Hello everyone,

in my last post about my apprenticeship in Germany, I mentioned the person that was helping me during the training aid. Not only was she helping me then but also with finding a new job.

When I started my last year of apprenticeship, I knew that I won’t continue working in the current hair salon or in this field in general. My ex boss really deplated my whole motivation for it and it was saddening me. Especially since I didn’t know what else to do. Was it time to go back to my home country? What should I do? I was standing at the crossroads again, not knowing what to do. I talked to my helper and we looked into possibilities for me, what we could do to make me stay here. We came across the program “Foreign skills approval” here in Germany and I decided to apply. The costs were 250€ but it was worth it, it was worth knowing that if my apprenticeship diploma from Croatia gets accepted, I will have more changes of getting better job here. I had to do the interview with IHK (Industrie- und Handelskammer, aka The German Chamber of Commerce), give them all my papers and wait. It took them few months but I finally got my confirmation. My diploma wasn’t fully accepted to German standards due to the lack of practical skills but it was better than nothing. After it was accepted and I celebrated it with my helper, we sat down to prepare my CV and look where we can apply. Few weeks after, she asked me would I be interested in having job interview in her friend’s company since he is looking for someone to work in back office and as an Management assistant. I accepted it, of course and just a week after she told me that I will be having job interview with her husband the following week. I was confused because until that moment, there was no talks about her husband being involved but apparently, her husband was a co-founder of the company. The interview was at their home, over the cup of coffee in the afternoon. It was an IT company and I have always been interested in the IT so it was a perfect match. Few months later, I signed the contract, starting from 1st of September. I could’ve started on the 1st of August since I would be done with my apprenticeship mid July, but honestly, all I needed was long holidays back with my family.

On my first day, I was greeted with flowers and chocolate on my table. I didn’t expect it but I guess that was just one of the benefits of being the only woman in the office. I knew that I was walking in the office full of men, but it wasn’t easy to get used to it. I was working as a right hand to the CEO so I had to be strong and put them in order, kind of. I admit, first months, I wasn’t even close to being strong. I was small, shy and was holding myself back, not knowing how to let myself go. But the men that I worked with, were nothing but nice to me. I became one of them slowly and surely; I was being pat on the back, invited on the smoking brakes with them, started getting more IT problems to solve along with my back office job. And as their trust in me grew, so did mine in them.

I had some amazing moments in that company; from my boss giving me a pay raise so I can get the new flat to just being protected by the crew of 10 men when we would go out on annual party. I became closer to my helper that we became friends. I went over to their house privately to just spend some time with them (they are both the same age as my sister). It was all good, until it wasn’t almost 2 years after. The company was out of money, we didn’t receive our pay checks on time. It was a struggle, especially when you didn’t have family to fall back onto. Colleagues became stressed, everyone was. The promises that were said, weren’t held. Money was spent on other things, given to people as holiday bonus while majority of us didn’t get paycheck that month and were already going in debt on their accounts.

I knew that I had to get out and that’s how a search for new job started. It was time to close that chapter of my life and to start a new, brigther one. Because when one door closes, the other one will open at some point.

Don’t let anyone dull your sparkle!
Love and light,
Ana

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