Networking includes the Word Work for a Reason

You probably despise networking. You think of networking as wasting time and you don’t like to go to events with no direct outcome. Are you appalled by “coffee meetings” with people who never plan to support you but happily take your free advice? Know that feeling?

You probably heard me say this before: For me, time has an immense value and since I started my business I’ve come to the conclusion that I have three major priorities: 1) My health, 2) My time, and 3) My support group (including my family and partner). Without these, you cannot run a successful company of one.

To use my time effectively and to the best possible outcome, I am constantly reviewing my “networking” strategy and have become very strategic about building connections in a way that suits me but also generates business. At the same time with recent health challenges, working from home, and restrictions on events I had to think of other ways to “network the network”. The term “working the net” already indicates that there is work involved in building and maintaining mutually beneficial business relationships. While this comes naturally to expats and other people from more relationship-based cultures, it requires energy for people from strictly task-based cultures.

The secret to making peace with “networking” as I often explain in my talks and workshops is to treat your business relationships similar to other friendships. Also, flipping your mindset to think: “What can the other person get out of having a relationship with me?” instead of “What can I get out of this relationship?” is helpful.

Five Recipes for Working Your Net

1) Connect those who would not meet

A big benefit of being a networking queen or king is that you can organize connections. Think about who would need to know whom in your network to move ahead one step with one of their issues. Maybe a friend needs a new job or a business contact wants a new client or needs to solve an immediate problem at hand. Risk a little discomfort. Set them up for a “Professional Blind Date”. Trust your judgment and see what happens. Over the last few years, I have made several professional introductions. Mainly I helped my clients to find jobs that they would otherwise not even know. I also benefit from introductions so I try to keep the karma of connections spinning. 

2) Accept that Relationships require Work

As in a good marriage, you want to keep the relationship alive by making it beneficial for both parties. Once you know too many people you might just react once you are asked but even a small piece of advice to a junior colleague might help them to move ahead in their career or move out of a job where they have stopped to learn. A lot of professionals I know have lost the ability to trust their managers and colleagues. Being a mentor for a more junior professional in your industry can be motivating for this person.

Bathtub full of champagne
This is what the good life looks like

3) Share Your Knowledge and Expertise Graciously

There has never been a time when too much knowledge was hurtful. It’s also impossible to shock people with well-written report summaries or other insights you have about your industry. Start posting on LinkedIn. Tell people what you know and how you view the trends. In a worst-case scenario, you get a negative comment. Be bold and bring your unique perspective to the world. Research says that people tend to underestimate their originality. Your voice is needed in this world. Speak up.

4) Help Others and Increase Your Self-esteem

It sounds like a boy/girl-scout value but “a good deed a day keeps the shrink away”. When you help your contacts then you will feel more self-respect and wake up with a smile on your face. It always makes me so happy when a client tells me they found a job they love or that a connection was really helpful. It’s even more fun to just support people in your network (for FREE). Give them likes, +1, endorsements, retweets, and hearts when you are not paid for it. It’s a great way to give people appreciation and we all could get a bit more of that, especially in the corporate world.

5) Challenge Yourself and Treat Networking like a Game

I often ask my clients to set a networking target. That includes that they must give before they take. It could be a small weekly challenge such as meeting a person you never met for a coffee. You could also offer to connect someone to someone else because you know they share a theme, hobby, or interest. These connections seem to bring out the most amazing collaborations. You want to ask permission before sharing details. You could implement a scorecard on your whiteboard and whenever you help a connection you add a smiley there. Imagine how that will make YOU feel.

Have fun, always.

Read this post too:

Offline Networking in the Digital Age

Resources

Levine, Alaina G. Networking for Nerds

(found her through our shared Hashtag #Networking4Nerds)

Grant, Adam M. Give and Take

The Global Rockstar Album – 21 Verses to Find Your Tact as an Inclusive Leader

The Global Rockstar Album

Successful Immigration to Germany via the New Blue Card

Sandipta Jadhav

The New Blue Card

Your Ticket to a Successful Immigration to Germany

A Guest Post By Sandipta Jadhav, Immigration Lawyer, and Global Mobility Specialist

New Blue Card statistics and success stories

Since its introduction, the Blue Card program has been a resounding success, attracting highly skilled workers from around the world to Germany. With high numbers of Indians, Chinese, and Turkish nationals also have a deep interest in relocating to Germany. The program has contributed significantly to the German economy, with BlueCard holders bringing their expertise and innovation to various industries. 

