I am from one of these countries that have a very bad reputation regarding human rights, women rights. (But differently not me)

I got a job in the Netherlands

I am in my 5th week

Employees try to avoid me (This is true, here is not the correct place to prove it, but it is true as most of you can predict)

I want to socialise with the employees, at least talk with them in the work, have some fun, maybe a drink outside ..... just normal stuff

Any recommendations please?

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    Can you explain more? Do employees try to avoid you because you are from a different country? A specific country? Because of the way you act or interact (or don't) with people? It's not clear from your description why people avoid you. – mcknz Oct 9 '16 at 0:29
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    Have you actually tried to talk to someone? If so, what happened? – PM 77-1 Oct 9 '16 at 0:53
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    Until we have details of how they are or seem to be avoiding you, we can't offer many suggestions. How fluent are you and they in a shared language? How much trouble are you having with each other's accents? Have you tried asking them whether there is something you are doing, or not doing, that makes them uncomfortable? – keshlam Oct 9 '16 at 2:21
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    Stop assuming that it is because you are from a country with a bad reputation. Until you know this is the case, basing your actions on incorrect assumptions will lead nowhere. – user8036 Oct 9 '16 at 9:15
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    "Employees try to avoid me - This is true" Then there's nothing you can do. But I seriously doubt this is the case, especially in the Netherlands, especially in a Dutch company that apparently doesn't have any issue with hiring a minority or English-speaking foreigner (not sure which you are). – Lilienthal Oct 9 '16 at 11:06

Of course I don't know the details of your specific work, but I am Dutch and working in an industrial environment, where we occasionally have foreigners around.

First tip: Learn the language (I am assuming here that you are not (yet) fluent in Dutch). Especially if the majority of the people is Dutch. If you are alone with Dutch colleagues, you will experience that they switch to Dutch. The only reason is that it is much easier for most of them. Not because they don't like, or intentionally want to exclude you. If you start learning Dutch, you always have an opening for a social conversation. Also ask them to correct them when you make a mistake. They are most likely willing to help, but will not correct you if you do not ask for it.

Second tip: Coffee-machine conventions. Dutch have a habit on gathering around the coffee machine. This is an important social aspect, where either non-important topics can be discussed, or work-related items. It may be the first source of company-related news, before it is official. This is also a reason to jump in.

Third tip: Don't hide where you come from. Of course you don't need to bring it up yourself, but if people will ask question, just be honest about what is going on, and what you think about it (especially since I have the impression that your views are in line with mainstream Dutch views).

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    I did my post-doc at an institute in the Netherlands. All science was done in English, all coffee was done in Dutch. So, I took a two-week intensive Dutch course, then several night courses. The lab director went from wondering why I wanted to learn Dutch to being proud of doing meetings in Dutch. You will meet other people through the course, and start feeling more at home. – Jon Custer Oct 10 '16 at 15:47
  • @JonCuster Good to see my experience confirmed from the 'opposite' side. The first point is probably for most non-English European countries. – Bernhard Oct 11 '16 at 5:16

Just be friendly, you've only been there 5 weeks, it takes time for people to be comfortable around some new employees even if they're locals. Avoid any discussions on politics or religion or treating females badly.

Eventually you'll just be another team member and integrate into the social scene more.

I've been an outsider everywhere I have worked, my policy was always to just concentrate on excelling at the work and let the rest take care of itself. Sometimes I made a lot of good friends, other times none at all, but I'm there to work, not socialise, so I didn't let it worry me, so long as I'm respected for my professional abilities.

One thing I want to point out. As an outsider you really need to be careful, people are watching you pretty closely and they're much less tolerant of you than of each other. So while I would drink with colleagues, I would never get drunk with them, nor would I hang around while they get drunk. It's actually best to let loose away from the work environment and people.

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