„Ich bin ein Berliner” — myself.
Well, this has been true for the past two months at least.
Before that, I lived in Paris for more than two years. It was cool: Paris is an amazing city to live in and there’s so much to see and do. Everything is constantly in motion and busy. Life is intense over there. More importantly, working for Doctolib France is truly awesome!
But over time I grew tired of it, not being a native Parisian myself. I missed living abroad, I was seeking new challenges, I needed to get out of my comfort zone — and let’s be honest: I wanted a bigger and cheaper apartment.
Back in 2018, Doctolib opened its second tech center, right here in Berlin. What started as a 2-person adventure back then is now a rapidly growing engineering hub with more than 40 people, including 20 software engineers (and counting).
I pretty much knew when the Berlin tech center opened that I’d want to relocate at some point. I had yet to experience Berlin as a local though. So that’s what I did in March 2019. I was able to join a feature team in Berlin as a full-time member for two weeks through a Doctolib program called “Vis Ma Vie” (Live My Life). This program is a great way to discover processes that different teams use and to also learn more about unfamiliar business scopes. At the end of those two weeks, I knew Berlin would be the next step in my life.
I started setting things in motion once I got back to Paris. I wanted my move to be as smooth as possible, for both my work-wise and personal life. The first step was to tell my manager about my plans. With the VPs of Engineering in France and Germany, we laid out a more concrete plan for me. We decided which team I’d join, based on my preferences and where I’d be most helpful. A few months later I was asked to choose a date for my first day in the Berlin office.
As time went by, it felt like things were accelerating. I first had to plan my actual move. Moving furniture and a bunch of boxes between countries is not easy. Then I needed to find a place I’d call home for at least a few weeks while settling down in Berlin. Doctolib helps with the relocation costs (flight, movers and temporary housing mostly) as well as the services of a relocating coach through Expath.de. This made my whole experience much easier.
As my involvement with my French team at Doctolib began to wind down, I worked more with my future team in Berlin, remotely. My last day in the Paris office was bittersweet. I was sad to leave people I loved but excited about my new life to come! And then it happened!
Now, a few weeks in, I find myself looking out the window for inspiration on how to end this article. But all I see is darkness. Yes, sunset is an hour earlier than in Paris here. 😂 That’s something I’m still not used to.
One thing is certain: I’m already in love with Berlin and happy to be part of Doctolib’s adventure in Germany!