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Dutch speaker (native) experienced in Finance: job opportunities in Poland


MatteoCarati 3 | 30
1 Jul 2013  #1
Hello all

I am considering to start applying for jobs in Poland. I hold a bachelor and master degree in Applied Economics at the Catholic University of Leuven (cum laude). I hold a post-graduate master in Law and Economics. I speak fluent English, Italian, Dutch (native) and reasonably well French. I have no knowledge of Polish.

I have 2 years of experience in finance (activity based costing, cost management, budgetting) at the financial department of a big university in Brussels.

I have browsed the internet and found quite a few jobs where Dutch native speakers are requested to be responsable for example for Accounts receivable.

Those positions are in most cases start-positions (graduates, minimal experience) at multinationals such as HP, UPC, IBM, etc.

My question: what can i expect concerning salary.

I currently earn after tax 1800€ (net). Of course i realize that my wage will be quite a bit lower, but i am not considering applying if my net savings would be less than here.

Would around 6000-7000 zloty net be achievable?

Thank you.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,625
1 Jul 2013  #2
Would around 6000-7000 zloty net be achievable?

For a starter position? Not a chance. 2500zl net would be a good salary in this case - you're not going to get 6000-7000zl net in your position.
OP MatteoCarati 3 | 30
1 Jul 2013  #3
2500 zl net, that is a redicolous salary concerning my qualifications. I would not even consider. I heard from Polish friends they even earn 4000 zloty (net), with much less qualifications. I speak Dutch, what they look for, have a double master and experience in finance.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,625
1 Jul 2013  #4
It's not ridiculous, because you're applying for a starter position doing a job that anyone can be trained to do. I have my doubts that anyone is getting 4000zl net just for speaking Dutch in an entry level position. Your qualifications are nothing special by Polish standards, and your experience is meaningless when applying for a starter position. In fact, your experience may hinder you, as people want fresh graduates to mould in their way rather than workers who come in doing things their way.

You need to consider that salaries are much lower in Poland. You're getting 1800 Euro net for a job that requires far more knowledge in the Netherlands - so why would anyone give you even 1000 euro net in Poland for a job that is glorified data inputting? There are many Dutch graduates every year in Poland - they can do exactly the same job.

By all means, apply for the jobs - but I don't think you're going to get more than 2500-3000zl net.
cms 9 | 1,272
1 Jul 2013  #5
You are being unrealistic but go ahead and look for a job. Maybe they taught you about price elasticity of demand during your double masters ? It applies in the labor market, same as any other market and in Poland they are too many economics graduates at present.

For comparison the salary you want would be about PLN 9.000 gross. For PLN 10.000 I could get a Polish/English speaker with 3 years experience in a Big 4 firm. Which do you think I would choose ?
OP MatteoCarati 3 | 30
1 Jul 2013  #6
Well let me rephrase then.

If am applying for a job who does require some years of experience in finance, and requires Dutch as a native language. What can i expect as a salary (net) ?

Thanks
whyikit 6 | 102
1 Jul 2013  #7
Ok I work in finance for a multinational investment firm with a large office in Poznan. I have employed numerous people in that office for instance I recently built a team of 10 data/research analysts. The salary you are wanting is not going to happen why? What you are wanting is what I would pay, probably slightly more, if I employed in the UK or Germany. However Poland is considered a low cost country for multinationals and therefore that impacts salaries offered. I do not think Delph estimates are that far off.

Not trying to be funny but 2 years experience is nothing, basically means you know how to work properly and would not need a 6 month induction program. However there are 2 ways you can get the salary you want, getting a transfer or being very very very lucky.
sobieski 107 | 2,129
1 Jul 2013  #8
Infosys in £ódż, which employs lots of native speakers, pays 3000-3500 net + bonus.
infosys.pl

You could try your with Shell in Kraków, who have their European Coordination Centre based there.
shell.pl/aboutshell/sbsc/app-jobstreet-sbsc.html

It is true that every year Polish students finish their studies Dutch. But sometimes companies require native speakers.
But without knowledge of Polish and no job experience in Poland...

