Do you think how loyal you are to your job has anything to do with where you come from? I’ve been living in the Netherlands for the past three years, and my views on life have certainly gotten a refresh. The other day, I stumbled upon my friend’s LinkedIn profile. On her profile, she had all of her work experience written out. I noticed that every year and a half or so, she had a new job. This was a very familiar feeling. I used to be like that. Her LinkedIn profile really got me thinking. Does how loyal you are to your job have anything to do with the country you grow up in? I think so.
I asked my Instagram followers this exact question. 69% of people that took the poll voted yes. I was pretty surprised by that number because I didn’t think so many people would share the same view.
Job Dislikes and Reasons to Leave
There are many reasons why people leave their jobs, no matter what country you’re from. I asked my Instagram followers this as well. If they are planning to leave their jobs, why do they want to leave? I also asked what people don’t like about their jobs. I got the following answers. To protect their privacy, all answers are anonymous. Please take note that the answers came from people from all different countries.
- Not enough money.
- Long hours for a low salary.
- I dislike being micro-managed.
- The inability of management and unions to understand each other.
- I wish I got more hours, or at least get paid lunches.
- Team roles. It is like high school but with 40-year-old people. It is sad.
- Things have gotten way too political as the company has grown.
These are only some of the answers I got. There were many more. The things that I saw people saying the most were: not enough money and long hours.
My Work Experience
Let me share my experience with you. Since I was 16 years old, I’ve worked at Starbucks twice, Ace Hardware, a nature organization called the Urban Ecology Center, Macy’s department store, two real estate companies, and now I work for myself. I’m going to be 24 years old in a month. Living in the USA, this job history isn’t weird at all. But when I tell people in the Netherlands this, they find it really strange.
To help you understand my point a bit better, let me explain this. Generally, Dutch people are loyalists. Americans are not. Americans, me included when I lived there, are always chasing the next big thing. They always want more money, a nicer title, more perks, and other things. The employer also has no loyalty to the employee. Most people can be fired for almost any reason on the spot. No notice is required and certainly no payout.
Dutch Working Contracts Are Amazing
During the pandemic, my Dutch partner Kevin was let go from his job, along with tons of other people. The company he worked for couldn’t afford to pay all those people anymore. In order to let go of those employees, Kevin included, the company had to go to court to prove that they couldn’t afford to pay them anymore. They paid him around three months of salary as a part of his severance package. In addition, he had over a month’s notice before he had to leave the company. They also had to offer him different types of training for future jobs that he was possibly interested in.
Dutch people love their permanent contracts. The reason why Kevin got all of the above? He had a permanent contract, and he was in a union. Dutch working contracts are pretty strict and protect the employees. Dutch people are not as expendable as Americans. It takes money and time to train a new employee, no matter what country you work in. So why are Americans so quick to throw all that away over simple things like being sick for a week? You can’t help being sick, but American companies will fire you over that. It’s inhumane.
There Is No Loyalty From either Side
I think this is because American culture is all about keeping up with your neighbors. Employers aren’t loyal to their employees. In turn, employees aren’t loyal to their employers. Americans also always want more. So if they can get a better salary or a better title, they are quick to jump ship. There’s a terrible culture of having to have a side hustle. People expect you to work full time and have a side business or another job.
I don’t understand why people can’t just be happy like the majority of the Dutch. I am not talking about the really poor people. Some people have no other choice. I’m talking about Americans who have good jobs but think that they don’t make enough. People who live paycheck to paycheck even though they don’t have to. Perhaps they need to learn to budget. I’ve noticed that Dutch people are incredibly good at saving. If they don’t have the money, they usually won’t buy things. Americans buy so many things on credit. They can even set up a plan to pay monthly for things like a new mattress or washing machine.
Personal Finance Education Is So Important
I don’t know if it’s because I grew up very poor and then moved in with a better-off foster family when I was 14. Or it’s because I saw family members not being able to pay for their rent and things like that even when they could have easily budgeted better. But I have never had a credit card in my life. If I can’t afford it, I wouldn’t buy it. Simple as that. I’m obsessed with budgeting and thinking every purchase through.
And before you yell at me, yes, I have lived on minimum wage, in NYC no less. I’m not saying this is always possible. They are so many circumstances where living on your salary and saving isn’t possible. But we never learned how to budget properly in school. It’s a fundamental flaw in the education system. And constantly being bombarded with advertisements to buy things doesn’t help. A lot of people think they can’t save or invest, but that’s not true. Every dollar/euro counts. Going through people’s finances and helping them create a budget is one of the services I offer.
I Have Learned the Importance of Loyalty
My longest employment term was nearly three years. I worked for a company in the USA that demanded way too much and treated their employees terribly. I still stayed even though I hated it. The only reason why I finally stopped working there was that they didn’t want people working remotely anymore.
Since then, I thought about working for a company. I even interviewed and got a job offer here in the Netherlands. But eventually, I decided to just work for myself and pursue my passion, writing. If/when I ever grow my company and need to hire someone, that person will be someone that will stay with me for years. I have learned the value of loyalty and am definitely not willing to follow the American way.
I Would Love to Hear From You
I have only lived in two countries, the USA and the Netherlands. That’s why I compared the two. But I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you agree with my theory? What’s the working culture like in the country you come from? Do you agree with it? Do you still live there or do you live in another country now?