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Do I regret moving to Germany?

Updated: May 11, 2020

Not at all....While my move to Germany was totally unplanned, it has been one of the best life decisions that came along. The move to Germany, while challenging and difficult, has put me on a path where I can plan a long term quality life and career.

This post is my personal experience based on the time spent in Germany. You may or may not agree with it. This is totally fine as everyone has their own story to tell, this is mine.

Being in Germany, has helped me to :

  • Build up a foundation : I have had opportunity to work for the top brands and startups in Germany. The benefit of this variety of experience has been that I know what I enjoy doing the most. Which is the size of the company and peers, with whom I deliver the best and hence, build strong professional (and sometimes, personal) relationships.

  • Long term life : Like everything else in Germany, the path to achieve German PR and citizenship is process based. Once the qualifying conditions are fulfilled, the grant of the PR or Citizenship is assured. Unlike in some other developed countries, where the visa (and people’s life and career) is tied to the company. Hence, creating a perfect situation for foreigner’s economic exploitation (I know a lot of comments are going to focus on this specific point. While I respect each reader’s opinion, I have a vast professional and personal network to know real individual stories),

  • Friend’s circle : One of the biggest misconception about Germany is that Germans are arrogant, rude and difficult to make friends with. I also had an almost similar perception when I initially moved to Germany (thanks to the global press for distorting the realities). I have been able to make lifelong German friends, who are almost family. Some I met initially through my friends, some I worked with, some I met during meetups. I can count on them blindly to be there for me in my times of need. Infact, 2 of them are coming to India for the first time, to explore India and to attend a wedding.

  • Non judgemental culture : The German culture is focused on doing what one feels comfortable with. It means that my efforts and learning are valued more than failures. They are not held against me, or to put me down in life or career. When I moved to Germany with no local language, experience and network, it took me 6 months to find a job (being in finance, IT would have been a different story). I have rarely been asked about this gap. If I was asked, after I explained the reason, it was understood and made no impact on the final hiring decision.

  • Variety of cultures : Germany is the hub for most of EU, and a lot of North American professionals. This not only provides a variety of cultures, but also helps me shape up my personality. I have friends who come from Colombia, Mexico, France, US, Philippines, Canada, Turkey, Syria, Middle East and of course, Germany. Each of them brings their own flavor of life, thus helping me to understand people better. This point though, is not just specific to Germany. A lot of the global cities will have this factor,

  • Travel : I love to travel. Being in Germany, I am right in the center of East and West Europe. Short duration flights from Berlin can take me from Hungary in East to London in West (with reference to Germany). Going to Italy, I can explore good food, amazing people and Alps, Lakes and beaches. Or going to Mallorca, for a weekend trip to enjoy the party capital of Europe. I have traveled and explored more of Europe in last 6 years than India, where I lived for ~30years.

It always helps to have a mentor, who has worked and lived in Germany for some of the best brands. For personal consultation with Arun Mahajan, book a time with him.

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