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Re: How do North Americans find Europe as a workplace?

by dHarry (Abbot)
on Aug 18, 2010 at 12:07 UTC ( #855749=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to How do North Americans find Europe as a workplace?

brother talexb

Europe consists of about 50 different countries! Obviously there are big differences between them (cultural, weather, tax system, health system, food! etc. etc.). I myself worked in the Netherlands, France (west) Germany, the UK and more recently Spain. In some countries like the Netherlands you can get away with English. In countries like Spain you have to learn to speak the language. If you speak French than picking up Spanish or Italian should not be too difficult.

I happen to have a North American colleague who worked in Germany, the Netherlands and now in Spain. He fought Spanish bureaucracy for a year or so before giving up. He now works in Spain through a so-called "E101" meaning, for him, that he is officially registered in the Netherlands and works temporarily outside the country. This construction can have certain advantages and is maybe a possibility for you too. Other countries don't care as long as you pay income tax:) The possibility of getting a UK passport makes a big difference.

Terms of employment are important too. For example salaries in the Netherlands, Germany and France are comparable. In the UK you would typically earn less and in Spain much less (in my experience and generally speaking). But of course the salary doesn't mean everything, also important are things like your health insurance, pension scheme, number of Holidays etc. etc.

I would like to know why you are considering making this step. I think it largely depends on what your expectations are. I myself like to see something of the world, for me money was never really a driver. If I were you I would compile a list of candidate countries and compare them thoroughly. Preparation is important to prevent unpleasant surprises. If you have any specific questions feel free to send me a PM.

But to get back to your question, In my experience (North) Americans like to work in Europe and fit in easily.

Cheers

Harry

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Re^2: How do North Americans find Europe as a workplace?
by sundialsvc4 (Abbot) on Aug 18, 2010 at 15:09 UTC

    ;-)

    Whereas, in the US, it’s so much simpler!

    Health Insurance:
    You don’t have any.
    Pension Scheme:
    Ditto.
    Number of Holidays:
    “We’ve been noticing that you’ve been leaving before 9:00 PM the last couple days, and you weren’t here at all on Saturday or Sunday ...   Can we please see you in our office? Right now?”

    Perhaps it should come as no wonder that there would be a tremendous interest among North Americans about what is happening in Europe!   :-/

    “These times, they are a changin’ ...”

        “We’ve been noticing that you’ve been leaving before 9:00 PM the last couple days ... Can we please see you in our office? Right now?

      Heh .. I worked for a company like that here in Toronto once. (Yep, got fired from there too -- that's another story.) We were all working like crazy, and at one point I'd scheduled myself to get into work at midnight in advance of a business trip. I arrived just as my team lead was putting down the phone having called my house to see where I was.

      I believe my gut feelings about the hours that an employer expects has gotten a lot better in the time since then.

      I'm interested in Europe because I'd like a change of scenery, having lived in Toronto for over 25 years. Maybe I won't like it and happily come back to Toronto.

      Alex / talexb / Toronto

      "Groklaw is the open-source mentality applied to legal research" ~ Linus Torvalds

        I had a similar experience with a company here in Nashville.   Heh.   (And the gall of it is, they’re right now advertising for another Perl-programmer bone to chew.)   But I guess we could grouse about employers and clients forever, and just wind up wandering far-afield from where this thread is supposed to be going.   I suspect that every one of us has stories like that to tell, in great abundance ...

      Well the EU is also not free of problems... Let me give just one example. Currently, the unemployment in Spain is slightly above 20%! This is of course unsustainable in the long (intermediate?) term.

Re^2: How do North Americans find Europe as a workplace?
by talexb (Canon) on Aug 18, 2010 at 15:26 UTC
      I would like to know why you are considering making this step.

    Suffice it to say it looks like I'm going to be forced to sell my house in Toronto and find housing for myself and my older step-son while he completes fourth year at Ryerson. Once his university education's complete, I'll be ready for adventure -- so why not leave Toronto?

    I have relatives, family and friends in Vancouver, Kelowna, Calgary and Kitchener-Waterloo, but I'm thinking I should leave Canada for a while, if only to figure out what I want to do next.

    And thanks for the variety of information on the various countries -- I am familiar with the geography of Europe, having informally studied European history of the last hundred years or so.

    Alex / talexb / Toronto

    "Groklaw is the open-source mentality applied to legal research" ~ Linus Torvalds

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