Looking back, or what would I have done differently, having moved to work in Germany now. Part 1

    The post was inspired by the recent publication, “How IT Leaders Go to Germany. Part 1 " from FlashXL . Not that I started everything differently, but there would be less rake of mistakes. I do not pretend to complete the picture - I just want to share my experience and warn against possible mistakes of those who are currently in the process of hiring in Germany (in the IT industry), and also, perhaps, give some advice.


    I started looking for vacancies and sending out resumes in January 2011. The process was not very active - I would even say it was extremely passive. By the summer, he began to send spam CVs already 3-5 per week. The first answer and the immediately scheduled telephone interview with HR (the answer was from the direct employer) was received sometime in August 2011. Then for two months there were 3 more interviews (two technical on Skype with sharing the screen and watching how I code and one with PM). A month later, I received a DHL contract. However, for family reasons, I had to give up work, because They thought that they would have to move in the winter, which means that children should drop out of school / kindergarten in the middle of the school year. If we knew what awaits us next ...

    At about the same time as the contract came to me, a recruiting company came to me and offered another vacancy. Well, we think that since they refused this contract, why not pass a couple of interviews, maybe, if they take it, then by the summer we will move (yeah, schaz!). There was again an interview with HR from recruiters, an interview with HR of the employer, a technical interview (all over the phone) and then an invitation to an in-person interview. The employer paid the entire fare from my house (and I lived far from Moscow - another night by train to her) to his office, hotel accommodation and the way back.

    Well, upon returning home, I was very impressed. Both from the company and from the city (Darmstadt), and even more so from Frankfurt (plane Moscow - Frankfurt). Unfortunately, like FlashXL, the guys were in no hurry with the answer. Once, while helping friends to choose something near a computer in a small store, a telephone rings - a German number! It was necessary to see buyers around me when I started speaking English and my physiognomy began to blur in the smile of a March cat - it was an offer, and even with a higher salary than I requested!

    It took about 3 months to collect all the documents, put down apostilles, translations and certifications, schedule a visit to the consulate in Moscow, then send the documents by e-mail (I forgot to make a labor transfer): from February to April 2012. Then weary waiting response. "Welcome" came the day before the end of the maximum period for an answer, the ticket was bought on the same day and three days later I landed in Frankfurt am Main.

    What would I do differently now:

    In-person interview

    Before talking with HR, google, find out from friends, look for approximate salaries (annual) of specialists of your level in the relevant field (gaming industry, banks, medicine, car manufacturers, etc.) on specialized sites. If you, suppose, ask for a 50k position for Senior, you will receive them without question. But it is quite possible that they could get 65k in the same way without problems. But asking for 70k at an average for Senior in the industry of 60k will not be good anymore, and bargaining in this matter is not accepted. It is also useless to say “I reckon on 4k clean” - no one knows how much you really get into your hands after all the deductions and insurance. Only gross and usually an annual amount, not a monthly amount.

    As a tip - take the middle one and add boldly 5k - you won’t lose it (this does not apply to Junior ones - the tip is only for Senior ones). In my case, I requested a little below average and got a little higher. And could get even higher. The problem is that in order to really increase the salary ratio (and not by the standard 3-5% per year), already working in the company, you need to quit and find another company.


    If you are serious about moving to another country, then do all notarial deeds, translations, apostilles in advance in triplicate. A lot of time is spent putting down an apostille for a diploma, especially if you graduated from a university in one city and now live in another. The official term, as I was told, is 90 days. Things are even worse with the Apostille on the Marriage Certificate - the registry offices do not have a single base and you will have to go to the village where your marriage was concluded. Personally. Although such an apostille is done in 1-3 days (less than 90).


    When I left, the Blau Karte law had not yet entered into force (but in my ABH I was the first to file and receive it and somewhere 3rd or 4th in all of Hessen), but now it’s a lot easier and there are already quite a few lucky people who received an entry visa as applicants for it, and not "in the old fashioned way." If you are with your family, then the advantages are obvious - there is no hemorrhoids and unnecessary financial expenses with passing the A1 exam at the Goethe Institute - your other half will go “automatically” without confirmation of “basic German language skills at A1 level”. In my case, I entered alone, after a month I received the usual residence permit, at the same time my wife signed up for the change in Goethe (it was already appointed after 3 months!). That is still fun - I am alone in Germany, and my wife is alone with the children in Russia ...