As you are aware, nationalities like Indian, Chinese, and Korean are always looking for overseas options in the dream of an advanced lifestyle. I believe this is the best program to achieve your European job dreams. Few examples of success stories of people who have used the Germany Blue Card to immigrate to Germany:

  • Nisha who is a software engineer from India was able to get a Blue Card after getting a job offer from a German tech company. She says that the Blue Card has made it possible for her to build a successful career in Germany and to raise a family.
  • Tamang, a Doctor from the Philippines was able to get a Blue Card after getting a job offer from a German hospital. He says that the Blue Card has made it possible for him to practice medicine in Germany and to provide quality care to his patients.
  • A famous business consultant from Brazil, Rodrigo was able to get a Blue Card after getting a job offer from a German consulting firm. He says that the Blue Card has made it possible for him to develop his career and work with some of the most innovative companies in Germany.

Are you dreaming of starting a new chapter of your life in Germany?

Here is some great news for you! Germany has also opened the door for non-EU nationals. Germany has become a popular destination for immigrants due to its vibrant economy, high quality of life, diverse cultural scene, and strong education and healthcare systems.  

The new German immigration law is a response to challenges like a shortage of skilled workers and many others. The law is designed to make it easier for skilled workers to immigrate to Germany and to help refugees integrate into society. 

What is a New Blue Card?

Blue Card is a program designed for highly skilled workers from non-EU countries. To qualify, you must have a job offer in Germany that pays at least a certain salary (currently €56,400 per year). You must also have a university degree or equivalent qualification. The blue card allows you to live and work in Germany for up to four years, and you can then apply for a permanent residence permit after two years.

Don’t let your dreams of living and working in Germany remain just that – dreams. I highly recommend you take advantage of the New Blue Card program and embark on a successful immigration journey to Germany for your future growth.

The Benefits of the New Blue Card for Immigrants

The New Blue Card program offers a range of benefits for immigrants, making it an attractive option for those seeking to live and work in Germany. Designed to attract talented individuals, the New BlueCard program encourages people to contribute their expertise to the German economy. 

Another major benefit of the New BlueCard is the opportunity to work in industries that are known for their excellence and innovation. Germany is home to world-leading companies in sectors such as engineering, automotive, technology, and healthcare. 

Furthermore, the BlueCard offers excellent social benefits, including access to a high standard of healthcare and education. Germany is renowned for its universal healthcare system, which provides comprehensive coverage for residents. Additionally, the country boasts a well-regarded education system, with a range of options for both children and adults.

The Eligibility Criteria for the New Blue Card

To be eligible for the Blue Card program, there are certain criteria that you must meet. 

  1. You must have a recognized university degree or qualifications that are equivalent to German standards. 
  2. You must have a job offer from a German employer that meets certain requirements. The job offer must be for a position that is deemed to be highly skilled, and the salary must meet the minimum salary threshold set by the German government. 
  3. It is also important to note that there are certain language requirements for the BlueCard program. While German language proficiency is not mandatory, it is highly recommended. Having a good command of the German language will not only make it easier for you to integrate into German society but will also open up more opportunities for employment and social interaction.

The Eligible Professions for German EU Blue Card

Some of the professions that are most in demand in Germany are:

  • Architects and interior designers
  • Engineers
  • Information and communication technologies specialists
  • Mathematicians
  • Health professionals
  • Scientists
  • Scientific engineers
  • Urban and traffic planning specialists

The employment fields that make you eligible for a German Blue Card are those that require a university degree. If you are highly qualified in your field, then you are eligible for a German Blue Card.

The Application Process for the New BlueCard

The application process for the New Blue Card is straightforward and transparent, making it accessible to individuals from around the world. Once you have all the required documents, you can submit your application to the relevant authorities. If your application is approved, you will be issued a BlueCard visa, which will allow you to live and work in Germany. The Blue Card is typically valid for a period of four years, after which you can apply for an extension or permanent residency.

