Find something that truly suits you and go for it!

A conversation filled with beautiful words unfolded recently as I met Sahar and Dave, who went through the Women Mentoring Program together at ManpowerGroup. The determined Sahar, seeking career opportunities in a new country, was matched with Dave, who, alongside his role as an HR advisor, is keen on helping others find their way in the Netherlands.

Dave: "I learned about the mentorship program ManpowerGroup organises with Refugee Talent Hub through a colleague, and from the start, I was enthusiastic. I believe we can all do something extra for others. It's not always easy for everyone to navigate their way in the Netherlands. What seems obvious to me may not be so for others. With that conviction, I decided to participate and met Sahar."

Sahar: "It's challenging for people with my background to find a footing in the Dutch job market. I've attended multiple programs to improve my chances. At ManpowerGroup, I met my mentor Dave, and we hit it off immediately. During the program, we talked every three weeks. Now, we still keep in touch regularly. Whenever I face challenges, I know I can turn to him. Surienna, an HR advisor, also played a pivotal role in helping me. These people have given me confidence and contributed significantly to my development, leading me to a Recruitment & Consultancy internship at ManpowerGroup, where I'm currently enjoying my time."

Women Mentoring Program

During the mentorship program, aimed at women with refugee backgrounds, duos engage in one-on-one coaching to enhance various skills. This includes upgrading resumes, tips for successful job applications, insights into Dutch work culture, or sharing networks. Sahar: "Through Dave, I've met many new people whom I still keep in contact with. This has helped me build a valuable network for my career.”

Dave: "I want to emphasise that 95% of the work was done by Sahar herself. Her immense enthusiasm reflects in everything she does. Sahar is determined and eager to make something of herself, making it easy and enjoyable for me to work with her. Sure, I helped her make some connections within the organisation, but ultimately, she navigated all the processes herself."

Dave also gained valuable lessons from his mentee. "She showed me how to handle situations that might be different from what you'd prefer. Sahar's perseverance in achieving her goals is truly inspiring. It motivates me to look at challenges I encounter positively."

Learning from Rejections

Sahar advises other newcomers to be proactive. "When I came to the Netherlands, I wasn't sure what I wanted. I tried various activities. Sometimes, things don't fit, or you face rejection. It's not pleasant, but you learn from every rejection, even if you face a hundred! A tip: ask why you were rejected; it helps you in your search. Find something that truly suits you and go for it!"

For Sahar, she found the right match in ManpowerGroup's program. To find the right match, Sahar believes it's important to be active. "I live in a small village where I don't interact with many people. By actively attending various events, I built a network. I even made friends at Refugee Talent Hub activities. I wish the same for other newcomers. Being active is important because it helps you meet new people who can assist you, like Dave. I wish all newcomers the same."

Feeling alive again

Sahar isn't sitting still. She's taking small steps toward her future. Currently, her focus is on her Recruitment & Consultancy internship at ManpowerGroup, where she feels valued by her colleagues. "Within this organisation, I found the strength I needed to feel that I was truly alive again. Now I am eager to continue learning, growing, and to add value to Manpower.”

Ultimately, Sahar hopes to help others too. "The challenges I had to overcome, I don't want others to face them. That's why I hope to help others with their challenges in the future so they can also achieve their goals."