    Acclimatization on-site

    I studied German at school for 6 years, then taught on my own listening to various courses, videos, on-line training materials, but when meeting with a real language I experienced, as they say, a cultural shock. This is especially pronounced in lands in which their own dialects are strong (Hessen - Hessisch, Bayern & Baden-Württemberg - Schwäbisch), because There is a lot of local dialect in colloquial speech, and the older your interlocutors are, or the more they come from a larger province, the brighter it will appear.

    Who didn’t speak with, who arrived not so long ago (he’s been in Germany a little less than six months) - everyone has the syndrome “I want to go home, I don’t like everything here, everything is wrong and wrong.” Go over it. Then you will laugh at yourself. Yes, the mentality and orders can be said to be diametrically opposed, but it is worth it to suffer a little. After a year, you will never want to return. Well ... or come back and you never want to change the country of residence.

    There is still a strong desire to ask the interlocutor “Do you speak English?” and in the affirmative answer switch to English, saying that they say "Mein Deutsch ist noch nicht sehr gut". Do not do this - make mistakes, conjugate verbs is not quite right, but speak. They will understand you. Phrases will be pronounced slowly, waiting for you to understand them. Here no one is freaking out about this and treats it normally (Germans know that their language is very difficult to understand).

    What would I do differently now:

    Before moving

    Find maps of the city / region where you will live, find outlets within walking distance and bike accessibility. Find out where and when bike sales take place. If you don’t have a car immediately upon arrival, then immediately buy a bicycle. But just not some consumer goods in a supermarket for 200 euros (which will fall apart in a month), but either a new one for 1000, or at Flohmarkte for 100. I, while I was living here for six months, did not bother to check the stores within a kilometer radius , and constantly went around the corner. Now it seems wild to me - I spent 300 per month on food for one, and now for a family of 4 people - 400. Germans usually buy on Saturdays and go to large super / hypermarkets, which are usually located on suburbs or in industrial zones. Those. - either a car, or a large and large backpack (baskets on the bike).

    Garbage sorting

    Yes, garbage is sorted here. Depending on the land, sorted in different ways. But Biotonne (organic) and Altpapier (paper) stand out clearly. Somewhere, everything else is thrown to Restmüll, somewhere else, Gelbe Säcke (special yellow bags that are issued free of charge at Rathaus and in some stores) stand out to collect almost the entire package, such as packs of milk, yoghurts, etc. .P. and metal. Glass is thrown into special containers and is divided into colors: white, green and brown. Almost all plastic containers (bottles), beer bottles and aluminum cans are handed back to the store in a special machine - you get a check, which you can then pay at the cash register or just get cash.
    While still in Russia, I would somehow begin to train to separate the garbage (although we still throw it in one container), because at first here it delivered a lot of headache. And when you still receive comments from Hausmeister about the garbage that was not thrown out correctly, I’m ready to fall through the ground ... Then it becomes a habit even for children.

    Driver's license

    The so-called "international driving license" issued in Russia, I feel, are "international" only in Russia. In fact, for the first six months after entering Germany, you can safely drive a car under Russian rights - no one will say a word to you. Although the probability that you will be stopped by policemen and somewhere on the road here tends to zero. During these 6 months, you can quite simply “exchange” Russian rights for German. You will have to pass the theory (it is allowed to take in several languages, including Russian) and a driving test. But if you have delayed these six months, you will have to take a theory course (it depends on the school - you can “get away” somewhere by saying that I teach it myself at home), drive a minimum of hours by car with an instructor (in the city during daylight and dark and the same on the autobahn) and only then pass the theory and practice. It costs much more in terms of costs. In general, the minimum amount you spend on obtaining rights is 1,500 euros. If you fail one of the exams, then you can "fly in" for 2000 and more. Before you start studying at a driving school, you still have to take the Erste Hilfe course (only in German) and translate your rights into German at the nearest ADAC department. Yes, at the time of obtaining German rights, the Russians will be taken from you. You have yet to complete the Erste Hilfe course (German only) and translate your rights into German at your nearest ADAC office. Yes, at the time of obtaining German rights, the Russians will be taken from you. You have yet to complete the Erste Hilfe course (German only) and translate your rights into German at your nearest ADAC office. Yes, at the time of obtaining German rights, the Russians will be taken from you.
    As you understand, I safely missed my six months (I learned about it after these same six months), so now I’m learning the theory. But here it is quite different from the Russian one (not in terms of the fact that the signs mean something different, but among a host of other nuances that are not present in Russian traffic rules).

    To be continued.

    UPD: following the advice of batja84 , I specifically indicate: all the tips, cases, “facts” apply to my region of residence - Bundesland Hessen, Landkreis Darmstadt-Dieburg. In other regions, and especially lands, there may be peculiarities.

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