This is advice from a fellow Fleming.

Or this site:
But most jobs here are BPO jobs who will fall in the income range described by Delph. I would not count on much more as 3000 PLN net

toplanguagejobs.co.uk/location/Poland/Dutch/p3

Siemens-Nixdorf also recruits regularly for their European Coordination Centre in Warsaw. "Regularly" means that you see the same jobs reappearing again.
That is because they pay funny money, while requiring native speakers.
Then they do not find a native speaker working for peanuts and they have to employ a spotty youth straight from Warsaw Uni. And stay just long enough to find a decent job.

wincor-nixdorf.com/internet/site_PL/sid_27D3A06D31C64ED9984B1EC23458534D/PL/Wincor_Nixdorf/Praca/node_Praca.html
OP MatteoCarati 3 | 30
1 Jul 2013  #9
Ok fair enough, nevertheless, i don't quite understand why a polish friend of me, working at Orange gets 3000 zloty net for a starting position.

That is exactly the same salary for a job where native Dutch (not Dutch, but native Dutch) is required if the mentioned salaries above would be true (and i do not doubt the accuracy of the posts above). You would expect that at least a premium is made for mastering the required language skills.

There is no way on earth then (at least that is my conclusion) that somebody would reallocate from Holland, Belgium to Poland for that salary since that would imply having to cut on his net savings, compared to having a job in a dutch speaking country.

How then can those companies attract native speakers?

Secondly, I wonder why so 'many' (as described above) polish people are graduating mastering Dutch. I would only suspect they do because there is a high demand for Dutch speakers. Then again, that would imply that a highly demand language skill is paid a premium in its wage.

I am not doubting the figures above to be correct or not. I am just making a point on how companies can attract native speakers from countries such as Belgium if they do not want to pay a fair wage, relative to the wage those people can earn in their home countries.
sobieski 107 | 2,129
1 Jul 2013  #10
That is because quite a lot of Flemish / Dutch native speakers emigrate to Poland because of their partner, start to look for a job here, are prepared to put up with lower salaries and then armed with experience and local knowledge & language move on to something better. I am speaking from experience :)
Polforeigner
1 Jul 2013  #11
Hi! Natives who work in Poland under Polish conditions and salaries are either spouses of Polish citizens (mainly women) or come from countries such as Spain, Greece, Portugal (just to mention Europe) where situation is dramatic and people are desperate. Otherwise it does not make any sense to leave western European salaries and conditions to come to work under Polish conditions. If you are Dutch, you are obviously better off in the Netherlands (salaries, conditions, way of life, tolerant mentality....).
OP MatteoCarati 3 | 30
1 Jul 2013  #12
If all of this is correct, there is indeed no sense coming to Poland

Unless good wage raises are to be achieved on short term (like 2 to 3 years)
Polforeigner
1 Jul 2013  #13
Poles emigrate including to the Netherlands so unless you have a Polish girl who wants to stay close to her family, what's so good about working in Poland? You'll never have the same deal as at home.
OP MatteoCarati 3 | 30
1 Jul 2013  #14
Culture-wise Poland is a better deal than boring Belgium.

Also one could assume that cutting down on wages is a fact due to lower expenses, but only up to the level where savings remain equal.

Clearly it is not. How much Poles can save with a wage of 3000 zloty?
delphiandomine 83 | 17,625
1 Jul 2013  #15
Ok fair enough, nevertheless, i don't quite understand why a polish friend of me, working at Orange gets 3000 zloty net for a starting position.

That's the way that the Polish labour market works.

There's no need to pay a premium - the jobs you see advertised don't require absolute mastery of the language. Dutch at B2/C1 level is more than enough to work in such jobs. Why would anyone want to pay around 4000-5000zl more a month just for someone at C2 level?

