Aug 5, 2015

opportunities

Tomorrow morning I will not be getting on a train to Munich like I told my office- I will be taking two days of vacation to work at a different office.

I want to change my jobs because of several reasons that basically boil down to professional trajectory and salary. I am frankly not making the money I want to make, and this job would be a boost to my salary. Professionally, I work most of the time in Rhino and Adobe Illustrator. I make and remake and remake phantom buildings for print media. This is not the job I was trained to do, this is not the job I am interested in. Frankly, German conceptual design is terrible. What wins competitions, what is built, are white, blocky buildings with large grid openings. There is sometimes a kink knick introduced, but only a slight one, in plan. German technical design is great. This is where I want to improve. Details. Facade systems. Building systems. I am excited about the fact that there is an entire profession (lacking in the US) centered around building efficiency in terms of climate control and energy.

This new office is pretty new. I am a little concerned about the risk I am taking. If I sever my ties with WA, and if the new job turns sour, I will be asked to leave the country after a short period of time if I can't find a new job. It's a little tricky switching the working permit as well, which could delay the whole proceedings.

One thing I definitely need to do is bring up these situations with the employers, since it may be logical that they they work on fullfilling the requirements of the working visa before I tell my employer I am leaving.

But I get ahead of myself. Tomrrow and friday are about getting to know each other.

They will want to know how is my German. They will want to know what I am like to work with. They will want to know what my level of skill is with autocad and revit and building drawings.

Tonight, I have been memorizing the phrase Ich bin Erfruet, Sie kennen zu lernen which means pleased to meet you.

This is also my chance to evaluate the company. Specifically, I want to get a feel of how the workflow goes, what the working environment is like, what kind of work I will be doing, what are the people like that I will be working with. It will be also be an opportune time to discuss salary, perhaps at the end, since I gave a number before.

So what is a Go for me? I am looking for a place where I can quickly improve my German, build up my skills as an architect, by which I mean take a direct part in design and drafting. I am looking for more money. I am looking for something I can fully engage. I have worked with hard no-nonsense people at DWL. That's fine. Now is not the time for whimsey in careers. I am looking for people who will be consistant, fair, and helpful. I am not afraid to work.

So what do I need to do tomorrow? My goals are to provide a good impression. That is to nice, say, well-mannered, serious, eager and enthusaistic about the job, showing a willingness to dive in and try something but also to ask questions.

This a construction business whose main job is making actual, standing up, buildings. This is not making competitions, which has the aim of making buildings appear as effortless and insubstantial as possible. These jobs need people who are reliable, straightforward, and hardworking.

I need to use my German. A lot. I can do it. I need to not be afraid to be totally German all day except for matters of explicit clarity.

I need to repeat back what people ask me to do to make sure that I know what to do and they know I know what to do.

I need to dress neatly. No tie, no jacket, but serious and professional. And to be on time. Which means I need to be at Mezcal at 8am, which means I need to be out the door at 7:30, which is my normal "waking up" time. So everything gets shifted back an hour.

What am I giving up by changing jobs?
I am risking seriously damaging my relationship with someone who has been great personally to me and Saori, and I hate to jeapordize that.
I am also complicating my working visa and wading into the labrynth of German beaurocracy. But this is a fact of life here and frankly, the process of making buildings is incredibly beaurocratic and tedious as well from that perspective.
I will miss working with some of the coworkers I have become friends with- it saddens me to let them down by leaving as well, but it does not necessarily mean that I am going to be shunned. They do not see this position as permenant for them either, to be perfectly candid.

I will give up access to food since there is literally no place to eat around the new workplace. I will need to get up an hour earlier every day, and I will need to pack a lunch.

My commute will be twice as long. I will commute two hours a day instead of one, and walking home, or incorporating walking will no longer be an option. This is offset by the fact that working hours are shorter. I will net the same amount of working time plus commuting time. I will also be dependant upon R and A for rides to work, or risk coming in to work late with the bahn and bus.

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