7 ways to be productive during your job search

How to be proactive while waiting for job responses

woman with laptop

You’ve polished your CV, crafted the perfect cover letter, and sent applications to companies you want to work for in the Netherlands. Great!

Why not maximise the extra time you have on your hands while you’re waiting for them to get back to you?

Here’s a list of things you can do in Groningen, Friesland, and Drenthe to stay productive while waiting for job responses.

Part-time work

Look out for temporary job vacancies which will help with some short-term income without requiring you to make a long-term commitment which you might not be able to keep up once you start your new job. Such vacancies generally appear close to festival days and national holidays. They usually involve working behind a bar and other jobs in this space.

If you think you can balance something more regular alongside your future job, you can also look for part-time positions. While several of these jobs are related to catering and food delivery you can sometimes find vacancies in customer service roles and other industries. If you’re still registered as a student, keep an eye out for any teaching assistant (TA) positions your faculty might be hiring for.

A good place to start looking for part-time opportunities is on our job listings page.


Freelancing can help you gain work experience, build your portfolio, and also earn some extra cash. All you need to get started is a laptop and an internet connection. 

To learn more about freelancing in the North of the Netherlands, click here.

Follow an online course

The internet is full of online courses you can follow to improve your skills. Many of them are also available for free! 

Check out sites like Coursera, edX, and Stanford University.

You may also be eligible to apply for the STAP budget, a €1,000 grant to upskill, retrain, or further develop your skills.

This downtime may also be useful to improve your soft skills like public speaking and time management.

Practice your Dutch

At the most basic level, you can download Duolingo and learn how to read, write, listen, and speak in Dutch.  

If you’re looking for something more robust, check out the Dutch courses offered by the University of Groningen. International students, PhD students and postdocs at the RUG are offered Dutch courses at the Language Centre by the Board of the University of Groningen. You can take Dutch courses up to level B1, Dutch courses for German native speakers, and conversational courses up to A2 and B1 levels. The courses are free for current students.


Why not follow your passion or use your skills for a good cause? 

Volunteering is a great way to gain experience, learn new skills, and also to grow your network. If you can show employers how your volunteer experience makes you more valuable to their company, that’s also a bonus.

Read more about volunteering opportunities here.

Build an online presence

Take advantage of your spare time and start building your online presence. You can begin by updating your LinkedIn profile and launching your personal website.

A strong online presence makes you more visible to potential employers, increasing your chances of being approached with job opportunities.


Maintaining a good work-life balance remains as important as ever. 

Explore the gyms in your area so that you know which one you’re going to go to when life gets busy again. 

Eat well and find some new healthy recipes which you can incorporate into your work life.

Positive. Productive. Engaged.

Ultimately, this time is about remaining positive, productive, and engaged until you land that sweet answer you've been waiting for from your next employer!