But if someone can't get a job in those countries for whatever reason, or if they want to come for a new experience, or want to come for girls - then they will accept it. The reality of the Polish labour market is such that your grades don't really matter from university - people don't have much faith in those grades, so a degree is a degree.

Secondly, I wonder why so 'many' (as described above) polish people are graduating mastering Dutch. I would only suspect they do because there is a high demand for Dutch speakers. Then again, that would imply that a highly demand language skill is paid a premium in its wage.

No, it doesn't quite work like that. There are many people graduating because there are many courses available - and the way that the Polish university system works encourages the creation of these courses. There are over 100 people graduating from history every year in Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan - yet there are barely any jobs for such graduates.

To be honest, look at it on a more human level. Someone coming here and earning 3000zl net can meet girls on that - they can do the job (data input) easily and have time to go and meet plenty of girls afterwards. They'll go back to the Netherlands in a couple of years with a little bit of experience and a girlfriend - everyone's happy. The wages might not be so great, but it doesn't matter when you're young.
sobieski 107 | 2,129
1 Jul 2013  #16
There are many people graduating because there are many courses available - and the way that the Polish university system works encourages the creation of these courses.

Yes, but I have heard a few of them talking, and I was not very impressed with their Dutch. Still for some jobs, native speakers are preferred.
OP MatteoCarati 3 | 30
1 Jul 2013  #17
Are you stating that people come to get a girl, accept lower wages, have a certainty of finding a girl, and head back?

Like sacrifice on carreer and money for finding a girl in Poland?
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163
1 Jul 2013  #18
Would around 6000-7000 zloty net be achievable?

No way, 2500-2800 PLN, 3500-4000 If they are really desperate, If anyone wanted to pay 6-7k, they would place that job in Holland.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,625
1 Jul 2013  #19
Yes, but I have heard a few of them talking, and I was not very impressed with their Dutch. Still for some jobs, native speakers are preferred.

Of course - but would it matter very much for a data input job? Of cousre - better jobs will require a better command of Dutch, but I imagine that these jobs don't need to be advertised heavily.

Are you stating that people come to get a girl, accept lower wages, have a certainty of finding a girl, and head back?

Absolutely. Or they might stay depending on the girl. Or they might stay for more than one girl - all depends on the individual. But yes, there are plenty who come to "chase the tail" so to speak.

Like sacrifice on carreer and money for finding a girl in Poland?

Money isn't everything, and if they're a so-so Dutch graduate who hasn't got much hope of landing a good job in the Netherlands, they can start a corporate career in Poland as their language skill is in demand. Whether there's much career progression in such jobs - I don't know - but still, it's not a bad place to start a career.

Don't forget that others speak Dutch too, not just those from Europe. Not to mention graduates from places such as Ukraine and Russia that can also fill such positions.

The other crucial thing - you might be something special in Poland because of your qualifications, but in Poland, a Masters is absolutely normal.
sobieski 107 | 2,129
1 Jul 2013  #20
Money isn't everything, and if they're a so-so Dutch graduate who hasn't got much hope of landing a good job in the Netherlands, they can start a corporate career in Poland as their language skill is in demand. Whether there's much career progression in such jobs - I don't know - but still, it's not a bad place to start a career.

I know quite a lot of foreigners who started their career in Poland with Accenture. Staid 1-2 years there and they all said it was a good launching pad to something else.. Supposed to be a very lively multinational group with lots of young employees and should be not that bad.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,625
1 Jul 2013  #21
I think this is the real issue - the original poster isn't starting his career, he's looking at it from the perspective of someone who already has a job in the Netherlands and is earning a Western salary. It's just not comparable.
OP MatteoCarati 3 | 30
1 Jul 2013  #22
To be precise: i have a job in Belgium, Brussels in the financial department of a company. It is quite a good job, and i am happy with my wage. Nevertheless, I wanted to check out if i could do a financially good deal by moving to Poland and safe more (apart from other advantages like culture, cities, people, new advanture, etc).

