In April of this year, Darlan (25) left his home in Brazil to come to Hamburg and start his job in a German company in the E-commerce division. He shares his experiences with us. Guest Commentary.
Before I came to Hamburg, I had a job in online marketing in Brazil. I have my bachelor’s in advertising, and worked for an affiliate company of a big international corporation situated in Germany. By the age of 22, I had never been outside of Brazil. Our company kept receiving trainees from Germany with whom I became friends. I became convinced that the world was bigger than I could imagine and I should go abroad, especially to Germany, which seemed like an awesome place after getting to know some people from there. I then got the chance to make a six-month traineeship in the E-commerce department for another affiliate company of the concern in Hamburg.
As a trainee I realized how well I fit into Germany
I’ve been pretty lucky. From time to time a manager from this German company travels to Brazil, so I got the opportunity to have a job interview with the manager without having to go to Germany, and fortunately it went well. So I was very lucky to have the right contacts and to be in the right place at the right time. As a trainee in Hamburg, I worked in several departments and on several projects for Brazil. I liked it a lot and realized how well I fit into Germany, and after returning to Brazil when the traineeship had ended, I still kept the possibility of going back to Europe in my mind. Then some great news reached me in November of the same year: The company in Hamburg told me that they had a vacancy open for Account Manager for Brazil!
It took around half a year until I got the work visa
It took quite a while until all the bureaucratic stuff was finished and I could get the work visa, around half a year. Now I’m living here in Germany, and I started my job in April of this year. What I like in Germany is that people do pretty much everything according to a structure, and if you miss some element of this structure at some point of the process you will quickly realize that something is missing and you can go back and refer to the structure in order to fix it. When I say that it might sound as if this only applies to work, but in Germany it applies to every single thing—this structure and order is in the German mind, and I like that a lot.
My colleagues correct my language mistakes
I work in E-commerce as a Display Account Manager. Basically I put my company’s advertising in the important online portals of Brazil. As I work for Brazilian projects, everything I publish is in Portuguese, but at work we speak German 95% of the time. Fortunately my colleagues are very patient and helpful, so when I need to communicate with companies here in Germany, I first try to write the E-mail myself and then call some colleagues in order to correct any language mistakes I may have made. My writing is the same as my talking, meaning I use and write the words correctly, but I still make some mistakes with regards to grammar.
I see myself building a life here
I have an open-ended employment contract. Can I imagine staying here forever? My mindset now is: Let’s see how it goes, I have no reason to go back to Brazil at the present moment. Brazil is not having its best moment economically or politically speaking right now, so I have decided for now that I would like to be in a country with better conditions regarding security and infrastructure. I think Germany is a good place to be right now – to build a life project. But who knows? Maybe I’ll go to another country one day. Although I see myself building a life here, I always live life easily and go with the flow.
Do you want to learn more? Coming up soon:
My way to Germany. What steps did Darlan have to complete in order to obtain a working permit? How long did it take and how did the uncertainty feel? Darlan will address these issues in his next post.
Also on our blog: The US-American Megan Lester has not been as lucky – read: Back in Germany, but not for long: No work visa for an American. Naked greetings in the sauna, a bakery on every corner, and – ha – German buses do run late: Read about Megan Lesters other experiences in Germany in a previous Employland-interview. Or read about the intercultural experiences of an Indian engineer living in Germany, or what a Spanish Engineer thinks about the Germans.