One summer evening in July, Sarina Maat was enjoying a drink and nibbles on a terrace in the sun with her fitness coach-turned-friend. Summer evenings don’t get much better than that in the Netherlands. Well, actually, in this case they do. That evening, an acquaintance called: “I’ve just seen you in the bookstore!” She texted a picture of The Holland Handbook. The cover featured a picture of Sarina on her bike, fighting her way through wind and rain in a smart business suit and heels, clutching a battered umbrella above her head.
I interviewed Sarina on another terrace, on another sunny day in The Hague. I was curious to meet the woman behind this iconic Dutch image. Quickly it became clear that the businesswoman in the photograph also embodies an approach to professional life and work-life balance that is part and parcel of the expatriate experience.
Sarina: “It is good to take a break and look carefully at what is out there, and what skills you want to use. In the process of looking for a job you are faced with questions like, ‘Where am I now?’ ‘What have I done and where do I want to go?’ ‘What makes me happy and what impact can I have?’”