Wanderlust the Sequel 2, Sofia

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Sofia, Bulgaria

On my way to another adventure.

Moving to Sofia, Bulgaria.

When I moved from Athens back to Malta, it wasn’t my intention to stay a short time.
But sometimes life has other things planned.

I was promoted a few times within the same department.
But along the way, the amount of work became less and less.

At the department I worked we supported 6 languages. Dutch, French, Czech, Slovak, Slovene & Croatian.
When I worked a few months at the department, after my second promotion, the work for the French & Dutch part became very little.

Therefore colleagues got fired. Some on the spot (when a reason was found).
I talked a few times with managers higher than I was. Asked them if they thought the Dutch & French part is going to close down.
Every time they answered me “No, for sure not”.


My move from Malta to Sofia Bulgaria.

Yet my gut feeling said something completely different.
Over the years I learned to trust this feeling. Of course, I ignored it sometimes. Only to learn that the feeling was correct. Every time.

Our team started with 20 Dutch employees and about 8 French. Within half a year there were only 4 Dutch left. That included me, being Trainer/Team Lead.
The French team was left with 4 colleagues.

After the summer of 2017, the amount of work dropped even more. Still, they said, “don’t worry, there will be more work soon”. That never happened.
And I did not trust what they were saying any more. The proof was there but ignored and denied.

Around the end of September 2017, I started applying for jobs. My preference, going back to Fuerteventura, I hope I will get the chance in the future.
But at the moment there are no good jobs to find.

Then Portugal, I thought? There are jobs in Portugal. But not the ones I wanted. No Trainer and/or Team Lead jobs.
Furthermore, Portugal is not the most inexpensive country to live in, but the salaries are one of the lowest in Europe.

Recruiters contacted me, asked me whether I had thought about working/living in:
* Prague
* Warsaw
* Krakow
* Sofia
* Bucharest

No, I had not. I am more the warmer winter type of girl.
Yet one of the job offers was really great. And I accepted that job in Sofia.
As Team Lead. For a big department. In- & outbound sales. 28 Agents.

The conversations I had with the company were great. I accepted the job offer.
And I moved to Sofia the beginning of November 2017.


To be honest it was love at the first sight.
So much space! And all those parks, green. The beautiful buildings. The mountain view from the office.

I arrived a week early, so I had time to get to know the city a little and arrange the things that needed to be arranged.
With a lot of help from my broker. I found a small but nice apartment. Nearby a metro station. About 18 minutes from work.

The only thing I was not looking forward too, was winter.
I loved the work I was doing. And found out, that (what I always thought) I am very good adapting to people.

Even though I was their Team Lead, agents felt at ease with me.
They trust me. For that, they trusted me when we needed to do an Action Plan (AP).

I have to say that I learned a lot during those months. What I also learned, was that the values of the company were not mine.
And their way of managing was not my style.

I always called it nano-micro-management. Every second checking if and what an agent is doing. That is not my management style.
No nano-micro-management for me, please! When you hire someone, you have to trust this person to do the job he/she is hired for.

Someone I admire is Brigette Hyacinth.
She wrote a few books about Leadership. I love her way of thinking about this topic.

Back to me not liking the management style. But it is something this company wants.
Sometimes I looked for another professional opportunity, but not active. Although I changed my LinkedIn page, so that recruiters were able to find it.

Business Site Healthy Life Insight With Karin on LinkedIn.

But, as said previously, I was not looking very actively.
I had some ice interviews. Also, a few where I thought “Wow, this is a nice job! And the company probably is a good one”.

At the beginning of May, things started to change. Change in a negative way.
At 25th of May 2018 the GDPR law would be introduced.

Of course, as it is a law, we must comply with it. No problem at all.
But when a company wants to implement rules, fine with me. But do not use the GDPR to do this.
And worse, telling lies that it was an obligation due to the GDPR.

That stung me. I needed to explain all the newly implemented rules. And I could not.
How can I explain a rule which I can not support? And which, for sure, has nothing to do GDPR.

The feeling that I did not belong to that company became overwhelming.
Yet I managed. Although I started looking around for a new challenge immediately.

When a company wants to implement new rules, that is completely fine. But do not hide behind a new law.
That is lying to your employees. Thinking they are too stupid to see the real reason.

But I still loved Sofia. For that, I first wrote only at vacancies there.

Soon the atmosphere became untenable. We needed to fill in 3 pages (A4) yes/no answer questions.
About what we the company to do with our data (this is completely according to GDPR).

The last sentence of the papers was “Even when you answered “NO” at any of the above questions ******** (name of the company) will have the last word.
And THAT was completely the opposite where the GDPR stands for.

This was, for me, the last straw that breaks the camel’s back.

I asked for resignation (with notice time), they didn’t want to let me go.
Therefore I explained again why I could not work there any more.

Nope, I wasn’t allowed. Again I explained the why. How I feel about this company.
It took some time before they figured it out.
That I was serious about this.

I have to say, it is not easy to leave a company without having another job.
Yet, this company overstepped my boundaries so strongly, I could not stay there any more.

Because I want to build my own practitioner practice, I decided to start a blog. With information about Life Coaching and all other practices, I have followed courses/training for.
Where I am good at. To build a practice for me. Doing the things I love, and very good at.

In the meantime, I wrote at vacancies, had a lot of interviews. I refused a few jobs (Portugal again, with wages too low. And I so want to go, but not for almost free).
Became a little nervous occasionally.

I build on my blog.
And following many, many classes.
About blogging, about life coaching and other subjects.
Still living and enjoying Sofia.

Again I had some nice job interviews. Two of them I really liked.
I accepted the one I was offered in Brno, Czech Republic.

For that, at Monday the 9th of July, my new adventure will start in another country.

The Czech Republic.

I will keep you updated.

Wanderlust: Wanderlust Or More?

The Sequel 1: Athens Greece & Back at Malta.

Sequel 2: Sofia, Bulgaria.

The Sequel 3: Brno, Czech Republic.

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