Bratislava, my new home
How did I end up in Bratislava?
In 2011 I saw in the internal job posting an opening for the head of service center in Bratislava. I thought about it for some days and decided to apply for it. Why? I wanted to do something new, I was ready for a new and exciting challenge, a role which was new to me and to top it off why not relocate to a new country.
Honestly, I didn't know a lot about Slovakia or Bratislava. All I knew was that it is somewhere close to Vienna and I remembered the movie Hostel ;) I started to do some research to get some more information, but finally I thought let’s just do it!
I got the job and I moved more or less unprepared to Bratislava. The first few days, weeks and months went very well but I faced a lot of challenges. Mainly because of the cultural misunderstanding and the different views on things.
I noticed that it is important to reflect on yourself and to make sure not to be driven by your own culture and to expect that the people might act differently than you are used to.
Later on I read a lot on cultural differences. An easy, practical, widespread model is the The Lewis Model. I would highly recommend reading this before moving to a new country. Especially for an international company it is important to focus on this topic and provide information for the employees.
In the end I realised that I fit in quite well into the Slovakia culture (lucky for me). Slovak people have a good mix between working hard and being professional but also have a good and unstressed working atmosphere. To top it off I found some of the best software architects/developers and team members in my career here in Bratislava. Sure everyone can say this but it is true I can back it up by a worldwide study ;)
Personally I would do it all over again! I learnt a lot about myself and my live and I am happy that I "ended up" in Bratislava.
"When staying abroad, we learn less about foreign countries than about ourselves." -Roger Peyrefitte