Better Than McDonalds

“Good evening Chris. The freelancer idea all came together. Pending one more interview, I have a 6mo contract in Essen. 馃憤
C.A.
Last week a former coaching client called me. In the US he was a top notch IT professional with management experience. Got calls from headhunters all the time.
Overconfident he ignored my advice at the time and moved to Germany right away. A year later he reached out to me, because he didn’t know what to do anymore. All his savings were gone and so was his self esteem.
Rejection after rejection after rejection by HR in Germany. He was so desperate – when we talked he had already applied for a job at Mc Donalds. (Apparently you have to fill out 18 pages of documents for the privilege to serve hamburgers.)
We spoke for 30 minutes and I adviced him to change his game. “Don’t apply for jobs – offer your services as a freelancer.”
This morning, seven days later, I woke up to the message below.
“Good evening Chris. The freelancer idea all came together. Pending one more interview, I have a 6mo contract in Essen. 馃憤
He will work for six months. His fee is 750 EUR per day. Compare that to Mc Donalds.
The same professional. The same skills. The actual managers will pay huge sums for his services, the HR manager will reject him.
What does this say about professionalism in HR?

I am glad for your success C.A.

Context Matters

The same professional. The same skills. The same list of achievements. No chance as an employee, highly paid as a freelancer. I have seen this theme play out over and over again. Expatriates are “unusual” candidates and that scares clueless HR managers. Offering your services as a freelancer gives you an opportunity to talk directly to the people who do the actual work in a company. Even better: The power balance is even. Two professionals discuss a real world problem. As a jobseeker you are always in the weaker position.

If you can’t get past HR, try to position yourself differently. With HR you are “too old”, “too foreign” and you “don’t know German”. As a freelancer you are “experienced”. You have”deep knowledge of the local market”. And “of course we talk English. We are professionals, after all.”

Would you like me to take a personal interest in your career? Would you benefit if I introduce you to manager in my network – that you consider useful contacts? Please book a consultation here.

RePatriates Struggle And Succeed

“Ich freue mich dir zu sagen, dass ich eine Stelle in Deutschland gefunden habe. Ich fange am 1.11. als Projektleiter… in Frankfurt an 馃檪 Deine Hilfe und Tipps funktionieren und haben mit sehr dabei geholfen.”
Martin Enting

Nicht nur Expats, sondern auch RePatriates haben oft Schwierigkeiten wieder in den deutschen Arbeitsmarkt zu finden – trotz erstklassiger Erfahrung. Ich bin froh dass ich Martin helfen konnte.

Mein neues Buch “How To Win Jobs & Influence Germans” ist jetzt auf Amazon erh盲ltlich.

Career Advice in Russian for Deutsche Welle

“Often HR departments are not ready to take a risk and employ talented specialists because of formal reasons, – they don’t speak German. But this way they harm their own companies, losing highly qualified employees who speak good English, Chris Pyak ensures.”
Deutsche Welle

A while ago I had the opportunity to give some career advice in Russian. Here is the article by Deutsche Welle Russia. A few mistakes have made it into the article. For example: I didn’t live “several years” in Moscow. I lived many years in East Europe and also (for a while) in Moscow.