The truth about moving abroad without a job

In a week, I’ll be moving again to a country where I don’t really speak the language, have many social connections, or a job. The first time I did this was when I quit my comfortable corporate job in Australia to come to Taiwan.

Reading other blog posts of the very few people who have gone through a similar situation, they describe the situation as exciting, wonderful, and thrilling. I would like to add that these words only partially describe how I feel right now. In all honesty, I’m more nervous, utterly scared of failing, and the thought of having an unemployment gap in my resume somewhat terrifies me.

When I tell someone that I’ll be moving to Berlin, the next question that usually follows is, “So, do you have a job lined up?” When I bluntly tell them that I don’t, I see it in their eyes that they begin to feel a mix of concern and sympathy. Then, I get the speech about how Berlin has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world, and how a friend of a friend who couldn’t find a job in Berlin for years eventually starved to death. Ok, so the last bit is exaggerated, but you get the idea.

Although I’ve been looking for a job in Berlin remotely, this hasn’t quite worked out in my favour. Companies want to interview face-to-face, and startups urgently need someone to start the following week. Applying for jobs before getting to Berlin has left me with a collection of rejection letters.

I admit that going to a new country without a job sucks. Whoever said it was fun and easy, probably lived in a deluded bubble of denial… or had very wealthy parents.

Nevertheless, the other bloggers weren’t all wrong as there is that faint aspect of excitement and thrills. It’s not the ‘this is so awesome’ kind, but more like if I don’t try my butt off once I’m in Berlin, I could say goodbye to the savings reserved for a new iPhone and a handbag. I guess the thought of being another failed Berlin foreigner has pushed me to fill my calendar with networking events, and candid coffee chats. And I actually like this sort of pressure I’m asserting on myself.

To the so-called realists and haters on Toytown Germany who claim that foreigners can never find a great job in Berlin, I really hope that I could prove them wrong as I’m tired of hearing stories of foreigners in dire financial straits, and who are withering away somewhere in Berlin.

And if I do fail and become an unemployed emotional train wreck, you’d be the first to know on this blog.

5 thoughts on “The truth about moving abroad without a job

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  2. Pingback: Yes, there are indeed jobs in Berlin « Rapt Cat

  3. I agree completely with this post. Some people on Toytown are just plain negative instead of being encouraging. I found Berlin to have a lot more job opportunities for me than back home (Denmark) – this may not be the case for everyone of course, but I don’t think it’s in any way as hopeless as Toytown makes it seem.

    • I might be biased in saying this, but I find that a lot of the people on TT commenting that they couldn’t find a job in Berlin are also people who lack a degree, have no job experience, and are picky about what they want to do. I’ve read posts where recent grads from the U.S. are expecting to land their first job in marketing here and expecting to get paid 45k Euros a year. Possible: Yes. Realistic: Probably not.

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