[Software Engineer] Working in Germany, somehow disappointed

84 posts in this topic

 

No, it's because temp firms almost universally suck.

 

I'm not really sure why you're being so defensive about this and accusing people of things that they aren't doing?

Universality does not exists in the real world :) . I've explained above what does it means for me, to work in the temp firm.

 

Please, could you explain what problems should I face in my temp firm. Since all firms universally(!!) sucks, you might be able to explain. Maybe I am missing something and my company really sucks. It might be. Could you help me with this?

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Just to add, Germany is a country just like Japan & China where loyalty is highly rewarded, regardless of the skills. In these countries, one could start as a secretary (not executive assistant) and it would not surprise me if he or she is the ceo of the company some 30 years later (an extreme example though). To reward loyalty, they have something called stuffe based on their years in the company. If you change companies, you start from square 1 which is like stuffe 3, regardless of what skills or experience you bring to the table, exceptions do exist however. On the Contrary, in the States, UK, or Scandnavia, its not the experience, but the skills which are rewarded. "Getting things done" gets priority over "follow the rule book (read follow the herd)". 

 

I would just suggest the OP to relocate to some scandinavian country, or to UK, US, Canada etc, not because this country is bad, but just for the simple reason that you do not fit in to the culture. Unlike the aforesaid countries, where people strive for a paradigm shift (10x change), here in Germany, people respect gradual change and step by step improvements, giving a smooth transition thereby ensuring a stress free life. Its a win win situation (doubt if it is, but the locals say so) for both the employees (job security) as well as the Employers (smooth operation, no surprises like attrition, ensures flawless planning). Furthermore, unlike the states where people give a damn about their job, here people idolize it.

 

Even with "Leiharbeitsfirma" you have a better security here than in the other countries. In your case, since you need to put your family first, you should bite the bullet and choose staying back here (with possibly changing this present job) for at least a few years until both the children develop ability for a smooth transition and after that leave this place for good.

 

Its a trade-off - Incremental Pay - Job Security VS. High Skills - High Pay - High Insecurity - YOUR CALL 

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So, guys, could somebody explain the problems I should experience in temp firm instead of pushing the minus button? :)

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Caveat: not all firms are the same. It depends not just on the company but also the company someone is placed with, which managers are responsible for you and so on.

 

Generally Leiharbeitfirma are used as a way of providing staff in such a way that they are temporary and do not have the rights of an employee.  ie they are staff that are intended to be disposable.  Added to that the Leiharbeitsfirma themselves often see themselves as a kind of recruitment agency matching people to roles and taking a cut off the top and they themselves often do not have any real interest in the people or their development.

 

This means that the typical problems are stagnant pay, no personal development, no feeling of being valued, or of a future (no training etc).  Overall, while this may not be 100% what you are experiencing, I stand by my initial analysis which was "uh huh, this is exactly what I would expect from the type of company you work for".

 

I know you have positive feelings for your company, and the company you are placed with.  That is good, and I have no wish to say that your feelings are misplaced.  But you do feel undervalued and I am fairly certain that this is a symptom of the *type* of company you work for. 

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I know you have positive feelings for your company, and the company you are placed with.  That is good, and I have no wish to say that your feelings are misplaced.  But you do feel undervalued and I am fairly certain that this is a symptom of the *type* of company you work for. 

Thanks for your answer! The problem is, that changing to the regular company I am working now for will not change this. I see how other people work here, no difference. 

For example, I have no problems getting any training my regular company provides, the problem it provides only a few and boring :). So, it seems that in my case Leiharbeitfirma is not a key problem. 

 

I know that many temp firms are just like you explained. I turned down three contracts of other temp firms because of issues you are talking about.

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That is probably true.  If they were interested in investing in a proper long working relationship they would not have use the Leiharbeitsfirma in the first place, they would have recruited you directly.

 

But the fact that this one company isnt right for you doesnt in any way mean germany isnt right for you.  You could just as likely have had the same experience in the US and be thinking you should move to germany where companies care more for their employees.

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Ever consider that the problem might be both your current company AND the fact that you're temping?

 

Companies that hire temps tend to do so to fill a specific gap: the round peg for the round hole. If you're a square, you get sent back to the pool. So unless you're incredibly dim, it should come as no surprise that the company wants you to perform the duties for which you were procured (not hired - that's the difference). If the company also treats its regular employees this way - I'll take your word on that - then it's a clear sign that you won't want to continue working for that company as a regular employee.

 

For the record, I'm an independent contractor who has worked for nearly half of Germany's top 20 companies in one capacity or another over my career, as well as others. You can shoot all the messengers you want, but unless you're willing to open your eyes and leave Downtown Denial (population: you), your situation will never improve.

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That is probably true.  If they were interested in investing in a proper long working relationship they would not have use the Leiharbeitsfirma in the first place, they would have recruited you directly.

No, the Betriebsrat forbids to hire people from outside the Germany directly. This is the only reason for a temp firm.

 

But the fact that this one company isnt right for you doesnt in any way mean germany isnt right for you.  You could just as likely have had the same experience in the US and be thinking you should move to germany where companies care more for their employees.

Yes, this is SOOO true! I agree completely!

 

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Just a thought here, but maybe you have other personal, family issues?  MY profession involved  so much contact with people and their health, and often dissatisfaction with jobs could be linked to private problems?  You say you are fine with agency, salary, and your discontent seems to be a bit vague?   I am not sure many have found the perfect job in life, and we all have to make concessions.  I have experienced working in several different countries/continents, and it has not always been easy to adjust and adapt. It is easy to blame work, when  it may be  other factors.  

