How To Stay Happy After You Got A Job in Germany
“How To Stay Happy After You Got A Job in Germany”. You found your dream job in Germany. You dance to work every morning. In the evening you come home: and your spouse cried all day, your kids act out. Advice for expats! Sign up free for 5 tips on how to make friends in Germany. (PS You can also listen to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.)
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Transcript of How To Stay Happy After You Got A Job in Germany.
Chris Pyak: It's the first working day after the Easter holidays and this is the message, the first message that I found when I opened my inbox today, and Zhe is now former coaching client of mine, he bought the expats job offer guarantee, and Zhe wrote me this morning, “Hi, Chris, great news, I've got the job offer.” Congratulations Jay, I'm really, really proud of you, three months to find a job in Munich that's really good Zhe, and I wish you all the best in your new position.
On first of May 2018, if you hear this later, the second edition of my book, How To Win Jobs And Influence Germans, will be available on Amazon, that's the launch day, and I decided that in April I will talk, in preparation for the launch, about the immigrant spirit. The attitude that really helps you to win a job in Germany. If you have been working with international professionals for as long as I have here in Germany, then you know that the best road to get a job, it's not your experience, it's not your university degree, but it's a personal introduction, and for this your attitude is the deciding factor.
I start with the end in mind, which is, what will happen after you get a job in Germany. Today's episode is about how to stay happy after you got a job in Germany. This might be sounding weird to you because, hey, you got a job in Germany that's your dream, why would you need to think about how to stay happy, but from long experience I can tell you, for many expatriates, when they move to Germany, they realize that their dreams turns out to be dry and to wither away. Actually a huge part of the one million European Union citizens and immigrants who move to Germany ever year, leave the country before the year's over. In Germany there's discussion going on about revolving door effect, that people come in and then they leave very quickly again, and we Germans, with our engineering mindset, of course we think that, oh, okay, it's about recognition of the university degrees, this has to be faster, but, in reality, it's not.
The sad truth is, and remember I am German myself, the sad truth is that Germany is not very welcoming to foreigners. There is survey by InterNations every single year, and they ask expats in 60 countries to rate the guest country. Out of 60 countries, Germany ranks 55 when it comes to friendliness. 60 countries, Germany is ranked 55. When it comes to finding friends, Germany is rated 58 out of 60. It's one of the hardest places to make friendships, to build relationships, and to make a home.
In the total, overall ease of settling in, Germany is rated 57 out of 60, countries like India, are ranked 41, Egypt, 42, Mozambique ranked 47. In these countries it's easier to make yourself a home when your an expatriate than in Germany. I have a lot of friends from Egypt and from India, and they're all extremely funny people, so I can understand why it might be easier to settle there. The German sense of humor is like this, how many Germans do you need to put in a light bulb? One, we are efficient, and we don't have a sense of humor. That's not true.
Today's episode is, how to stay happy after you got the job in Germany. I decided on this topic, because one of my former coaching clients, Fadi, is just about to move to Berlin. Fadi was my coaching client for two months, and in this time he not only became a client for me, from my side I can say, he really became a friend, because he's a really fascinating person, and extremely optimistic, and just a wonderful guy to be around. If you're interested in Fadi's story, it's really inspiring, you should check it out in another episode of the Immigrant Spirit podcast that you can find at pyak.com/25. In that episode, which I recorded just after Fadi got the news, “Hey you got the job,” Fadi tells his journey from sending out 400 job applications over four years, while he was still living in Kuwait, and not getting anywhere, and then how he found a job in Germany within two months after he started working together with me in the expats job offer guarantee. Great guy, and really inspiring story, you should check it out at pyak.com/25.
Fadi, this episode today is mostly for you, because now that you are moving to Berlin with your family, I want you to find happiness and joy in our country. First of all, don't be surprised if people are extremely rude to you in Berlin. It has nothing to do with you, that's just how people in Berlin are, they are to everyone like this, so don't worry about that.
There's two things I want to talk with you about, first is your personal happiness, and how you will find friends. I'm not worried about this for you, yourself, because you will be going to work everyday, and at your work you meet your colleagues, you will make friends with your colleagues, and you are very open and proactive guy, so I think you will not have any problems finding a relationship.
The topic that I really want to talk with you about, all of you listeners of course, is how to make sure that you stay happy, because very often you don't come alone to Germany, you come together with your family, with your wife and with your children. Let's be honest, your family mostly comes because of you, that's the number one reason they are moving to Germany. I see this over and over again, that you come to Germany, you have a great job here, and you're excited, everyday you got to work, you learn something new everyday, you make new friends, but then after work you come home to your family, and your wife is crying all day long, your children are unhappy and acting out, and they make your life miserable. Then, of course, how long are you going to keep this up before you say, okay, I give up and we go back home.
The first thing that you should do after you got the job in Germany is that, beyond the general reasons for your family to move to Germany, each member of your family, they need to figure out what they want to change once they come to Germany. Because you have the chance to build a complete, new life in Germany, and you actively need to grab this change, and to decide what this change should be. This must be a personal reason for each of your family members.
