Many people dream of working for exciting, fast-growing companies, but sometimes this can mean changing cities and even countries. Relocating for work can seem scary, especially now, where office environments and the working model have changed so much.
We spoke to two of our team about when they relocated for work. Here they've shared their top tips on making a move go as smoothly as possible.
One of the great things about living in Europe is that you can work in nearly any country. You just need to apply for a company with open vacancies, interview, and if all goes well, then you'll have a new job in a new city.
The example above is exactly what happened to Tsveti, one of our product marketing managers. Tsveti worked as a production assistant at Pro 7, a German TV channel in Munich, and was ready for a change. She then started looking at jobs in the startup world as she'd seen the fast-paced industry first-hand at a VC in Berlin and wanted to get involved. Tsveti loved the flexibility, openness, and learning opportunities available at startups and wanted to grow her career in that direction.
Tsveti had one of the most surreal hiring processes at Payhawk, as she was traveling when she applied for the job. She had one interview with our CEO on a boat and one with our Head of Marketing on a bridge. A final discussion then followed these interviews in even more unusual circumstances. When Tsveti spoke to one of our Directors, she was sitting on a rock as her car had just broken down and she was waiting for help.
Another Payhawk team member referred Tsveti, and she was initially hired as a customer success specialist for a small but growing team. For Payhawk, customer success is at our core. And as our client portfolio was growing in Germany, we wanted to support our customers in their language.
Tsveti relocated to Bulgaria from Germany, as back then, all of our Customer Success team was based in our Sofia office.
If you're thinking of moving to Sofia, where Tsveti relocated from Munich, you'll be impressed by the quality of life. Sofia is one of the most affordable capital cities in Europe and has one of the best tech hubs in the region. Bulgaria is also known for its excellent outdoor culture and mountains. In fact, 70% of the country is covered by mountain forests, and the local cuisine is full of locally grown vegetables.
Mario, who recently joined as a Business Development Representative, lived in Madrid when he secured a job at our Barcelona office. Before joining Payhawk, he was self-employed in the marketing industry and had VC experience as a portfolio assistant.
Like Tsveti, Mario also wanted to join a startup, and Payhawk ticked all the right boxes for him. Mario wanted to join a company in an exciting industry, like fintech. And he had been searching for a company with a great product that had already completed its Series B.
Both Tsveti and Mario told us how seamless it was to relocate for their new jobs at Payhawk.
If you like to create a checklist each time you start a new project, here's an excellent example for relocation preparation: Estimate a relocation budget, look into moving options, research which neighborhood you'd like to move to, and talk to other team members for tips.
Finding the right place to live when relocating will make moving much more manageable. When Tsveti moved, she found an apartment that she loved — which had the added bonus of being three times bigger than her flat in Munich and much cheaper. Tsveti said that this alone made the move totally worth it.
Meanwhile, Mario explained that the best thing to do when new to a city is rent a temporary apartment for a couple of weeks to get a feeling of the neighborhoods. Mario also mentioned that you should always visit apartments in person. Don't do agreements over the phone or via video call, as this can backfire.
At Payhawk, we're proud of the office culture we've created. We have a top-notch team that is super accessible and always open to answering questions. The office environment is really friendly and easy to maneuver too.
In Sofia, for example, Tsveti mentions that there are always treats in the office from colleagues, like homemade cakes and free delivery for team lunches during busy projects.
A couple of our colleagues are certified yoga teachers too. So we often do classes before work at our coworking space. To date, three out of four of our offices are in coworking spaces so that we can be part of the local startup ecosystem. Coworking spaces also allow us to share our buildings' environmental impact and help us ensure we're close to public transportation.
Moving to a new place isn't always easy. If you're relocating for work, you might need to spend on your initial work setup or on subscriptions for your day-to-day job. You can buy anything you need and upload the receipts on the mobile app with our corporate Visa cards. Also, thanks to our fund requests, you can top up your card easily, too, with just a quick message to your supervisor through the mobile app.
Once you're in your new role, it can be hard to make friends outside of the team in a foreign city. If sports are your thing, you can always meet people in the gym or a hiking club. And these days, there are loads of Facebook groups that can help you with logistics and to understand how things are done in your new city. Also, communities like Internations and Embassy's mailing lists have several networking events.
Relocating can be a piece of cake if you have the right mindset and support system. At Payhawk, we support all candidates who are willing to relocate to one of our locations. Right now we have offices in Barcelona, Berlin, London and Sofia and soon we’ll be in Paris, Amsterdam and New York City too.
When you relocate for work, it can be easy to focus on your job and nothing else. However, it's important to take the time to get to know your new city or country and understand the culture. This will not only help you feel more comfortable in your new surroundings but can also make it easier to adjust to the work environment. If you're not sure where to start, try exploring different neighbourhoods, checking out local landmarks, or attending cultural events.
If you move to a country where your native language isn't the primary language or widely spoken, then it would be great to make time for lessons to learn the language. By doing so, you won't only learn a new skill but you'll be exposed to the customs and traditions of the country. And you'll be able to better understand your colleagues and build stronger relationships.
If you think you’re ready for your next move, take a look at our vacancies here and be sure to ask our People Team about what’s available regarding relocation as we approach each case individually.
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