'Working mothers get special privileges'
In the latest instalment of My German Career, The Local spoke with Munich-based analyst, Munmun Guha.
Where are you located and what do you do?
I am located in Munich and work as Supply Chain Analyst for a Japanese pharmaceutical company, Daiichi Sankyo. I moved to Germany due to my husband’s job and having been living here over 7 years now.
How did you land your job and do you have tips for anyone seeking similar work
The German environment has not been entirely alien to me, as I did my MBA under the initiative of Indo German Chamber of Commerce, which landed me a job with Siemens in India where I worked over 9 years. I was always inclined to take up a job here though I was apprehensive about my lack of full command on the language. Toytown website is a great forum to interact with the English speaking population in Germany, and I was lucky that I got immediate response once I put up my interest there.
So I started with my first job within one year of landing here, with a small and very niche technology company for five years, two years of which were maternity leave due to the birth of my twins. Last year I started my current job which I found through Experteer. I must say that the job sites here are very effective and live up to the promises they make. One important tip for any job seeker is to be very objective in your CV. I notice and have also experienced that a call for an interview is almost a confirmation of the job, as it has happened to me twice.
Is it important for you to be able to speak German in your position?
In both my jobs, the business language has been English due to the international nature of operations. Speaking German is not mandatory but nice to have. One can socialize and sensitize better in the work environment when most of the colleagues are Germans. The best part is, people here appreciate your interest in the language. So don’t consider it as a barrier, use it as an enabler.
What are the key differences between practicing your profession here and in your home country?
The first key difference I noticed is the absence of stress and tension in your work. People come on time, leave on time and do not carry extra work back home and maximize their output in the hours they spend in office. There is also effective use of flexi-timing and work from home possibilities. Overall there is an employee-friendly environment which makes people maintain a strong work-life balance. The other key difference is the security of the job and protection offered by the law and government.
What are the best and worst parts about working in Germany?
The best part, personally for me has been the favourable disposition the government has enforced through various benefits for pregnant woman, which is perhaps due to the social demographics of Germany. As for the worst, I do not consider anything too serious, except I feel there can be speedier way of doing things in some situations, rather than just follow a process. As for one's home life, the lack of affordable domestic help makes things more difficult as the domestic support system we are used to in India is absent.
Do you plan on staying?
The world changes so quickly that it is very difficult to comment anything for any long term plans. However I love my current job, and happy to continue with it, other circumstances permitting.