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Should I accept Job offer from Germany?

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Nur miswa
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Should I accept Job offer from Germany?

Postby Nur miswa » Mon, 19 Oct 2015 8:49 pm

Hi, I am currently working in Singapore holding an E-pass and living together with my wife and 5-year old daughter who are both under Dependent Pass (DP). Recently I got a job offer in Germany that can give me Blue Card therefore I can still bring my family with me in Germany. The company offers free German language class for the whole family.

I admit that I like Singapore but as we all knew it's unfair for us foreigner working in Singapore (I'm not blaming anyone because it's their country, it's their right). No CPF, pay high in health, education and the most I worried is the child's education when it's time to enter Primary school. I got a lot of foreign friends that their child did not get the Primary 1 slot and ended up in sending back to home country or do home-schooling. I'm planning to apply for PR but all friends and colleagues that I knew were all denied on the nth times so I'm a bit negative and losing hope on PR application.

I love the company, the job, the environment, the country, but if I will include the long term family plan in the equation, another part of me is pushing me to accept the offer in Germany.

I frequently had business trips there around 5 times for a 3-month duration per trip so my German environment or German working observation is limited.

Please help if choosing Germany is a good choice for a family of 3.
Thanks!

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Re: Should I accept Job offer from Germany?

Postby JR8 » Mon, 19 Oct 2015 10:48 pm

Interesting, I'd not heard of this Blue Card before... http://www.bluecard-eu.de/eu-blue-card-germany/
'Similar to the Green Card in the USA, the EU blue card offers highly educated skilled workers of non- EU- States the opportunity and the right to work and stay in the European Union...'
----

It would be useful to know your race/nationality, and where the work location is.
Having spent 15 months there you should have a good idea how welcoming the destination is. The impression I got from 3 years there (Berlin) is it is still socially a pretty divided country, i.e. The former East and West Germany. What was East Germany still has much ingrained poverty, and unfortunately xenophobia tends to come with it.

The west is more progressive and some cities are quite multi-cultural. IIRC Dusseldorf is one such example, having several NE Asian car manufacturers located there, and hence amenities that pitch at those people.

I'd also note that to get the mentioned 'Blue card' you are presumably pretty highly educated. That would hopefully mean you would be working with similarly highly educated people. So hopefully your work-days would be spent dealing with such educated and broad-minded/cosmopolitan people. When we were in Berlin I was the stay at home spouse. I got to do the grocery shopping, visit the markets, deal with the 'repair-man' etc. 99% of East Germans didn't have an opportunity to learn English before the wall came down (1989), when the country began to open up to western influence. So if you imagine a school pupil might begin a 2nd language at say age 11, and assuming that language were English, that suggests no (former) East German over c15 years old has been formally taught English via the school-system. That means that the people I was used to dealing with day-to-day (as above), and those your wife would similarly deal with will quite possibly not speak a word of English. So learning at least basic German would be a must, even just to get the weekly shopping done.

Your question is similar but the reverse of the question often asked 'Should I take this offer and move to Singapore, [and how will my spouse/children adjust and cope]?'. Depending on the destination you're the best judge of that. I'd suggest you listen very carefully to how your wife and child feel about the proposed move. Not just the words (as such) but how they're said. To make it work I think you need good buy-in. Being a trailing spouse dragged off hither and thither is something you can get used to over time, but it can still be a source of unease and friction. Is there any possibility to get your wife there for a brief visit, just to give her a fore-taste, and hopefully get some buy-in?

Edit/add: And this just happened to cross my Facebook, and gives you an idea how every-day this kind of thing can be ... http://magazine.good.is/articles/town-punks-nazis
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Re: Should I accept Job offer from Germany?

Postby AndrewV » Tue, 20 Oct 2015 11:05 am

don't mean to be rude, but why is it that most questions are met with the question "it would be interesting to know your race". Nothing that the original poster has asked has anything to do with race. Curious much?

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Re: Should I accept Job offer from Germany?

Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 20 Oct 2015 11:51 am

I'd say go for it. More predictable. Great country. No doubt there will be unrest from the influx of refugees.