You can only get an EU Blue Card from the Foreigner’s Office in Germany. So, after you find a job in Germany, you have to approach the German embassy in your country to obtain an entry visa*. Once you are in Germany, you can get your Blue Card. The processing time for BlueCard applications is usually quite fast, with most applications being processed within a few weeks. Finally, you could also apply for a residence permit.

Documents required for the BlueCard application

When applying for the BlueCard, there are several documents that you will need to provide. These include:

  1. A valid passport
  2. Proof of a recognized university degree or equivalent qualifications
  3. Proof of a job offer from a German employer
  4. Proof of health insurance coverage
  5. Proof of financial means to support yourself during your time in Germany

It is important to ensure that all documents are complete and up to date before submitting your application. Any missing or incomplete documents may result in delays or even rejection of your application.

The Family Members can apply at the same Time

The family members of a Blue Card holder do not need to have a job or any specific qualifications to be eligible for these benefits. However, they must be able to support themselves financially and not be a burden on the German state. To apply for these benefits, the family members of a Blue Card holder must submit a copy of their Blue Card holder’s residence permit, a copy of their passport, and proof of financial support.

The benefits for the family members of a Blue Card holder are subject to change, so it is important to check with the German authorities for the latest information. Additionally, the BlueCard offers greater flexibility in terms of employment. Unlike some other types of visas that may restrict the type of work you can do or the employer you can work for, the BlueCard allows you to work in any highly skilled position in Germany.

Rathaus Deidesheim
Rathaus Deidesheim

The BlueCard is only the starting point

1 – Be Meticulous in Your Application

To increase your chances of a successful BlueCard application, there are several tips that you can follow. Firstly, ensure that you meet all the eligibility criteria before applying. This includes having the necessary qualifications, a job offer from a German employer, and proof of financial means. Secondly, research the application process and gather all the required documents. Thirdly, consider learning the German language before applying for the BlueCard. While it is not mandatory, having a good command of the German language will greatly enhance your chances of finding employment and integrating into German society.

2 – Plan time for move and transition

The amount of time it takes to move and transition to Germany will vary depending on your individual circumstances. However, here is a general timeline to help you plan:

6 months to 1 year before your move:

  • Start researching the process of moving to Germany and applying for a visa. 
  • Research the different cities and towns in Germany to see where you would like to live. Consider factors such as cost of living, job opportunities, and cultural fit.
  • Start networking with people who live in Germany or who have recently moved there. They can offer you valuable insights and advice.
  • You should also start learning German, as this will make your transition to Germany much easier.

3 months to 6 months before your move: Once you have your visa, start making arrangements for your move. This includes finding a place to live, shipping your belongings, and booking flights and accommodation.   

1 month to 3 months before your move: Start packing your belongings and making final arrangements for your move. You should also get health insurance that covers you for the duration of your stay in Germany.

The day of your move: Fly to Germany and start your new life!

3 – Understand Schooling Options for Your Children

Choosing a school for your child is an important decision. It is important to research the school system in the area where you will be living. By taking the time to research your options, you can find the best school for your child’s needs. You can find more information on the website of the German Ministry of Education and Research.

Let’s have a brief overview of schooling for children in Germany:

  • Compulsory Education: Schooling is compulsory for all children in Germany from the age of 6 to 16.
  • School System: The German school system is divided into three levels: primary school (Grundschule), lower secondary school (Hauptschule, Realschule, or Gymnasium), and upper secondary school (Gesamtschule or Gymnasium)
  • Curriculum: The curriculum in Germany is set by the federal government, but each state has some flexibility in how it is implemented. The curriculum covers a wide range of subjects, including German, math, science, social studies, and foreign languages
  • Assessment: Students in Germany are assessed regularly throughout their school years.
  • School Fees: There are no tuition fees for public schools in Germany. However, there may be some additional costs, such as for books and supplies
  • Language: The language of instruction in German schools is German. However, there are some schools that offer bilingual programs for children who are not native speakers of German

If you are planning to move to Germany with your children, it is important to research the school system in the area where you will be living. You can find more information on the website of the German Ministry of Education and Research. Here are some additional tips for choosing a school for your child in Germany:

  • Consider the location of the school. How far is it from your home or workplace? Is it easy to get to by public transportation?
  • Think about the size of the school. Do you want your child to go to a small school or a large school?
  • Consider the academic reputation of the school. What are the test scores like?
  • Talk to other parents who have children in the school. What do they think of the school?
  • Visit the school and talk to the teachers and principal. Get a feel for the school’s atmosphere.

