Germany Integration

Arbeit Palaver

It’s already two months since we moved and I’m still in awe of the new place. It’s nothing grand like a big city apartment with a patio and a view to a kill, but it’s ours and I love the whole idea of getting stuff done fresh.

We are slowly getting it looking like a cozy home which is the whole point. Sure we still have moving boxes and odd crap littered every where but it’s still a fairy tale for me!

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Our kitchen drawers and work table arrived during the weekend and we have begun getting the kitchen in order. Well ok, Gorgeousness does the drilling and building while I you know…hand over spanners and ermm drills!

Watching him get the kitchen ready reminds me of the greatness of being handy. Growing up, my dad with his electromagnetic engineering degree never really fixed up stuff at home. I was the fix it kid. The TV broke? I got it working (probably because I was a TV freak and couldn’t imagine life without the pictures), the radio broke? I repaired it. I was into electronic products and may have ahem…dissected our video recorder more times than my mum knew!

I bet my dad had hopes of one of his girls studying to become a funky engineer but alas, chemistry and physics were my downfall. Which is funny because my first day in a pure physics class, I was the only student who came up with the right solution to an exercise. And that was equally hilarious because while everyone grouped themselves to solve the exercise, I was left without a group and so had to sit all by myself. I was a sort of mousy lass back in boarding school and never said much. I smelled terribly and was butt ugly plus all I did was read fiction books and moon over Take That member Robbie Williams and write short stories using all the titles of Michael Jackson’s songs ever released. Anyways, while everyone got a huge zero percent, only I had a grand score of 100%.

Anyone would have thought I would grow up to be a science wonder but nah, that never happened.

I wasn’t interested in science or its working. I was more a practical person which is a bit debatable because I hated Home Economics and didn’t bother registering for a class. I took fine arts instead. After a few classes in architecture, I decided I wanted to design houses and be part of building amazing things.

Fast foward to getting a university admission, I wasn’t allowed to enroll for Estate management classes because guess what, my math score wasn’t good enough. Yes well, aside science I hated mathematics and never understood the people who took further maths classes and aced it too!

I remember crying my eyes out at the admissions building after the man in charge told me what he could do was put me in for animal science.

Animal science? Are you freaking gaming me? I don’t do animals and I didn’t do science either.

I locked myself up at home for almost a month and gathered enough courage to walk into the faculty that took my grades. Biology, chemistry and physics were the first subjects that caught my eyes and I freaked out. I knew this was going to be a terrible adventure, one I wasn’t going to enjoy.

And enjoy it I didn’t. Now the first year of uni was pretty basic and I remember a family friend warning us about the dangers of forgetting yourself and ignoring your grades. She said we needed to make certain our first year grades were extremely good because they would help the later years. And help they sure did. Well except chemistry.

Physics and biology were surprisingly good and I aced them throughout the years I took the classes. It was chemistry that drove me insane.

Suffice to say, my years in school were terrible and I hated every second of every year I spent in school. Hell, I even dropped out of school when I couldn’t handle it anymore. I was failing too badly and I didn’t care anymore. I’m not proud of the things I did or the decisions I made but they made me the great person I am today in a twisted sort of way.

So yeah, I did go back into school and this time I was determined to make it through, and I did. I even became one of the two best students in my class ( not that there were a lot of us). I enjoyed my last year and I got to know every class mate which helped me breeze through so easily. Chemistry however was a battle I lost. Even as great as I had become, I just had no love left for the subject. Luckily, my department had a rule about that. Apparently, I wasn’t the first student to fight a loosing battle with chemistry so according to my counselling, if you aced all your departmental courses (all being the operative word), chemistry got waived.

So knowing this, I made certain I never scored below 70 for each dept course and writing the letter to my Dean was cakes and ice cream. I remember sitting in the exam hall and looking at my chemistry questionnaire with tears in my heart and acceptance of defeat. I submitted an empty booklet and walked out, feeling all kinds of silly but glad that I didn’t have to face that again.

Science wasn’t my thing and I wasn’t going to force it.

