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Working in Belgium as an international



I am currently pursuing a master degree in global supply chain management. i have an industrial engineering diploma obtained in 2018 and i have close to 1 year experience in the oil and gas industry as field engineer. Due to my passion for supply chain management, i decided to pursue a specialization in this domain in Belgium. But i came to realize that the job market in Belgium for internationals is different to that of nationals.

last Monday, i had an interview with an international company and the interview was ended abruptly due to the fact that i was an international. No other question was asked apart from if i needed to be sponsored. the HR did bother finding out if i have the competencies required for the job, but just bothered about the fact that i needed a work permit. This made me to think on getting to know how other internationals faced this problem here in Belgium?

How do they do to get a job here?

I will be glad to hear from you guys.




Basically you need to be seeking a job in a field where there are vacancies which cannot be filled because of shortages of EU citizens with the appropriate skills/qualifications.

Dec 29, 2020 09:54

I have made the same experience over and over again.
When the recruitment is done by a Belgian national, they prefer Belgians (even less qualified than you), and one has not got a chance.
Unless there are more job openings for a certain profession than Belgians who are trained in it (as Becasse already mentioned)
Doing global / international studies is one thing, but getting a job in this area is a totally different story.
In theory the best candidate should get the job, but often it is that the best local national who gets it.

Dec 29, 2020 12:26

You would probably be far better advised to start looking for a job in your chosen domain in your own country first. Then try and get posted here by the company employing you.

Unless you have very specific skills you are unlikely to get a job here if you need a permit to work.

Ambition is great, and it is fantastic that you have identified Belgium as a place you would like to live and work in, but you need to be far more realistic in your approach.

By your own admission, you are still in college pursuing a masters degree, have less than one years experience in the oil and gas industry and have no experience in supply chain management. I don't know what the job offer was for, but to be honest, I am somewhat surprised that you even got as far as an interview.

Dec 29, 2020 13:09

What sort of "international" are you? US? UK? EU? North Corea? This is important.

Dec 29, 2020 15:37
Feldmann Eugene

Now it’s hard for everyone, just the simple rule you need to be 100% suitable for the role you apply for... if company wants you there is no problem for them to sponsor you ... Even guys with American MBAs Have been rejected if they do not fit into the role ...

Dec 30, 2020 14:40

This is the case to protect local, EU job seekers. All the rest non-EU need work permit. Let me tell you something, HR in most companies are the most lazy and useless department. In most cases they want to avoid you because they want to avoid having to do a bit of extra forms and submit to government and then after a year these forms need to be renewed and so on. For them is just a piece of extra work, and considering they are super lazy they would like to avoid at any cost. I have seen this happening many times. Also in my company they interviewed an non-EU national, he successfully passed 3 interviews but the dumb HR was not aware he needs work permit and they insisted to refuse him. Result: time wasted for him, managers etc.
My suggestion is: Avoid HR. Try to get in touch with the Managers. If they want you, they 'will' force the HR to sponsor you. Also avoid, small and medium side Belgian companies as they do not like to sponsor foreigners. Large international firm are much more likely to sponsor. Since you are already in Belgium go for intensive Dutch courses. It will triple your chances.

Dec 31, 2020 10:01