Since I am moving to Copenhagen, I have been preparing my new life for the previous months. Currently, I am couchsurfing with a wonderful family. The reward of finding hospitable, welcoming and kind-hearted people strength my hopes every morning.
I have Googled, Facebooked, Couchsurfed and mailed dozens of hours. I have used keywords in any search engine I know; I have read official and non-official websites about this country, its paperwork, job opportunities, flat hunting, culture… I am putting into practice all the research and information gathering techniques I know, and asking around those I do not know. However, a face-to-face interview has been extremely useful to clear my head about becoming an expat.
A couple of Spanish friends decided to move to Berlin, their profile? Elementary education, a bunch of English basic words, none of German, and a lack of economic support. They were just following their dreams. So, how did they do it? Simply stated, suffering.
Three years ago, in a short Bboy trip they, as many others, felt in love with the German capital. Some months later they were hosted in their friends’ rooms, their friends’ of a friends’ room, couchsurfers’ floors and sofas, and the cheapest hostels in the city. They spent more than 3 months trying to get a room, which brought hours of hopelessness thoughts and a big amount of depressive feelings. Nevertheless, eventually, they got it. Besides, after another huge amount of desperate search they both got their first shitty jobs. That is how they started to pay their bills, and, little by little, recover the money they had invested in their adventure.
Then, apart from suffering, what were they doing? Being extremely tiresome, being awfully boring. My friends’ wisest advice was “You will never be tiresome enough. Think about it”. They received hundreds of rejections after flat interviews; they sent thousands of unanswered messages; they spoke with countless unfriendly property owners; they printed mountains of ignored CV’s; they tried to convince myriads of arrogant employers…
Every day, we are bombed with motivation messages about fighting for what we want, following our dreams, accomplishing our goals, finding ourselves, etcetera. But, once in the field, what does it mean? It means being the most tiresome and tenacious guy ever, the most boring and repetitive guy you have heard about. It does not matter what people think about you. If you do not allow thoughts to harm you, they will not. Remember that everything has been said, but not everyone has heard it.
There are many polite and shy youngers who, defeated and exhausted, came back to their home countries because they did not want to bother employers and landlords. They did not want to look desperate, weak or annoying. Not surprisingly, key of success is just being the other way around.
Create a social network. Get to know people. Let people know that you are vulnerable, that you do not have anything, neither place to be, nor job to work in. Let them know you are looking for anything; you are craving for whatever… Let them know that you will welcome any help.
Go out and try every possibility. Do not be shy, neither picky nor choosy. Once you think you have covered all your possibilities, go again and again to the same bars, cafés, hotels, restaurants, hospitals…
If the employers say, “We will call you soon” and they do not, just come back and remind them about you, about the call you are waiting for (which probably will never arrive), about your interest in working with them. Make employers hire you just to stop bother them. Make them think that you will never give up; that if they say we will call you soon, you will come back soon. Stick to their memory until your stick to their company. Make them getting rid of you by picking you up. He will forgive that you were the annoying guy of every week when you show him how good you are at whatever he orders.
If they ask you about your work experience, you have already work in everything, you have been volunteering in something similar, you have already done these tasks, you have the necessary skills to do the job perfectly. Maybe it was long time ago and you have forgotten it… It will be okay.
You will offer them to work without being paid during a couple of days to check how motivate you are. In trial days do more than your best. Show them you want to work, show them you want that job. Movement means life. Do not stop.
If you do not know how to do something, ask around because in your previous jobs things worked differently. Take the best of the privilege of the first weeks and ask everything to everyone. Get to know them, get them to know you. Be the most productive; convince everyone about yourself, about your skills, about your positive impact working with you will have for them.
Convince yourself, believe in yourself, do not give up. Sometimes is easy to lose our confidence, and hopes may fade away. It is normal. Accept and embrace those feelings, they are part of yourself. But they are not yourself. Remember why you are doing what you are doing. Do not forget your purpose; take the present situation as an opportunity for the future, as a new step towards your goals. Write until you believe your words.
Good luck and good hunting.