you’ve got the perfect environment where a small startup company can grow to be something huge.
Oh, and let’s not forget the huge number of incubators, SaaS-investors, and co-working spaces… whatever a Startup company might want, the Netherlands provides. No wonder the Dutch Startup Scene is bustling. With that, comes a large number of Dutch startup jobs.
What is a Startup Job
So, what exactly IS a startup job? Writing this article would be a lot easier if the dictionary of Merriam-Webster or the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English had an entry on “startup jobs”. But alas, no such luck.
Although both do have an entry on “startup”, their definitions are not very helpful either. According to Longman, a startup company is “a company that has just been formed”, whereas Merriam-Webster defines a start-up as “a fledgling business enterprise”.
Of course, it makes sense that no solid definition of “startup job” exists. After all, one of the main characteristics of a startup is that it’s new, especially in the world of SaaS companies. How could one have an ironclad job description when working for a company that is still trying to figure out how to do things?
Things get even hazier when you consider the fact that a SaaS startup company could be three buddies coding a new app, but it could just as well be a unicorn working from a shiny downtown office.
For the purpose of this article, we’ll just consider any job at a startup company in the Netherlands to be a Dutch startup job.
Which Dutch startup job is right for you?
One of the questions you will be asking yourself a lot is how and where you fit in. Join a large company and you are just a little cog in a large machine. It’s clear where you are, and what you are supposed to do. In a startup job, this is different. Especially if you’re going for one of the Dutch startup jobs. Remember: the Dutch value independent thinking and love it when you take the initiative.
As you are interested in being hired for a Dutch startup job, you are probably quite the adventurous type. That’s a good thing because you will be embarking on an adventure with nothing more than your wits and talent of improvisation. Without a clear roadmap, you’ll need to keep an eye out for opportunities. You will need to grab an opportunity when it arises. And you need the flexibility to change your role as the company evolves.
Another factor that complicates your search for the perfect Dutch startup job is that the typical startup founder isn’t great at job descriptions.
That isn’t a big issue when a SaaS company is looking for tech experts. Usually, the founder knows enough about the trade to figure out who and what they need to strengthen their product development team. But what about the non-tech jobs? They might know they need someone to “do the books”, but they have no idea what exact skillset they need. Do they need an accountant with a collection of titles, or is a new graduate enough? And what about marketing? Or is it sales?
Jason Freedman, founder of 42 floors wrote a blog several years ago (a copy of which can be found here) in which he describes a talk with someone who wanted to work at a startup. Freedman describes the candidate as the ideal employee, who is snatched away by big corporations that attend campus job fairs:
“There were literally hundreds of other companies ahead of [startups] pitching careers in consulting and banking, or whatever. And those companies all have workshops where they teach you about their industry and what it’s like to be a first time employee. There are career help books written about each industry. The schools have learned all of this and repackaged it into career centers that give tailored advice. It’s this whole machine that makes it easy to know exactly what you’re doing as a new entrant into the job market. And when they do get that job, these big companies have expansive training programs to help their newest employees hit the ground running.
And we [startups] have nothing”.
Common startup jobs
Roughly speaking, every company (whether it is a startup or not) has a number of basic roles: there are people that build and develop the product and someone to sell it. Usually, someone looks for new markets that are developed by someone else. There are usually account managers to foster a healthy relationship with clients. And at some point, someone is hired to ensure that everything at the office runs smoothly.
Developers and other tech jobs
A SaaS company without a development team would be impossible. No developers, no SaaS-product. Tech Startups tend to hire a lot of techies: junior and senior developers, which can be both front-end and back-end developers. But also 3D modelers, UI/UX developers, and Data engineers.
When you put a lot of engineers together, they will start building awesome stuff. But to be successful, awesome stuff isn’t enough. A SaaS startup needs awesome stuff that can be sold. The product manager is the guy who can work tech, but also understands how to build a product that people want to buy.
A good engineer often is not the right person to do sales. First of all, they probably don’t WANT TO. They love building stuff, but sales…blergh. Tech guys often don’t like sales. More importantly, quite often they are terrible at it. When they talk about the product, their mind drifts to features, elegant coding, and all sorts of things the customer isn’t interested in.
Consider buying a sportscar. You want a car that looks awesome and that has some power. You want to know the maximum speed. Perhaps you want to know how many seconds it takes to go from 0 to 100. You don’t care about the new alloy used to line the pistons. You want to know WHAT it does, not how.
The same goes for people that are interested in buying a SaaS product. They don’t care whether it’s in Python, C++, or some proprietary coding language. They want to know the SaaS product gets the job done.
A salesperson can engage in this conversation. They recognize what the client needs and explains how the product can help. And if the product cannot help, they will forward the requested features to the development team. There are different sales jobs, each with its own focus, that are also needed at startup companies.
Sales is about getting the sale. Business Development is more long-term. It’s about building relationships. It’s about networking. This job isn’t for recent graduates though, it takes experience to become a good Business Development professional.
Marketing is all about bringing the needs of (potential buyers) and your product together. Sometimes, this means you need to let people know about your product (promotion), other times it is about adjusting and tweaking what you have to offer (product, price, placing).
However, the traditional marketing manager won’t be happy in a startup company. Startups need marketing engineers; people who understand tech and can boost growth. Marketing as a startup job is data-driven. It’s about SEO and SEM. It’s about trial and error.
This is a non-tech startup job which could be a great entry-level role to get your career started. Account management (and customer service) is about empathy. It’s about understanding what people need, solving their problems in a way that makes them happy.
This Dutch startup job is often overlooked, but essential for the success of any company. The office manager takes care of everything that happens in the office. They might have responsibilities regarding finance, HR tasks, invoicing and so much more. If you want a job where you never know what’s gonna happen next, this is the startup job for you!
Startup Jobs in Amsterdam
Eager to take on one of these Dutch startup jobs? And would you love to live and work in the city that has it all? Come to Amsterdam. The city is famous for its amazing nightlife, it’s a rich culture, and of course the amazing startup scene. Have a look at our job listings for some perfect Dutch startup jobs!