From the Lowlands to the Highlands: A Dutch Girl’s Recruitment Journey in Scotland

Rutherford Cross Consultant, Noortje Teeuwen shares some reflections on her recent adventure moving from the Netherlands to Scotland, as well as her experience so far working in the recruitment industry.

Last year, I made the exciting decision to relocate to the beautiful landscapes of Scotland from my home country: the Netherlands. My journey has been challenging at times but it has been an exciting experience overall. It has pushed me out of my comfort zone, allowing me to immerse myself in a new culture, build a fresh social network, and learn to be independent from my family and friends. I am also happily embracing the Scottish dialect; before relocating I thought I was fluent in English, until Scotland kindly reminded me that there’s more than one way to ‘listen’ to a language!

Not only did I opt to relocate to a different country, but I also decided to shift into a new field of work, specifically Finance Recruitment at Rutherford Cross. The company’s commitment to purpose and values was evident throughout the interview process. Moreover, their status as an employee-owned business immediately grabbed my interest. This ownership structure fosters a team with a motivated, innovative, and resilient mindset which strengthened my aspiration to work in such a motivating environment and has remained consistent throughout my first 3 months at the company.

Being open-minded, curious, adaptable and positive has been instrumental in navigating my adventure of moving countries. These qualities are also applicable in starting a new job and have helped me navigate through the challenges of working in a new field.


Learning the Language of the Scottish Work Environment

During my first month at Rutherford Cross, my main focus was familiarising myself with the business and the fundamentals of recruitment. All of my colleagues made me feel very welcome and were incredibly supportive. They took me to multiple client and candidate meetings, where I gained valuable insights into the language of finance and the workings of the Scottish market. Additionally, there was a lot of training involved, along with numerous conversations with my colleagues to learn about their respective desks. Witnessing their passion for recruitment was not only motivating but also deepened my understanding of the consultant role.

The Christmas break came at the perfect time to let all the knowledge I had gathered during the first month sink in, allowing me to gear up for the challenges that awaited me in the upcoming months.


Overcoming Initial Challenges and Building a Strong Network

Coming from a background in marketing and sales, I found that many of my skills are transferable to my role in recruitment, particularly in terms of relationship building and thriving in a fast-paced environment. However, the pace of the recruitment industry itself presents unique challenges.  I worked on a few tough roles at the start of my recruitment career but these experiences created an opportunity for personal growth, teaching me how to become more resilient and adaptable. I secured my own client meetings and began building a network from scratch, which strengthened my ability to handle multiple tasks while also maintaining good relationships with clients and candidates.

The value of building a long-term network and being part of a community became evident as I attended various networking events. Rutherford Cross has partnered with ICAS, providing us with the opportunity to attend their Burns Supper. I experienced Ceilidh dancing and the traditional addressing of the haggis which was a great way to connect with all the ICAS members and learn about Scottish culture.


Navigating the Learning Process

After the first quarter of my recruitment career, I have undergone a steep learning curve. This journey has had its ups and downs as the process of learning and stepping outside of my comfort zone has been challenging but has boosted my personal development.

I have learned how to deal with rejection and how to handle unpredictable events after putting hard work into a process, and this has helped my growth and taught me how to handle these situations if they arise again.

Moreover, I have learned a lot from speaking to clients and candidates. I primarily work with part and newly qualified accountants, and having multiple conversations with this market has broadened my understanding of the different finance functions.

Additionally, our Internal Knowledge Academy (which focuses on developing our soft skills and business acumen) gave me the opportunity to learn about my colleagues’ experiences and helped me navigate the recruitment consultant role in the initial stages of my career at Rutherford Cross.


Continuing the Learning Journey

The last few months have been challenging but exciting, too. Moving countries and changing sectors puts you out of your comfort zone and brings new perspectives, and joining a brand with such strong purpose and values helped me navigate and understand my new role as a Recruitment Consultant. I learned the importance of being curious and eager to learn as much as possible from colleagues, clients, and candidates.

As I continue my journey of growth, I am grateful for the lessons learned and experiences gained so far!


If you are looking for support recruiting permanent part / newly qualified finance vacancies, or you are looking for a new role yourself, please get in touch with Noortje for a confidential discussion: [email protected].

To find out more about careers at Rutherford Cross, contact [email protected], or visit our careers page.