Welcome to Berlin! How we try to make relocating as easy as possible for our new hires
Our company culture has been very international from day one. Over half of our employees relocated to Berlin from all parts of the world to join Wooga. Moving countries or even continents can be a huge undertaking and we want to ensure the smoothest relocation process for everyone involved and, maybe even more important, that everyone who join us is here legally. For our HR team that means supporting every new hire, from the intern to our most senior roles, with housing support for short- and long-term, administrative obligations for which German skills are a big plus or finding daycare and school spots for their kids. Basically, any problem either we can help with or we find someone who can.
To give an even better picture of how a relocation process can look, we were lucky enough to steal some time from one of our latest additions to the team, Jana Sloan van Geest, and ask her some questions about her personal experience when moving to Berlin.
Jana, where did you relocate from to join Wooga?
I moved here from Amsterdam in the Netherlands, so not that far actually.
And how long have you been with us now?
Not very long. This is my third week.
Did you move alone or with a partner or family?
I moved here alone.
Which parts did Wooga help you with?
Basically everything. Wooga has an agency that they work with for relocating people and they helped me with my visa, as I am originally from Canada, getting registered locally, finding a home and moving my belongings.
What would you say was the most useful aspect of getting help with relocation?
Probably the help with the administrative things you have to do when moving countries. It can be quite challenging to navigate especially when you don’t speak the language, so I’m very grateful I didn’t have to navigate it myself.
How was your arrival in Berlin?
It was very easy. From Amsterdam I didn’t have far to go. My flight was only an hour and 10 minutes, I brought one suitcase and the agency was there to let me in to my temporary flat, even though it was a Sunday. And then all my other stuff arrived less than a week after me.
In which part of the city do you live now?
I live in Kreuzberg at the moment, which is about 30 minutes’ commute from the office, but I will move out at the end of October.
How did you find out which neighborhood you’d like to live in permanently?
I’ve been doing a lot a of walking. Sometimes I just get off the underground a couple of stops early to get to know a new area. I have to say I really like Tempelhof a lot but it’s relatively far from the office, so I’ll probably focus my search for something permanent a bit closer to the office, like Mitte or Prenzlauer Berg.
What advice do you have for people looking to relocate to Berlin?
Probably the same advice that I have been getting: Find a neighborhood that fits your lifestyle. And the good news about Berlin is that there is something for everyone and every style. You just need to see which one resonates with you.
Was there anything surprising happening during your relocation?
I got asked out by one of my movers. That was a surprise.
And, did you go on a date?
Thank you, Jana.