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Re: Should I accept Job offer from Germany?

Postby bgd » Tue, 20 Oct 2015 12:17 pm

I agree with SE. I like living and working here but I don't see Sg as a longterm prospect for foreigners, particularly if you have a young family. You noted how difficult it can be to move to PR and SC which makes more predictable alternatives attractive.

I've only ever visited Germany and have liked what I have seen. Obviously different from living there, but the BlueCard opens up the rest of the EU after 18 months, which gives you more choice.

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Re: Should I accept Job offer from Germany?

Postby x9200 » Tue, 20 Oct 2015 1:52 pm

AndrewV wrote:don't mean to be rude, but why is it that most questions are met with the question "it would be interesting to know your race". Nothing that the original poster has asked has anything to do with race. Curious much?

Because in some rural or event not so rural parts of the post-communistic countries (here former East Germany) you may encounter people that are pretty xenophobic (to say the least). It can make one hell of the difference migrating there if you are a Caucasian as opposite as if you are not. This may now be additionally amplified by the whole refugee crisis. Unfortunately.

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Re: Should I accept Job offer from Germany?

Postby JR8 » Tue, 20 Oct 2015 2:31 pm

AndrewV wrote:don't mean to be rude, but why is it that most questions are met with the question "it would be interesting to know your race". Nothing that the original poster has asked has anything to do with race. Curious much?


Me; I suppose :)
My opening line was 'It would be useful to know your race/nationality, and where the work location is.' Note: 'Useful', rather than 'interesting'.

Perhaps the OP hasn't come face to face with a neo-Nazi rally before, and maybe that's something they'd prefer to avoid. Or the hordes of drunken football hooligans on a Saturday pm that you'll encounter in some downtown German cities. The latter can be just as hostile/intimidating to 'outsiders'. I'm lucky in this respect that I'm white, could put my head down and keep out of their way... not so simple if you're not. And yes there were times when these marches/rabbles went past the end of our street that it was prudent that my Asian wife stayed at home.
Same if I were to move to work in NYC (again), I'd be grateful to know that my face wouldn't fit in Alphabet City or East Harlem etc, or specific sections of commuter belt heading out south into New Jersey. Don't know about you, but I'd prefer to be fore-warned rather than find myself 'the first and only negro in the Bavarian village'. This of course is why you tend to get race-based neighbourhoods, Little Italy, Chinatown, Hounslow lol...

Curious you ask such a question, not least considering SG legislates in part according to race. I.e. in such a 'racist' country, how can the question of race not be one point to note on the spectrum.
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Re: Should I accept Job offer from Germany?

Postby JR8 » Tue, 20 Oct 2015 2:53 pm

x9200 wrote:Because in some rural or event not so rural parts of the post-communistic countries (here former East Germany) you may encounter people that are pretty xenophobic (to say the least). It can make one hell of the difference migrating there if you are a Caucasian as opposite as if you are not. This may now be additionally amplified by the whole refugee crisis. Unfortunately.


Where people live or have lived under oppression, that they are not at liberty to democratically oppose, they can look for scape-goats and vents for their anger. 'The foreigner' makes for an easy one, and a convenient distraction for politicians in some places.

There are parallels between the 'Foreigners out' popular undercurrent of late in SG, and the pi$$ed-up German neo-Nazi 'proudly' marching up the street demanding all foreigners must leave, since he imagines, no believes, they have somehow stolen his job, birth-right and future.

It is an interesting point re: the current refugee crisis, I'd pondered this too, given 'half of Syria' are currently beating a path to Germany.
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Re: Should I accept Job offer from Germany?

Postby x9200 » Tue, 20 Oct 2015 3:31 pm

Yep, that's basically it, plus they also need an entertainment they can afford and let them feel superior for this short moment.

For the refugees, I read somewhere that while Merker's openness in accepting the refugees is under stronger and stronger criticism the most of the grass root animosity comes from the Eastern part of Germany what is adversely proportional to where the refugees are being placed.

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Re: Should I accept Job offer from Germany?