Before moving to Germany, I did a lot of different jobs and while there was nothing grand about these jobs, they helped me build a resume. I knew I didn’t want to work in a bank even though it paid a great deal. I wanted to work around machinery but no one was hiring me with my degree. I basically had a science degree but never applied to work in any science sector. I wanted to help build houses, I wanted to work in companies like Julius Berger and get first hand experience on how roads and bridges were constructed. But again, my animal production degree wasn’t of much use to a company that hired engineers.

After graduation, I tried my hands at managing a poultry farm and shockingly, I loved every second of it. 6 am I was already at the farm and I didn’t leave until 6 pm. I felt a sense of something great, something I couldn’t explain when I cared for the birds, getting them ready for the Christmas and new year feasting.

I was proud of my accomplishment and I even considered venturing into breeding birds for eggs. But NYSC happened and I left all that behind.

Moving to Germany and starting a new life which includes first learning the language gave no room for job searches until after I was done with B1.

The registration job I got was really just a flux because I wasn’t even on the hunt for a job at the time Gorgeousness found it. But it was a great opportunity for me to work in close contact with the locals. I got to practice my language skill while others practiced their English with me.

But sadly it was a contracted job and I was done just as I started to get the feel of the environment.

Now that I am ready to get a job, nothing is happening! I have applied for more jobs than I can count and sometimes I get all of my no in one week! I even went for a two days training for a cold calling job which I must be honest I didn’t like. When I got the call for it, I was pretty excited to have finally found a job but the closing hours I hated and the whole method as well and I may have made a slight complaint about said hours!

At this point I am dropping in my resume every possible place and yes it does get disappointing when the reply says I wish you the best but the truth is nothing good has ever come from giving up.

A lot of times I have been tempted to just throw in the towel but we do need the extra cash and cannot live on just one income especially as we are trying for kids.

I talked to a friend about almost giving up and she told me about her best friend who applied for over 300 jobs and found one in two years.

It’s just a few weeks since I began job searching so hearing tales like hers makes me try harder.

I enrolled for a TESOL certification course and in all honesty, I am enjoying it. It reminds me of my dreams of being a teacher. I first need to get my certificate from school then translate it to German before applying for a teaching course in one of the universities. Would it be an English university? Oh I hope not cos they are bloody teuer but do I understand the language well enough to get a degree in German? Well, only time would tell.

I do want to become a teacher one day. Sure I grumble about having to spend more years in university when I could be using those years to work and earn a living right? But teaching is what I would like to do one day. I may have to get a C1 language level certification but I will not think of that until I have my certificate translated.

It’s really hard, frustrating and annoying when you have a degree in a course no one cares about. When you don’t have enough working experience or paper-seeing (I just made that up!)abilities that could increase your chances at finding a job.

How do you convince someone to hire you on grounds that you promise to give it your more than best shot?

I have written more German cover letters than I can remember and I still have to write more because I will not give up. Is it annoying? Damn straight it is. But hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day right?

Back in Nigeria, growing up, parents wanted their kids to study “professional ” courses, to give them greater chances at job offers. Go be a doctor, study engineering, be a pharmacist etc. But that’s all in the past. These days, making a living can come from a huge number of things that includes hawking bread… ask the girl who got discovered by Ty Bello!

Do I wish I had studied that engineering? Well in terms of job offers, yes I do. But in the end, it’s not who I am. Sure I dreamed of hard hats and mining Overalls with heavy timberland boots, constructing rigs and roads but hey that never happened.

They(don’t ask me who they is supposed to be!) say we make our own destiny and this is absolutely true but in real life, you have to struggle to make that destiny, you have to consider all the external forces that are put in place to either make you or break you, to know when to keep moving or give up.

Do I want to give up this job search? Hell yes I do! I’m tired and the negative responses just pushes me back into the shell I took my time breaking out of. But the one job offer isn’t going to land in my laps by any sort of miracle or juju incantations. I have to go looking for it.

It’s like a friend said; you want to marry a king? None is coming to your parents home to seek you out. We aren’t all Snow White. Go where kings mingle!

So I’m in the job market and will stay there until I find something to do. Things may occur in between. But the search never stops oder?

Einen schönen Tag noch Leute!!

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