Raising some awareness

Alright, people, listen up! I see that my past Romanian writings (sounds like I’m talking about proper literature, pfff :))… What was I saying… Yeah, the writings; the past articles dealing with my visits in Switzerland (or Germany’s green oasis – aka Freiburg) have spawned a flock of new visitors interested in the petite cantonal country.

Romanians want to flee, that’s for sure. And they think about opportunities. So, when it comes to finding the best possible place to stay/work/live in Europe, Switzerland is one of the first choices (or at least among the first ones – pecuniary reasons prevail). Or the EU Parliament’s environment (Brussels, Geneva, etc.). Girls are especially fond of this last opportunity; upon obtaining a job they provide their services for about a year or so, in the meantime getting pregnant and then they spend another one or two years babysitting with a high income. Smart move.

HOWEVER… however, here are some facts. – the following lines may trigger some disbelief or, on the contrary, make some readers think twice before engaging into God-knows-what endeavors. Or they may as well turn me into an arrogant prick. Whatever. Proceed on your own risk. –

Money: Switzerland is loaded, so the typical snobbish Romanian with a little bit of exposure to foreign countries (e.g. shopping in Milan, swirling in the London Eye, sunbathing in Greece or on Bulgaria’s Golden Sands, climbing in the Tour Eiffel, eating a schnitzel in Vienna, buying a 2nd hand car from Germany,  etc.) would definitely like to get his ass down there, in the comfortable valleys between the Alps. Also, the young Romanian hipster happens to have a friend who has a friend who has a friend living/working in Switzerland. “What a lucky bastard!”, they say to themselves. “How the hell did he get there?!

Especially nowadays, with this ongoing crysis, more and more people are focusing on relocating (things in Romania aren’t going pretty well; as a matter a fact the whole situation is rather blue). The trouble with some of them is that they find themselves in a constant state of disorientation, and this is inherent to those who have acquaintances living abroad and trying to persuade them into getting the hell out of this inept country. On one hand, the ‘brave, courageous and bold immigrant’ is a worthy example of gutty behavior. And this actually triggers the next, inevitable trait of Romanian character: envy. (Generalizing is not something that I like doing; I find it to be the exponent of a rather smattered reasoning. But with Romania, one cannot help but mixing all the vegetables in the same pot.)

Now, back to the disoriented young immigration-aspirer. Why the uncertainty? On one hand, he also wants to take advantage of all the benefits that come together with the landscape change. On the other hand, their fatalistic approach makes them think about their leaving in terms of withdrawal:  “What will my parents do? What will happen to my friends? How will I be able to stay in touch with them? Will I make new friends there? But I don’t really like the Swiss/Germans; they’re cold, and conservative, and they’re no fun hanging around with. Fuck them with their money and chocolate! I’m staying here.” But then the acquaintance living abroad wakes up one day with a warm opening line on messenger, followed up by some lamented speech and a courteous demand: “Do you know by any chance any recruitment websites, somewhere I can submit my resume, can you make a recommendation? Trust me, I’ve applied for a lot of jobs and I didn’t get any replies. Or they came back to me saying we’re not in the EU; or that I don’t speak German. Fucking Swiss!” Yeah, damn chocolatiers… how come they don’t speak all English? Haven’t they heard about ‘globalization’ and corporate environments? English is the first language; who the hell wants French-speaking aspirants? Cold bastards…

And then the Reason clears its throat and starts speaking: “What were the recruitment agencies you registered yourself with? Have you thought that those with ‘non-EU’ arguments simply wanted to give you a quick dismissal based upon your skills/experience/sloth in engaging with paperwork for foreigners? Do you have any idea how many work-permits has Switzerland issued in the last year for EU citizens? Are you aware of the Swiss labor-market being opened for Romanians only in 2012? Do you know what are the most sought-after positions in Switzerland? (e.g. medical doctors, chemists, researchers, IT professionals, financial experts) Any Master degrees you can provide the potential employer with? Recently, most of the Western markets decided to close and protect themselves by no longer accepting foreign manpower. Have you given any thought on that?”, and so forth… to which comes the inevitable reply: “Fuck them and their hyperbolic claims!

Yeah, well, it’s a tough world we live in. Suggestions, recommendations? Be brave and patient, and above all – know your limits, don’t think too highly of you, a little modesty doesn’t do any damage. Make a thorough analysis of the environment upon embarking on such an endeavor. But the most important aspect of all: know what you want and make a realistic projection of your long-term plans, think how others can benefit from your expertise, otherwise you’ll end up moaning all-day long and cursing others for your failures. Don’t just think of changing something for the sake of change and never compare yourself to others. You don’t need to impress anyone other than yourself.

Oh, and ‘thanks, no thanks’ emails will keep on coming. It’s all about how you ‘make your own luck’. ‘Hope it helps.

later edit: yes, the messaging is quite ranting, yes – it’s Central European specific, and – YES, it’s about annoying, pathetic people who usually don’t have a clue. Paul‘s nifty analysis had to be brought up; it delivers me from additional explanation 🙂


5 thoughts on “Raising some awareness

  1. It’s funny that you mentioned Switzerland as an example .. A friend of mine went to work there for almost two years now. It’s wasn’t a money thing for her (mind you, she’s been living in Canada for more than 20 years) but it was the change of scenery that drove her decision. She wanted to experience the life in a small city so to speak. A city with character and history behind it. She wanted to be able to walk to and from work if she wanted to (compare that to maybe a 45 min. average commute to and from work here in Toronto). And she’s happy. I may be a bit off topic with this example .. but I guess my point is, since she’s Romanian, that she doesn’t fall in the category you described above. Mind you she has commitments here (eg. a husband and a mortgage on a house and her family and friend to top it up). But her decision to leave (even though it’s temporarily – if we can call 2 years temporarily – ) came as quick as it gets. In one week only she made the decision, packed her bags took a flight to Geneva and was ready to face this new chapter in her life. So hats off to her and those that have the balls to make such a decision. No one says it easy. But hey, if you can’t make a decision then you don’t deserve to succeed at anything!

  2. Don’t be too hard on ourselves. There’s plenty of envy everywhere you look. Why, that’s the main reason of people voting for equality of outcome.
    It’s true that after seeing Switzerland, the prospect of retiring there is interesting but there’s still time for the decision.
    However, France Voisine is comparable.

  3. I sometimes let myself driven by personal experience, hence the harshness and the discontent in my messaging. But on a larger scale I agree with you – behaviors are comparable, there’s no point in localizing it 🙂

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