Postby Nur miswa » Tue, 20 Oct 2015 3:50 pm

By the way, I'm an Asian (SE Asia) and currently working in Singapore w/ an E-PASS. The job offer is in Frankfurt.

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Re: Should I accept Job offer from Germany?

Postby x9200 » Tue, 20 Oct 2015 3:56 pm

Nur miswa wrote:By the way, I'm an Asian (SE Asia) and currently working in Singapore w/ an E-PASS. The job offer is in Frankfurt.

Frankfurt am Main I hope.

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Re: Should I accept Job offer from Germany?

Postby JR8 » Tue, 20 Oct 2015 6:49 pm

x9200 wrote:Yep, that's basically it, plus they also need an entertainment they can afford and let them feel superior for this short moment.
For the refugees, I read somewhere that while Merker's openness in accepting the refugees is under stronger and stronger criticism the most of the grass root animosity comes from the Eastern part of Germany what is adversely proportional to where the refugees are being placed.


Yep2, in that respect it is similar to bullying.
It's an interesting situation for Germany. Given free choice (IMHO) they really don't want these refugees. But they're hamstrung by historic guilt over their genocide of the Jews. IME Germany is pretty ethnically homogeneous and parochial. If it has had what might be considered an empire, then the 'reich' has mostly been a localised one, and certainly culturally north-euro/caucasian. So there is little basis at the level of the man on the street, for them to feel a sense of obligation to the dispossessed of other countries. Versus say the UK that carries a popularly accepted moral obligation to the citizens of it's colonies. And if the latter in Germany are perceived to be getting 'benefits' or taking jobs that just twists the knife.

I vividly remember an event in my youth when I first encountered racism. I was probably aged about 8-10 and so didn't have any concept of what racism was. The only non-Caucasians I knew were a VNmese 'boat people' refugee who was resettled with a family in our village, and in the same village an Indian family where the father ran/owned an early very successful pioneer of home computing (like say, saying he owned Atari or something...)

Anyway, one day I was in the nearby largish town, where we went each weekend to do the shopping, and it was in Woolworth's, a dry-goods supermarket. It's where I'd go to buy records, bike parts and so on. On the cash-till was an Afro-Carib lady, which was certainly a rare sight outside of big cities back then, and in front of me a very elderly man. I can still picture his ashen-pale face, his long nose, his buttoned up overcoat... Anyway, when he paid the lady made to give him his change, waiting for him to hold out his hand. He didn't even look at her but instead tapped his finger on the surface of the check-out, so she put his change down, and then he picked it up. Presumably he didn't want 'the negro' to possibly touch him, who knows. I remember feeling struck with sorrow for her... [I can still feel today how I felt at that moment]. England has changed beyond recognition since then; you'll still find racism of course, but not often played out in such an every-day trivial way. The next time I encountered similar was in Germany (30+ years later). In fact it was as near as matters a complete replay of the earlier experience. Neighbourhood convenience store, elderly white man, ethnic minority lady on the cash-till (likely Middle-Eastern I think), and him tapping the counter so she put his change down i/o handing it to him. Quite some flash-back to childhood! And that was a good/+ central suburb in their capital.

I think Germany (in parts of the population) are still working through the 'acceptance stage' of what they did during the holocaust. On seemingly every other street you'll come across 'Stolperstein' embedded into the pavement in front of houses from which Jews were taken and killed by the German government. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stolperstein Example:
Image
But this stage is going to take a long time; it is still (IME) absolute taboo to mention the war, within a social context. A striking dichotomy, popping out to the shops and tripping over memorials to something that would be 'social-death' to mention to your friends and neighbours.

I haven't traveled much (at all) in what was East Germany, but you know it immediately when you cross what was the borderline from west to east. The poverty, the dour architecture, junkies, whores, gambling parlours, and the seemingly empty streets. When the wall came down many who could leave did. And as SG has realised those with reason and the means to leave are often precisely those you wish the most would stay.

So you're right Merkel would welcome refugees in to re-invigorate the former East. But her problem is two-fold. 1) The refugees (many of whom are economic migrants) will follow the simplest route to financial security, and that doesn't fit well with her idea of repopulating and economically rebuilding the former East. 2) At ground level the East is where such refugees are likely to be least welcome.

