'I qualified in Cyprus then worked in the UK for a number of years. I was doing well but when my husband got offered a position in Germany I felt confident I could make that work for me too. I thought some experience in Europe could be an exciting opportunity.
The move happened quite quickly and I contacted everyone – including CABA – to tell them of my change of address. CABA got back to me almost immediately to make me aware that their services are also available overseas. It’s nice to be part of such a supportive community.
After a month in Germany I wasn’t getting the kind of interviews I had hoped for so I did 2 things: I signed up for an intensive language course to improve my German, and I contacted CABA to see how they could help.
CABA told me that they could arrange for me to have high quality face-to-face career coaching, in English, with a coach quite local to me in Germany. They said they could fund me to have 6 sessions, and after meeting with the coach, we agreed I would focus on the coaching once I’d finished my language course.
Having a plan in place made me feel a lot more confident – moving countries and starting again can be quite unsettling. It was good to feel I had a structure, and that CABA were behind me.
The sessions with the coach were very, very useful. So much about job-hunting relies on understanding the culture. For example, in Germany you won’t even get short-listed unless you have a professionally shot photo on your CV. I just wasn’t aware of that. But once the coach told me, and advised me where to get my photo taken, that was another barrier out of the way. Also, she was able to provide insight on the subtleties of the language. Professional conversations in German are very formal, there’s a slight shift in grammar that you need to make. My coach took me through all of that and as the interviews started coming in, she was able to help me identify possible interview questions and appropriate responses.
After nearly 3 months coaching I felt very positive and I was offered an amazing position that will allow me to make the most of my skills and experience with a very well-respected organisation in Luxemburg. I accepted it as the position represents a really good move for my career and will not require me to commute. I am very excited about the prospect of working in a German speaking team.
I recently went to a networking event for accountants from the UK who are based here in Germany. Talking with others made me realise what a head-start CABA has given me. I was in a strong situation compared to many people who had moved out to Germany around the same time as me.
And it was so simple really. I just sent them an email and they called me back. There was no big procedure, they just said ‘Yes, we can help you.’ The words I would use to describe CABA are supportive, helpful and human. I felt that they genuinely cared about my wellbeing and career and they definitely accelerated the process of establishing myself in a new country.'