Part of the expat experience that people don’t really talk or blog about is the fact that you have moved to a totally different country and chances are that some of your days in this new land will be full of rejection.
I moved to Germany to follow my heart, take a break from my profession for a hand full of reasons and to pursue what I really needed/wanted to pursue in writing and exploration.
Awesome. BUT I came also thinking that I would take a few months off from the hustle of day to day life but then find some way to work in the world on some level at some point.
BUT I ran into some stumbling blocks. For the first year my visa was a freelance visa to only work with churches which is oddly limiting when the church world in Europe isn’t really hiring and I am supposed to be on leave and there just aren’t the same churchy opportunities here. So I did what I would have done at home at first and put on my side hustle hat to figure it out. I even went so far as to look into other opportunities to do other kinds of work but then I realized that I couldn’t. My visa limits it and there is no way to talk anyone, including myself, to doing those things.
Back to the drawing board. I picked up a few odd preaching gigs and a bit of dog walking for friends. I started nannying here and there but still thinking I might be able to work part time at some point I was looking around just in case I could change my visa.
In this pursuit of finding my space here, I started school which switches me from freelance to student visa which means I can work up to 20 hours a week legally here although it also means I can no longer freelance. There is a cap as to how much money I can make.
Here’s the thing, I still get rejected on almost a daily basis from menial and not so menial jobs. I am not German. I am overqualified. There are many applying for these jobs and I can only work part time. Also all very oddly limiting. I have been learning the past few months on dealing with rejection well. Recently, I really wanted this small job acting in a video series for a language app. I made the final screen test and even though they really liked me, I didn’t get the part. That one actually hit me harder than others. I really hoped that I could do this job of shooting for a week or 10 days and saying yes to that experience. Yes, I still had a fab time in the screen test and yes I value that experience but I actually wanted that one. I have been rejected by remote jobs, content writing jobs, hr jobs (from overqualified to not qualified) and I had to say no to a job packing coffee due to the weird schedule. I have picked up more nannying hours and am getting a bit of a reputation of being good with babies and toddlers but still when it comes to hours to work, how much rejection can one person hold onto? Turns out, a lot.
I am not the only one which is why I am writing today…not for a pity party…but to acknowledge this is part of this whole new life thing. If it isn’t in work it is in figuring out your people or finding the things to do. It is in feeling rejected in language or again allowing your ego to take a hit when you think you know the language one day and the next it feels like a complete disaster (my day yesterday when, in an interview with a travel company she asked me to describe my day in German and my mind went completely blank). There are days when I find myself in a situation in which I want to flee as soon as possible or days when I really wanted that one gig and they chose someone else or my visa says no and there is nothing I can do. It’s all part of this immigration experience. I am lucky and have the amazing support of my person and savings and less worry about financials but some people are hanging on by a thread before they have to figure something else out.
The friend who is also feeling constantly rejected.
The friend who just lost her major client and is contemplating moving again.
The friend who just needs a win.
All part of this life that we have chosen.