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About Auswanderer

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  • Location Nuremberg
  • Nationality Australian
  1. How to calculate postdoc salary properly?

      According to the OED Acton's usage is fine: Forms:  Past tense and participle learned /lɜːnd/, learnt /lɜːnt/.
  2. Few German Mothers Go Back To Work Full Time.

    I think the article misses the main reason many women don't return to work: the lack of available childcare places and the very short school hours. For a family in Germany there is basically no way to have both parents work full time with school age children unless they get help from family to cover all the times formal care isn't available.
  3. British universities accused of dumbing down.

    The article you reference is discussing the results of a survey which shows that a majority of current university students in the UK support the idea of it being made easier for disadvantaged students to be accepted into universities. Currently admission is based on academic results at school. Students from well-off backgrounds do better on these measures indicating that socioeconomic status is influencing the results (unless you believe that the intelligence of children is determined by its parents' financial net worth) and should be accounted for. We would say that background is a confounding variable in what we are trying to measure: academic potential.    If we assume that raw academic potential is randomly distributed we would expect students from all groups to do equally. Now, imagine you have a hundred point scale, and students from the top-most quintile receive a median of 85, and students of the lowest quintile score a median of 60 and the required score for admission to some university is 80. Further assume a standard deviation of 5. Our student from the top-most quintile can under-perform his/her peer-group and still be admitted, whereas a student from the lowest group effectively has zero chance of being admitted. Recognising this problem, a university might say that students from the lowest socio-economic quintile automatically receive a 10 point admissions bump or some such scheme to help "level the playing field". The poor student still has to be in the top 5% of their cohort, but at least now has a chance.   These schemes are not new and don't threaten the academic integrity of higher education. The advantages that led to the difference in school results don't magically disappear, but such schemes, I think, should be supported.  
  4. Australian HECS/HELP debt and tax agreements

    Thanks for reporting Racoonbeak! That eases the pain a little!
  5. Speaking good German will greatly increase your chances as you are able to work with companies that predominantly speak German, which in Germany happens to be most of them. Even those that might use English as the language of documentation will tend to use German for much of the day-to-day work. It is worth having your language skills certified, as being self-taught might mean that you have important gaps in your abilities. I don't want to discourage you, but being able to pass the C1 exam is not sufficient for professional work. It means that you have all the foundations that you need, but you really have to keep improving so that you can follow complex conversations and contribute. I think that if you can master the language many other common migrant problems disappear. 
  6. Getting a job from abroad

    In my minimal experience in dealing with German companies, they tend to be looking to hire someone long-term and as such the hiring process is often longer and more intensive than countries with greater labour market flexibility. I find that my colleagues suggest they'll stay in a job a minimum of two years, even if they don't really like it otherwise it will reflect badly on them. I tend to think a year is reasonable. I know others consider 3 months to be above and beyond. It sounds like you're doing quite well on the job hunting front if you are making it to this point in the application. Your best bet is probably just being upfront and saying that you're really interested in the position, but know that it is very difficult to get the appropriate visa and ask if they can proceed further via video.   The other thing that you have to consider if you plan on moving here is that there are a large number of fixed costs in coming to Germany which might make it quite difficult for you to take up a job offer. You need the first months' rent, you need accommodation while you find somewhere to live, you will probably need furniture and even a kitchen, etc. 
  7. Retiring soon. What to do about health insurance?

    Wow, what a disturbing thread. I feel like every few months I come across another piece of small print in the German social contract that makes me wonder why anyone migrates here. Something else to read up on!
  8. There are a couple of problems you seem to be facing. Firstly it is worth remembering that you are a migrant working in a professional field in a country that generally sees migrants as here to do jobs that locals don't want to do. Further, your field is heavily language based which unless you are targeting your native language group will put you at a disadvantage. Coming to Germany as an engineer is one thing, coming here as a lawyer is another. Just because you were successful in one country does not mean that those professional skills will either translate or be recognised.    Secondly, your manager might be an exception: I have met Germans that graduated from university at 22, did a Masters at the same time as they were employed and by their late 20s are more than competent enough to manage a small team. Your manager might not be that person, but she might also be meeting the expectations of the organisation that you both work for.  As we get older it is natural that before long we will either be the same age as our managers, or be managed by people younger than us if we're working in a traditional corporate structure. At some point you're going to have to get used to it.    It sounds as though you are not very fulfilled in your current role. Why don't you do some consulting on the side? If no-one wants to hire you it might be a sign that your skills aren't as in demand as you might have thought?
  9. Australian to German driver's licence conversion

    Unfortunately the process is a joke and you're experience will depend almost entirely on which bureaucrat you meet on the day. When I transferred mine they wanted the date of issue of my first ever Australian licence. The reason given was that if you were registered as living in Germany at the time you were granted your licence it would not be recognized. My experience was that every appointment they would request a different document or ask me to meet another requirement; it can be a long road to accomplish a minor bureaucratic task. 
  10. Ageism and sexism in Germany

    It seems to be a global trope of the IT industry that all the jobs are going to be off-shored to India or Eastern Europe. I'd be curious to see if there is any evidence that the absolute number of IT has decreased during all of these supposed outsourcing periods. As far as I can see there has been a pretty steady growth in the industry and generally work has always been available in at least the same proportion as for other professionals (that is, taking into account recessions, etc).
  11. Non-germans and the labour market

    Interesting article in Zeit reporting on a new OECD study on employment prospects in various countries. As expected for Germany education, earnings and employment are strongly related. What is quite interesting is how poorly Germany does (in comparison to other OECD countries) at integrating non-Germans into the labour market. Given that there is an increasing expectation that shortages of teachers, carers, nurses, etc will be filled by foreigners, it is difficult to see how that will work without significant changes given past experience.