April 4, 2023
Last updated:

Moving abroad: The challenges and opportunities of relocating to Germany

Relocating to Germany provides many opportunities, as well as exciting new cultural experiences. But it is not without its challenges. As an international employer focused on getting the best talent for our growing company, gridX is a mixing pot of diverse nationalities and cultures. We spoke to two employees to find out about their acclimatization process in Germany and give some tips to anyone looking for online jobs in Germany for English speakers. 

1. Tell us a bit about yourself 🙂 

Umar: I'm Umar Tahir and I'm currently living the dream as the Backend Developer at gridX! I've been part of the team since July 1st and it's been one wild ride so far. But before I landed here, I was soaking up the sun in beautiful Lahore, Pakistan. From the vibrant culture to the incredible food, my time in Pakistan was truly unforgettable. But now, I'm loving every minute of my experience at gridX. It's amazing to be part of a team that's pushing boundaries and making waves in the energy industry.

Rüvü: Fatma Rüveyde Özceylan but I like being called Rüvü since it’s more interesting :) I started working at gridX in June 2022 as a Junior Product Manager. I am from Turkey but I moved to Germany for my Master’s degree.  

2. How did it come about to move to another country?

Umar: Well, when you're a software developer with a case of wanderlust like me, the idea of moving to a new country can be pretty tempting! Germany was on my radar for a few reasons. First off, as a tech hub, it offered some exciting career opportunities for me.

But beyond that, I was also excited about the chance to immerse myself in a new culture and way of life. Germany has a rich history and fascinating traditions that I wanted to experience first hand. There are plenty of things to appreciate about this amazing country, from the stunning architecture to the delicious food. Of course, moving to a new country has had its fair share of challenges, but overall, it's been an incredibly rewarding experience. I've had the opportunity to meet new people, learn new things, and grow both personally and professionally.

Rüvü Özceylan, Junior Product Manager at gridX

Rüvü: I like experiencing different cultures, meeting people from different nationalities. I’ve never liked staying in my comfort zone. Already from high school, I left my home town to study at a science school and stayed in the dormitory. Years later, that was followed by going to the USA to study English, then Italy for an internship. When I chose to enhance my knowledge in renewable energies, I decided to come to Germany.

3. How did you hear about gridX?

Rüvü: gridX’s reports are always a very interesting read. I bumped into the VPP report and checked the company even further. Later, I actually remembered several years ago stumbling across gridX’s logo on the Tihange Nuclear Power Plant. Deciding to steer my career into the product department and seeing this position felt like the perfect match 🙂

4. Was your recruiting process still from your home country? How was the process? 

Umar: Yes, my recruiting process was entirely remote from Pakistan. At first, I was a bit nervous about not being able to meet the team in person, but the process turned out to be smooth and efficient. I had the opportunity to speak with Thomas, a member of the gridX team, and we bonded over our mutual love for football. We talked about the company culture, the vision for the future, and how my skills and experience could fit into the team. It was a great conversation that left me feeling excited about the prospect of joining gridX. 

5. How was your start at gridX? 

Umar: As for my start at gridX, I have to say it was a bit challenging at first. When I first arrived in Germany, I was homesick and experiencing culture shock. It was my first time in the EU, and everything was new and unfamiliar to me. But thankfully, the gridX team was incredibly helpful in making me feel welcome and helping me settle in. In just a few days, I had met a bunch of nice people who were eager to show me around and introduce me to the local culture. And once I started working, I found myself engaged in some really exciting projects and surrounded by talented and passionate colleagues. All in all, I'm really grateful for the support I received from the gridX team during those early days. Their kindness and hospitality helped me feel at home in a new country and made my transition to a new job and  new culture much smoother.

6. What surprised you (positive and / or  negative) from working in Germany? 

Rüvü: Positive is definitely the gridX benefits, they are awesome. Plus the working culture, everyone is very professionally and personally supportive. Negative: only one thing: bureaucracy 😀

7. What was your biggest challenge?

Umar Tahir, Backend Developer at gridX

Umar: My biggest challenge was trying to figure out the ins and outs of German culture without looking like a complete dummkopf. I mean, have you seen the way Germans organize their recycling? It's like a Rubik's Cube, but instead of colors, it's all different types of plastics and paper. And don't even get me started on trying to pronounce some of those words. Let's just say, I've accidentally ordered a side of sauerkraut when I meant to ask for a side of fries more times than I care to admit. But hey, I'm nothing if not persistent. With the help of my trusty translator app and a lot of trial and error, I've managed to survive and even thrive in this foreign land. And who knows, maybe one day I'll be able to sort my trash like a pro and order a bratwurst without sounding like a tourist. A guy can dream, right?

Rüvü: Finding an apartment. When you’re new to a country and don’t speak the language, building trust can be an issue. But don’t give up and ask for support. Luckily, I have very nice colleagues who offered their help.

8. What are the pros and cons of working overseas? 

Umar: Certainly, there are both pros and cons of working overseas. On the one hand, working abroad can be an incredible opportunity to gain new skills, push your boundaries, and immerse yourself in a new culture. However, working overseas can also be challenging. Being away from family and friends for an extended period of time can be difficult, and adjusting to a new culture and way of life can be a real challenge. There may also be language barriers and other logistical hurdles to overcome, which can be stressful and frustrating at times. 

That being said, I believe that the benefits of working overseas far outweigh the challenges. For me personally, the opportunity to work at gridX in Germany has been an amazing experience, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I've learned so much, both professionally and personally, and I've made some incredible connections and friendships along the way. 

9. Do you have any tips for people who think about moving for their job? 

Umar & Rüvü: Certainly! Here are some tips for those who are considering moving for their job:

1. Do your research: Make sure you research the new location, the company you will be working for, and the cost of living in the area. This will help you get a better idea of what to expect and plan accordingly. 

2. Stay open-minded: Moving to a new place can be overwhelming and scary, but it's important to stay open-minded and embrace the new experience. Try new foods, meet new people, and explore the area to make the most out of your time there. 

3. Stay connected: Moving to a new place can be lonely, so it's important to stay connected with family and friends back home. Schedule regular calls or video chats to stay in touch and keep them updated on your new adventure. 

4. Be patient: Adjusting to a new job, a new location, and a new culture takes time, so be patient with yourself. Give yourself time to settle in and don't expect everything to be perfect right away. 

5. Have fun: Moving to a new place can be stressful, but it's also an exciting opportunity to explore a new city and culture. Make sure to take breaks from work and enjoy all the new experiences that come your way.

And most importantly, don't forget to pack your spirit of adventure, especially when you're navigating a new job and a new country. 

Are you looking for a new challenge outside your home country and want to join a fast-growing company that puts people first? We are hiring across every department – learn more and view our open positions on our careers page.

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