I am currently asking some second opinions and they are not in line with the answers on this forum, for now. One Polish guy who studied the same post-graduate master as me (so he is qualified to the same level as i am) states that i could easily earn up to 6000 zloty net, depending on the company and the position (hence: a job offer which does require some experience combined with Dutch language skills). He is based in Warsaw and works for Gotshal & Manges LLP.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,625
1 Jul 2013  #23
And how much experience does he have, and how much informal business is done in Polish?

It's worth pointing out that you were looking at data input jobs, not the kind of job that he's talking about. Yes, you can earn 6000zl net - but you'll also be expected to know your way around and be worthy of such an investment. Like others have said, your experience/qualifications are nothing special on the Polish market - there are many others in the same position.

I know that you think that you're worth x amount and people are telling you that you'll get y amount and you can't bridge the two - but you really can't compare the salaries in Brussels with the salaries in Poland.
OP MatteoCarati 3 | 30
1 Jul 2013  #24
I took Accounts receivable as an example, as a basic job to point out that dutch speakers are in demand for that type of jobs

Of course i would be glad to find a job that fits more what i'm capable of (more precise: activity based costing, cost management, cost controlling, business analyst).

Delphiadomine: i fully understand, but cost of living is equally not comparable with that of an expensive city as Brussels (my rent is 680€/month). If i would earn a wage in the region as pointed out (say 3000), that would imply almost a 60% cut in my wage, netto. Is cost of living 60% cheaper in Poland so i could safeguard my savings (around 400-500 euro a month) ?

The bottom line for me is: if i can do a better deal by earning less, spending less, but saving more, i'm up for it.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,625
1 Jul 2013  #25
I took Accounts receivable as an example, as a basic job to point out that dutch speakers are in demand for that type of jobs

For that type, yes. Poland is full of outsourcing work at such a basic level - it's much cheaper to employ a B2/C1 Dutch speaking Pole than to employ a Dutch native to type things into a computer. Poland is also able to attract graduates from the Baltic states, Ukraine, Belarus, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary quite easily - all of whom learn such languages.

It's not to say that jobs paying well don't exist - they do - but they are in fields where people are in high demand in general, such as with SAP.
Lyzko
1 Jul 2013  #26
MatteoCarati, your English seems quite solid, far as I can tell, and you also look at least academically prepared for a career in your field. We trust however that should you choose to work in Poland, you will learn Polish in the not too distant future:-) English and French have their limitations (even the latter).They'd be though perfect when dealing with foreign clients, for example. Other than that, locally, you might get (more than) a few raised eyebrowslol
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163
2 Jul 2013  #27
Is cost of living 60% cheaper in Poland so i could safeguard my savings (around 400-500 euro a month) ?

Of course not. Let's start from the basics, there are rich and poor countries in the world, Poland belongs to the latter, at least on European scale...
delphiandomine 83 | 17,625
2 Jul 2013  #28
Delphiadomine: i fully understand, but cost of living is equally not comparable with that of an expensive city as Brussels (my rent is 680€/month). If i would earn a wage in the region as pointed out (say 3000), that would imply almost a 60% cut in my wage, netto. Is cost of living 60% cheaper in Poland so i could safeguard my savings (around 400-500 euro a month) ?

No. Your cost of living will always be higher than you expect due to various factors (no family ties) - and one reason that these salaries are low is that they can get away with it due to the Polish family culture.

If you're looking at Poland as a means to make more money or at least the same, forget it.
Lyzko
2 Jul 2013  #29
No, I think he's looking to expand his horizons by seeking employment in Poland, rather than his financial enrichment. When returning to his native Holland, he can say that he worked abroad in a still-as-yet "emerging" Eastern European market.

Frankly, it all sounds quite sensible to me:-)
delphiandomine 83 | 17,625
2 Jul 2013  #30
No, not really - look at his posts above, he's looking at it from a financial perspective. Brussels is an expensive place, so he's hoping to earn the same salary in Poland while having much lower costs of living.


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