Wednesday, April 13, 2016

I'm off...

It took a while but in the last few weeks all of a sudden I started getting invitations to interviews. Had six lined up over the course of two weeks! And then the first one was the charm - I was invited to a second interview a week later and it turned out they didn't so much want to interview me as they just wanted to offer me the job. Contingent on me spending a couple of hours there that afternoon just to make sure that I was happy and comfortable with the person I'll be mostly working under. Because, hold on to your hats, I've found somewhere to work where they attach great importance to the chemistry between people being good! I wasn't sure that existed in Germany! Hang on, that's worth more than one exclamation point I think!!!!!

So, now it's all go. The sensible thing to do would have been to wait and go to all my other interviews this week but I was very enthusiastic about this job after the first interview - the place, the tasks, the people and the type of graduate program I'll be supporting (sustainabililty-related! - I'm not going to name it though as it's quite specific and I like to cling to the notion that I'm still not completely identifiable from this blog. Quaint, some people might call that.)

I did go for one interview at my local university before I got this offer and haven't heard back yet but to be honest, I wasn't 100% certain about the professor I would have been working for. He seemed nice but also seemed like he could easily wear more than one face and I've learned to be careful about people like that. At any rate, I'm thrilled with the job I've gotten and only one other that I was called for interview for was similarly interesting and that would have involved either a long commute or a move to a town that's not particularly attractive. I cancelled that interview and instead, I will shortly be moving to this lovely place....
This is obviously one of the nicest views and there are parts of the town that are just as grey and horrible as any town but look...hills!

So even though the job I've gotten is only a part-time job (20 hours a week, increasing to 30 hours a week next year if they get funding) and is restricted to two years (so I have two years to try and wangle things to get a permanent position - something not at all easy to do in the public sector), it feels so right that I am going for it. I've already put out feelers to a recruitment agency in the area and am feeling very positive at the moment. That changes hourly though. At the moment I'm feeling pretty good because I had an unexpected but very welcome request via the National Association of Translators on Saturday which led to a nice bit of work on Monday and yesterday. Tough job but I think I did alright. Am just waiting for some feedback from the agency now and hoping that they were satisfied with it. It was a job just the other side of my comfort zone but when I got down to it it wasn't too bad, I think. Would be great to have made another contact that might lead to work every now and again.

Another aspect of working for the public service means that things can take a while. They would like me to start as soon as possible but it will probably take at least four weeks for the contract to go through all of the various departments and councils it has to go through. Still, starting mid-May or the beginning of June is very, very short notice in Germany. Bear in mind that if I hadn't already left my job and was just handing in my notice now, I wouldn't be free to start work anywhere else until the end of September and even if I would have been able to negotiate an earlier release from my contract, it would have been at least a few months.

The entire country seems to be predicated on a three-month cycle though, which means that although I did the sensible thing and left my job first (although that might work against me when I'm trying to find a new place to live and can't show income slips from an employer for the last few months), everything else now has to be worked on pronto. I've been trawling the websites looking for an apartment and have managed to arrange two appointments for Friday. Really hoping one of those is suitable and works out. I have to give three months notice on my place here, which means paying rent here until July. I'm really hoping that if I can find someone to take my place one, they'll let me out of my lease earlier. Need to phone now and find out. And organise to move. And cancel a million and one other things. I started making a list and it already covers one and a half A4 pages. Some things are just a change of address but some are things that have to be cancelled. Most are three-month cancellation policies but may have exceptions if you're leaving the state (which I will be) so I have a whole lot of paperwork ahead of me.

I may end up not blogging much at all over the next couple of months or I may end up blogging multiple times a day. It really could go either way. I'm excited and so happy to be feeling this level of enthusiasm for something though. Heidelberg here I come!