For your wife, how does she want to change when she comes to Germany? If this goes very well, after one year where will she be, what will she do, how will she live? What kind of friends will she have? For your children, just the same, because nothing motivates as much as the goals that you set for yourself. It doesn't matter that none of these goals will work out, that reality will be very different from what you planned it to be, as long as you set yourself these goals and you have something to start with. Goals can change once you've experienced real life, and then you set new goals, and you face obstacles and you find ways to overcome those obstacles. The important thing is, that each of you has a clear idea of what they want to get out.
Remember, or notice that I say, not what are your desires that you want to get, or what is the life you aspire to, I ask you, how do you want to change. That's the second truth, and you, Fadi, you notice, because you are originally from Egypt, and now you're living in Kuwait, and already, I bet, without ever having talked about this with you, but I bet that you are now a different person than you have been when you were living in Egypt, and your family is different than it has been when you were living in Egypt.
If your experience is anything like my experience, and I lived for 10 years abroad, I worked in four different [inaudible 00:07:25] in five different countries, if you were to decide to go home to your home country now, to Egypt in your case, you would probably find it very hard to settle in again, because Egypt might be the same that it was 10 years ago, but you are not, we all change, and we constantly change, and this experience in different countries will change every single one of us.
That's something that we usually don't think so much about why we are still looking for this first job in Germany, it's inevitable that this happens, and it will happen to you, it will happen to your wife, it will happen to each of your children, and therefore, also your relationship with each other will change. This can go very wrong very fast if you don't pay attention to what you want to get out of your life. You should have a clear idea what you are trying to achieve.
My number one tip to stay happy after you get in Germany is, set personal goals. Sit yourself down with your family, and each of you write down the most important personal change that you want to make when you are in Germany. The one thing you want to change for the better once you come to Germany, and write down why you want to change this. This can be a very rewarding experience because you will learn a lot about your family that you usually never talk about, because you assume these things simply.
After you decided what the change is that you want in Germany, the one concrete thing you want to change, decide, okay, what will be my first step to get to this point? For example, maybe you decide, if I move to Germany, I want to have a much more active social life, I want to have much more friends. What will be your first steps to make these friends? What concretely will you do? One advice for everybody who is moving to a foreign country is, don't hang out with your fellow countrymen, that's a recipe for unhappiness.
If you move to a different country and you surround yourself only with people from your own home country, you are set up to be unhappy all the time. Because what happens is, you will talk in your native language, you will talk about the past, you will look back instead of looking forward. Surround yourself with an international crowd, try to get in contact with as many Germans as you can, but I tell you from the start, this will be difficult and hard, because it takes a long time to become warm with a German person, but you can seek out the international community, like InterNations, who has events in every major city around the world. Seek out an international crowd from very different backgrounds, different cultures, different countries, and make friends with them. You still have a lot in common because you have this experience in a new country, but you're also very different and diverse, and that will help you to approach the new, instead of brooding about the past.
Decide what will be your first step to get to your goal, then ask yourself, okay, which obstacles will I experience in reaching this goal? Write them down, and ask yourself, obviously, how will I overcome these obstacles? What will be the first thing that I do to overcome this obstacle? Now, fair warning, none of this will be what will happen in reality. Once you come to Germany, all bets are off, and everything that you planned, and that you decided, and that you made out in your mind, will turn out to be totally different, and that's completely fine. This is what I want you to realize in this exercise, that it's completely fine that none of this will work out, because once you are in Germany you can do the whole exercise over and over again.
Again, you decide, what is the change that I want for myself, how do I want to be different three months from now, six months from now, one year from now? What is the first step to get to this goal, now that I have a little bit more experience about the realities? Which obstacles do I need to overcome? How will I overcome these obstacles? Then you go, and you proceed, and you repeat this over and over again. Step by step, you will build the life, not that is pushed on you by the circumstances and your surroundings, but you will build the life that you want to live, and that's what it's all about in the end.
Why do you move to a different country? You don't move just because the salary is a little bit better there, you move because you want to be happy, and you can only be happy if you build the life that you want to live. No one else is going to build it for you, you have to plan it yourself and to build it yourself one step at a time. If you want your family to stay together, and to be happy, and to grow closer in the process, the most important tool for this is to communicate your dreams and wishes, and why they are important. To try, never to judge the goals that someone else has, because they are different people than you, even if they're a member of your family. Instead, try to understand why is this goal important to you, and how can I help you achieve this goal.
If you do this, if you keep this up, and you can repeat this over and over. When plans don't work out, you go through the process all over again, and you set new goals, and your life will be better every single day. This is what I wish for you, because the one thing that is absolutely sure, and that's the last thought I want to give you in this podcast today, is this, you change all the time, and therefore the whole world changes, because you will never experience it again in the way that you experienced it in the past, and that's a good thing.
My name is Chris Pyak, I'm the managing director of Immigrant Spirit GmbH, and the author of, How To Win Jobs And Influence Germans, which you can find on Amazon. Second edition is out first of May 2018, and for you I have a little bonus prepared for the listeners of my podcast, I put together for you, the best five tools to make friends in a different culture. Please go to pyak.com/27, and that's the landing page for this episode, and there you find a little signup form, and when you signup there for my newsletter I have a little present for you. I have prepared for you five great tools to make friends in a foreign country.
My name is Chris Pyak, and I wish you success.