I don't follow the politics of Germany very closely. Merkel leads a coalition though (her party only got 1/3rd of the vote) so her ability to see through unpopular but necessary policies is limited. So as much as I'm sure she'd like legions of grateful new voting citizens to reinvigorate the East, and vote for her party, being stuck out in some Eastern provincial town is not a major draw. And with freedom of movement within the EU there's nothing she can do about it. I.e. if she lets them in under the weight of German moral obligation, I'd wager over half of them end up in the UK.
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Re: Should I accept Job offer from Germany?

Postby Nur miswa » Tue, 20 Oct 2015 9:05 pm

Here are my list of PROs and CONs for Singapore and Germany. I'm very confused. :(

Singapore PROs:
- weather
- Safe
- Clean
- English main language
- Multicultural
- Efficient transpo
- Online transactions/ hassle free. You can do everything over the net
- Fish and tropical fruits are abundant

Singapore CONs:
- Small City
- Crowded
- Struggles for foreigner workers/ E-pass holders. Expensive school, expensive healthcare, etc.
- child education at local schools are very rare to get a slot so you will end up sending to very expensive International School, or do home schooling, or go home to your country.
- No CPF therefore your employer does not give a contribution
- Very hard to get PR

Germany PROs:
- blue card
- free school
- free healthcare
- retirement benefit
- child allowance (184 euro)
- wide job market
- dependents can apply job w/ no restrictions

Germany CONs:
- high tax and deductions
- weather
- distance
- language
- refugees

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Re: Should I accept Job offer from Germany?

Postby JR8 » Tue, 20 Oct 2015 10:21 pm

Most people 'expat' when they are younger and building their careers. For most it's transitory and if you like opportunistic. Most take that opportunity, 'bank it' and then return back home, hopefully a wealthier, more experienced, enriched and wiser person for it.

I don't think SG wants or expects more of it's FT than that. And if you are the rare bird who moves to SG (bringing higher level wealth, talent etc), then if you seek and they give you tenure then they expect you to stay, contribute, and er.... prove their decision to let you stay was right. Perhaps you know the expression - 'Don't go to bed with your clothes on' :) - It's all or nothing.

If I were considering a relo I'd look at it the same way. Get in, make money, get back home. I don't think you can look at a longer horizon in a country in which you have not yet lived. Beyond the nightmare (IME) airport I don't know Frankfurt.
Usually a job offer that is going to work stands on it's own net merits, and if it doesn't you need an honest discussion with yourself about what it is about the offer that's holding you back. Conflating taking a job-offer, with whether it'll make a wise move for the rest of your life is seriously getting ahead of yourself. I'd suggest restricting yourself to considering it with a three year view.... then, does it add up? Not only that, is it compelling; is it a completely obvious no-brainer? IME it needs to be. So much changes, I don't think you can plan further ahead than that.

So; I'd suggest not stressing about minor things like climate, they are simple enough to adapt to. Define what you are seeking, and specifically expecting a relo to help facilitate. If the odds look persuasive then it's probably worth taking the risk...
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Should I accept Job offer from Germany?

Postby Nur miswa » Wed, 21 Oct 2015 11:32 am

JR8 wrote:Most people 'expat' when they are younger and building their careers. For most it's transitory and if you like opportunistic. Most take that opportunity, 'bank it' and then return back home, hopefully a wealthier, more experienced, enriched and wiser person for it.
...........
If I were considering a relo I'd look at it the same way. Get in, make money, get back home. I don't think you can look at a longer horizon in a country in which you have not yet lived....


@JR8, if somebody loses hope on home country like me, it seems that long term residence is one of the common ways to escape. lol. I can't imagine my daughter being rape, or into drugs, or murder, or kidnap, etc. Seems I have lost my hope on the government. Corrupt government, worst traffic, air pollution, high crime, rape, drugs, murders, kidnapping, chaos. These are my definition of hopeless.

Maybe, after retirement age, it's only the best time to go home and prepare for my grave back home. That's what I can see for the moment. [-( :(


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