A new start!
When I moved to Poland in 2010, I had a tidy little nest egg to make the move from the Netherlands as painless as can be. It helped me get settled, gave me time to learn the rudiments of the language, and gave me the opportunity to live in some of the more scenic parts of this wonderful country.
All good things, however, come to an end. Same with my reserves of money. A perfect solution was found: Poland is a burgeoning center for the Outsourcing industry: low wages, combined with a very well educated population make it a great place for companies to base their more demanding customer service and other work-intensive jobs. I got myself a pretty great job as a travel agent.
It helps that I speak Dutch: native Dutch speakers are still a rarity in Poland, whereas many Poles speak excellent German and French. The fact that I can also write in both English and Dutch on a pretty proficient level made me the obvious choice to man the email and live chat channels, and I was pretty happy in this role. After a little while a sorta-kinda promise was made: a dedicated back-office role would be created, and if I’d qualify in the internal hiring process that job would be mine.
That never happened.
The job didn’t materialize, and to make matters worse, my awesome manager (hi, C!) was promoted to a well-deserved position overseeing the entire operation in Kraków. His replacement was not, sadly, our equally awesome team coordinator. Instead we were now working under the auspices of a former quality lead. A good guy, but he sadly had a completely opposite management strategy than previously was the case: where first people were expected to excel in their specialties, and allowed to specialize in their respective fields, under the new leadership everybody was supposed to do everything, no matter your skills, preferences or experience.
I was working as second line support at that moment, so at first the situation seemed to pass me by, but when my temporary position in that function came to an end, I was surprised to find out that I was suddenly expected to work as a sales agent (something I can do just fine, but which doesn’t really fit my personality: high pressure sales techniques? No thanks!)
Worse was however that my previous experience and affinity with text-based communication was completely disregarded.
I got stressed out, stress caused my chronic headaches to resurface, and I got too ill to work. Luckily, the Polish social system is one of the finest in the world. Combined with top healthcare options provided by my employer, I pretty soon returned to duty.
Only to find out that the company we worked for got taken over by another giant American company. A company, moreover, that didn’t see profit in maintaining the brand that me and my talented and hardworking colleagues exerted ourselves for. Our contracts got dissolved.
Fast forward to today. I’ve been out of a job for a few weeks, and I’m itching to get started at something new! I’ve been returning to my volunteering at a Dutch lefty website, writing on the more interesting aspects of Polish political life as well as the things I see coming out of the Netherlands. This -of course- does not get bread on my table, however.
This means I’m looking for gainful employment! If you are, or know someone who is in the Kraków area, and in need of a dedicated writer, editor, back-office specialist or communicator: hit me up! If you live anywhere else, but you see remote working as a viable option: let me know! If neither of the above applies: please spread this far and wide.
(Especially reach out if you’re doing cool things in areas like nature conservation, or political participation, or education, but if you are hiring for a cool team in any other field, please don’t hesitate to fill me in!)