I remember 2013, I was supposed to go to San Francisco to pursue an MA with HULT. AyosDito happened, I didn’t go. But the need to pack up and go never went away. At AyosDito, my passport got quite a work out. In just 2 years, I’ve been sent to 8 countries for work — with pleasure on the side! 5 out 8 were in Europe. And I guess that’s when the love affair started.
Postcard from Helsinki
There was a 2 year plan. The plan was to stay with AyosDito, present in one of our Functional gatherings, study as much as I could about becoming a better Product Manager and a UX person, launch a new app, do some consulting on the side, and build a credible brand for me online. 2 years of preparation and then I can go out. Either try my luck at working at Mothership in Barcelona or get my ass to Berlin and work at one of the startups there. It seemed like such a solid plan, right? I even made a schedule!
Then AyosDito closed. And I’m not sure if I was being brave or just being stupid. I pretty much just told myself that “there’s no use waiting for 2 years! no day but today!”. And I convinced myself to agree. It made sense really. What’s the difference of now from 2 years from now? There wasn’t any company here that I was interested in working for. So I said “fuck it!” and just started applying for opportunities abroad, and none in Manila. I zeroed in on companies in Berlin.
I must have sent out 20 direct job applications, signed up for job marketplaces (Zartis, Xing, etc), participated in Product-related discussions (on Twitter and LinkedIn), and over all just became a lean-mean-job-hunting machine since December.
A lot of people have told me that it will be difficult. And it will be a long wait. Work visas were hard to support and EU has a pretty strict policy when it comes to hiring people outside of the EU-union. And that I should just take a job here first while I look for a job. But I know myself — once I take a job, I’ll be too busy being into it and will end up shelving this personal project of mine. Exactly what happened with San Francisco.
So I made job hunting in Europe my full time job. And not even 2 months later, it paid off! I got 2 job offers in Berlin both in great companies! Then an opportunity in Barcelona came knocking. Gave it a shot and it worked out pretty well!
I didn’t have time to stress out about being unemployed. I was too busy looking for employment in Europe. I made researching about life in Berlin/Barcelona a project so I could figure out how I’m going to adjust to life there even before moving. Make the transition a little bit easier for me. And I didn’t listen to naysayers. Yeah, it’s going to be difficult, but so what? If it’s important to you, then it must be worth all the effort and then some.
I still haven’t decided where to go just yet. I have to, by tomorrow. And the next few months are going to be really scary. But l got what I wanted, and what I wanted was adventure. :)