Be my guest

Dear reader,

As the time offers new opportunities and brings in new ideas, I got something new for you, too. I have seen a lot, and I have much to tell – so, be my guest in this blog where I will share my vision of life and career of a modern international woman as well as my opinion regarding the cultural differences and integration problems in different countries.

This blog is dedicated to each and every one who decided to build his or her life from scratch and is aiming for an international career, especially if you are from a CIS-country. I have no Instagram and I will not put myself onto a throne, but will show you how to get up when you fail and where to look for the stars you can reach.

I strongly believe that we have enough “perfect life cases” on Instagram. This is a blog about a career and life, which are so interesting precisely by being imperfect and nonlinear. Enjoy it!

Kindly yours,

Russianladyabroad

Sharing a tear and a smile with the right friends

One of the reasons, why I ended up having few but very strong and talented friends, is simple: they all can be happy for me. At any time. At any level of my “happy”. If I would earn a million tomorrow, they would be glad for me and would ask, how I did it. And I would definitely tell them. I would come one week later, and each of them would already have 5 million. “Damn, I need to catch up!” – I would think.

I cannot tell you to surround yourself only with people of “the same level”, as my mom used to say. But remember that being a friend is not only sharing the worst moments of your life, but also being able to be happy for somebody else. The friendship includes both sides, and there is no way around it.

Kindly yours,

Russianladyabroad  

One lottery ticket for your career luck

And here I am.. fashionably late with the new style of the website, but I hope that you will enjoy it on your mobile devices as well 😉

I guess, you know that I never reappear without a fresh container with motivation. I would never disappoint you, so, here I am, packing my things to get a Lobbyist training with the European Parliament.

What a Russian soul has to do with the European Parliament, you would ask. Everything and nothing: during an exchange semester in Germany in 2010, I got a student excursion to the European Commission in Brussel. I was very excited when we were offered to seat in the seats of the Commission officials, you know 😉 Many important decisions are made there, decisions, which affect the world politics. So, I was happy and I wished very deep in my soul to be able to work in the European politics one day. Just for a bit. Just for life experience. A strange wish to a non-European person, isn’t it?

9 years later, whole 9 years later I was invited to get an intensive Lobbyist training – but not in Brussel, in Strasbourg. All costs covered. I still have my Russian passport, I have just applied for the German permanent residence permit, and I was wondering at first, what gave me this opportunity. Talent? Motivation? Strength? Nope. Curiosity. Because I applied for a place in the program one day before the deadline, the same day I found it. Just for fun, just because I was curious if I have any chance.

There is one popular joke in Russia. A man dies and asks the God: “My whole life I wanted one thing: to win a lottery. God, why didn’t you give me just that?”. And the God answered: “Actually, I was going to. But you did not buy a single lottery ticket”.

Buy your lottery ticket very much in advance, dear reader.

Kind regards,

Your Russianladyabroad

First look from the window to the sun: refugees crisis in Europe

I had an interesting call with one of the organizations responsible for funding jobs for refugees yesterday.

Actually, one of our clients had an interest in helping out several qualified people by filling positions in his innovative projects. Therefore, I took the phone without knowing anything about neother HR processes nor visa regulations for refugees in Germany.

Somehow, I expected an excited voice on the other side of the phone – because we were going to do a big thing. We were going to help people out. We were ready to talk about integration opportunities and language courses.

Instead, I got about 10 minutes of a structured professional phone consultation. There ARE language courses, and most refugees who wanted to integrate ALREADY HAVE a B1/B2 level of the German language and are preparing for the next exam. At the same time, they are registered by the unemployment agency like all unemployed Germans are. The only difference is, there are some kind of “state headhunters”, who help companies to find the right profile within the database. No drama, no “saving the day” – just work. For everybody.

I am known for criticizing Germans for overregulating everything – but nobody creates structures like they do. I am glad to see people who suffered getting their window in the local bureaucracy. I hope that Europe will find it’s way through the integration crisis very soon. I don’t want to see talented people in a ghetto.

Sincerely yours,

Russianladyabroad

Series for ladies to take your English to the next level

I think, we all started with Disney cartoons. The question remains: what do we watch next in order to get our English more fit for the next challenge, be it a semester abroad or a career start in a new country? I collected some ideas, which series and long films one can enjoy WITHOUT subtitles during the Christmas break depending on your English level:

Beginners: Disney films, Vampire Diaries, Friends, Desperate Housewives, Smallville

Pre-Intermediate: How I met your Mother, Charmed, Big Bang Theory, Supernatural, Doctor Who, Sherlock, Lost, Merlin

Intermediate: Project Runway, all old series (like Agatha Christie’s Poirot), Gossip Girl, try Lord of the Rings, Outlander, The Last Kingdom, Secret Diary of a Call Girl (yeah, its here because I find her accent a bit difficult)

Advanced: House of Cards, Game of the Thrones

And make sure you skip subtitles to go deeper into the language jungle 😉

Your Russianladyabroad

The smiling habit

I know, I know that many Europeans and especially Americans consider Russian people quite morose. We do believe that you may smile when you want to and not when it is comfortable to others. Nevertheless, I spent a lot of time in Europe and got used to the “professional smiling”. But that one shocked me for real.

That was a Russian guy who moved to Europe about 10 years ago. He had a nice job, a nice face and nice clothes. The problem was..he was smiling. All the time. I saw his brand white teeth through the whole conversation. He was smiling while I was asking a question. He was smiling while answering my question and after he would answer my question.

Did he do an operation? Does he have any problems with the muscles of his mouth? Is something wrong with my makeup?

-Ivan, did you study in the US?

-Yeah, I did!

-Now I get it..

Dear all, the gestures and the facial expressions are sometimes even more important than knowing the language of the person. Try to pay attention to how people look like when they are interacting and to do it the same way – this will help your international career a lot.

Sincerely yours,

Russianladyabroad

Dreaming big but doing small

There are two reasons why people get disappointed with their own dreams not coming true: those dreams are too large and ambitious or too far away to reach. Some people say, one should reduce his expectations to become happier. I strongly disagree with that opinion. In order to achieve a big dream, one should see it not as a light at the end of the road but as a puzzle spread across the road from many smaller dreams. Each time you do a step, you make a small dream come true, which motivates you to go further and inspires to seek new big dreams. You want to start a new life abroad? There are the dreams about passing the English test, getting your papers done on time, getting an invitation, getting a visa…so many small things to celebrate and be happy about each day!

Let the most important dreams in your life be a road, not a destination!

Kindly yours,

Russianladyabroad

Thought for the day: raising the team spirit before Christmas

It is hard to focus on work during one of the most beautiful seasons of the year – the time before Christmas holidays. Ok, probably, not the most beautiful here in Northern Germany, as we have rain all the time, but colder countries have luck for sure 😉

Some people are bored and can’t wait for holidays to come; some, like me, are sad because their families are too far away; some are scared to show up in a new family. Under the line would be: your team is unmotivated and not concentrated. Here is a very good Christmas exercise, which push your team’s motivation up to the top, will not take more than 30 minutes and will create a beautiful example of the teamwork.

Get some really nice Christmas cookies. Prepare 30 shits of origami paper and promise your team members that everybody who will do some of the Christmas star pieces will get cookies accordingly. Voila, you get several grownups happily folding pieces of paper – and at the end you get a beautiful Christmas star!