I had already given up everything in London, so my only option was to stay with my family in Germany until I found a new position. I thought it was going to be easy, after all, it always had been for me in London, but this time the job search proved to be tricky. While I am perfectly bilingual and confident speaking English, in fact, I actually prefer it these days to speaking German, I am not a native English speaker. Most of the positions outside the UK are for native English speakers only and there are a lot of candidates for each position advertised, so you can guess how hard it was for me.
I looked for a new position everywhere, I flew to Abu Dhabi, Doha and Milan for interviews, but nothing was right for me or I wasn’t right for them. I also interviewed for a position in Cologne, where I was born, the employers were lovely, but of course, I didn’t plan to ever live in Germany again. I declined the job offer back then in January, but while I was looking for a new position, I still worked a few days for them and I loved it. When they couldn’t find the right candidate and I couldn’t find a position overseas, I accepted their job offer. I can’t say the job was a second choice, everything but the location was great, but after two months in Cologne, I got used to being close to my friends and family again and it just felt right to stay. Surely, a year or two are over in no time, right?
Everything was exciting, I was looking forward to live somewhere chosen by me for the first time in my life. Very quickly I found a great flat and signed the tenancy agreement. I spent ages choosing furniture, the colour of my walls and I was very proud of the result. Without going into too much detail, shortly after being back in Cologne, I ended the friendship with my ‘best friend’. It was overdue and I am glad I did, but then my other good friend moved away.
Then things changed. Everything changed.
From one day to the other, I wasn’t happy anymore. Suddenly everything annoyed me about being back ‘home’. I can’t even call Cologne my hometown, because it’s not. I was born here but I lived abroad for such a long time, for too long, I feel like a stranger here. I feel stuck. Nothing challenges me, I feel like I am not moving anymore. Then, once I found a job, I was constantly contacted by agencies with job opportunities. Job opportunities overseas. Macau, Zurich, Doha…
I turned all of them down, even though my heart wanted me not to. While I love my employers here, my job can’t be the only reason for me to stay. I am really unhappy, I find it difficult to go out and socialise, I am not good at my job anymore and I just know staying is not right for me. I want to quit my job and leave.
But I feel guilty.
Luckily, I talked about my unhappiness with a few people and they all told me the same. If I am unhappy, I need to make changes. It took me a while, but I made the decision to leave. At the same time I was contacted by one agency for a position based in Switzerland. The job description sounded good and I got in touch with the employer. The job is based between Lugano and Milan, there is also a fair amount of travel. It sounds like a really great job and I am already feeling more optimistic about the future.
I realise that this post is all over the place, but writing down your thoughts and feelings is never easy.