4 – Request Expat Spouse Support

Expat spouse support varies depending on the city and region in Germany. Local authorities, international organizations, and community groups often collaborate to provide a comprehensive package of services to ensure the well-being and integration of Expat Spouses. The partner of a Blue Card holder in Germany is entitled to a number of benefits, including the right to live and work in Germany, the right to access the German healthcare system, the right to education for their children, and the right to financial support if they are unable to work. If your Spouse needs help with finding a job in Germany you can contact Global People Transitions and ask about their HireMeExpress program. 

5 – Break Home Country Tax Residency

Breaking tax residency in Germany is a complex process that depends on a number of factors, including your personal circumstances, your country of origin, and the tax treaties between Germany and your country of origin. In general, you will be considered a tax resident of Germany if you meet the following criteria:

  • You have a permanent home in Germany.
  • You spend more than 183 days in Germany in a calendar year.
  • You have your center of vital interests in Germany.

The 183-day rule is the most common rule for determining tax residency in Germany. However, there are a number of exceptions to this rule. For example, if you are a student or a temporary worker, you may not be considered a tax resident of Germany even if you spend more than 183 days in the country. If you are considering breaking your tax residency in Germany, it is important to speak to a tax advisor to get personalized advice.

6 – Start Saving for Old-Age Pension

The German pension system is a pay-as-you-go system, which means that current workers pay for the pensions of current retirees. The system is funded by contributions from employers and employees, as well as by government subsidies.

There are two main pillars of the German pension system:

  • The statutory pension scheme (“Gesetzliche Rentenversicherung”): This is the basic pension scheme that is compulsory for all employees. The contributions are 18.6% of an employee’s gross income, split equally between the employer and employee.
  • The occupational pension scheme (berufsständische Versorgungswerke): This is a voluntary pension scheme that is available to certain professions, such as lawyers and doctors. The contributions are set by the individual occupational scheme.

In addition to the statutory and occupational pension schemes, there are also a number of private pension schemes that people can choose to join.

The amount of pension that a person receives depends on a number of factors, including their earnings, their years of contributions, and their age at retirement. The average pension in Germany is around EUR 1,400 per month.

7 – Leave the Parents and In-Laws in the Home Country

Leaving one’s parents and in-laws in the home country to move to Germany can be a difficult decision. There are many factors to consider, such as the distance between the two countries, the cost of travel, and the frequency of visits. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to leave your parents and in-laws in the home country to move to Germany is a personal one. There is no right or wrong answer. However, it is important to weigh all of the factors involved before making a decision. There are legal considerations when parents can follow you to Germany and you can certainly have them follow once you have your German passport. 

The Blue Card is a pathway to a successful immigration journey to Germany.

The New Blue Card program offers an exciting opportunity for highly skilled individuals to live and work in Germany. With its streamlined application process, attractive benefits, and opportunities for growth, the BlueCard is a pathway to a successful immigration journey. It is too early to say what the impact of the law will be, but it is a significant step for Germany and it is likely to have a major impact on the country’s immigration policy. While Germany might exhibit certain imperfections when juxtaposed with other culturally diverse nations, such as potentially limited culinary choices, a penchant for meticulous bureaucratic processes, and a preference for its native tongue, it shines remarkably in its open-hearted embrace of immigrants. This nation extends a warm invitation to individuals yearning to delve into novel cultures, inviting them to partake in the delightful tapestry of diversified experiences and the enriching trials that come with it.

 

Your Immigration Expert of Choice

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sandipta Jadhav is an Indian immigration lawyer and Global Mobility specialist with close to two decades of experience in global people transitions. She has witnessed hundreds of global aspirants immigrate to and from India and many other countries including Germany. She was born and raised amidst the bustling streets of South Mumbai, India. Central to her professional ethos is an unwavering commitment to customer experience and consistently striving to surpass expectations and craft unparalleled journeys for each valued individual she serves. She has a proven track record of success in helping individuals and organizations navigate the complex world of immigration.

Resources

European Union BlueCard Scheme 

https://www.apply.eu/

Essential information

EU Blue Card