 

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 US probably has more of a start-up culture in terms of software firms where flexibility and innovation are more highly valued than process reliability and quality control which is probably the case in Germany. If you prefer tha you are more likely to find it in the US than Germany.

 

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No, the Betriebsrat forbids to hire people from outside the Germany directly. This is the only reason for a temp firm.

 

Then yeah, a company with a Betriebsrat that is that stingy is also not likely to be a very great company to work with.

 

I'm going to recommend finding an IT consulting agency again. Skilled IT workers are in high enough demand that it isn't at all uncommon for a consulting agency to hire on people from outside the EU.

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 I am not sure if I understood correctly: did you actually work in the US? If not, maybe your problem is also a mentality problem. Americans are very good at making you feel great - especially if you are used to the way of Northern and Eastern European countries. Americans are so nice, open, positive, polite and like to make compliments. Not all of them are meant to be taken literally though! There are limits to opportunities and development in the US too. And what your American co-workers said might be just...talk. So be careful to see what is really possible and what is just meant to be polite talk. 

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Hi,

 

Even i also do agree with someone here just mentioned that may be they are expecting a step by step learning approach initially i was also pissed off with the work culture because i was used to american way of working..give the issues even if it is outside your skills and if you learn and solve it your appreciated and i like these as it helps me to improve my professional skills over the years i worked(though few)..but here i seen it was even new for me too as people prefer step-by-step learning approach and once they hire you they expect you have been retained for a long term...for me however,it was too slow and i even considered talking to my manager...and he improves the tranning plan so i could get acquired new skills but again after 3 weeks its same...so again it was disappointing for me and i started feeling depress about my job and employer and company...but these is right here work culture is quite different especially it tends to more in benefit of an employee...and my manager always tells me to learn step-by-step and not to stress so much...which is at the other end quite considerate of him...besides these is true many people in my company are working here over 5 years...these shows they are satisfied... :-)

 

Having said that, One of my friend is too working in one of the reputed firm in Germany and for her is very structured and fast and she was expected to solve problem from day-1 and also to work on multiple projects... and when i shared my experience with her she said in her firm the things run quite differently..

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 Hi everybody,

I appreciate your answers! Thank you very much!

 

 

A nightmare. I didn't bother replying.

No, I didn't mean such a zoo of technologies, rather the dependency between (respect, complicated and interesting projects, salary) and high efficiency you are ready to prove in multiple technologies.

 

Ever consider that the problem might be both your current company AND the fact that you're temping?

 

Well... Actually this is true! Even though my temp firm colleagues are nice and helpful, they just don't care what I do in the regular firm. 

 

 

and leave Downtown Denial (population: you), your situation will never improve.

Sorry, what do you mean? I did't understood this idiom.

 

 

Just a thought here, but maybe you have other personal, family issues?  MY profession involved  so much contact with people and their health, and often dissatisfaction with jobs could be linked to private problems?  You say you are fine with agency, salary, and your discontent seems to be a bit vague?   I am not sure many have found the perfect job in life, and we all have to make concessions.  I have experienced working in several different countries/continents, and it has not always been easy to adjust and adapt. It is easy to blame work, when  it may be  other factors.  

After your post, I was thinking for a long time about family issues. Well, even though it is somehow stressful with newborns now, I don't think this is the reason for problems I've described. My life before was also quite stressful, but I've never felt so bad while I'm working

 

So, as a result:

1. Try to find another job in Germany, without a temp firm

2. Preferably in international company (to avoid companies, that are extremely emphasized on german way of working)

3. (Maybe) in consulting?

4. If no -> to the US, probably after working for 1 year here (to get L1 visa)

 

Suggestions?

 

   

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I've read through your posts and I'm still unclear on why, or what, leads you specifically to think the USA would solve all of the issue you report?

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I've read through your posts and I'm still unclear on why, or what, leads you specifically to think the USA would solve all of the issue you report?

Because I've worked remotely many years for Americans and with Americans. And I've used to their style of working. I used to work with vary open-minded people, and almost all of them were Americans. I used to a somehow stressful, but rewarded work. What I see in Germany in my firm (and not only in it): we'd rather use old technologies then try something new. We'd rather go for vacation, then then finish the project in the nearest future.

 

I might be lucky before, and unlucky right now (i.e. it was a wrong decision to accept my present company).

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Because I've worked remotely many years for Americans and with Americans. And I've used to their style of working. I used to work with vary open-minded people, and almost all of them were Americans. I used to a somehow stressful, but rewarded work. What I see in Germany in my firm (and not only in it): we'd rather use old technologies then try something new. We'd rather go for vacation, then then finish the project in the nearest future.

 

I might be lucky before, and unlucky right now (i.e. it was a wrong decision to accept my present company).

While I wish you all the best in your decisions I would recommend that:

 

1.  Apply some of this "open mindedness" you seem to value to your situation here

2.  Consider the emotional/physical stress of living a lifestyle where vacations/personal time is discouraged in order to finish these "projects" and is this actually a feasible lifestyle?

3.  If in contact with any of these former persons, ask them their honest opinion of their work situation.  Rarely is the grass actually greener on the other side.

 

I worked in the USA for a company based in Germany (now working for them in Germany), and if there is anything we were more jealous of in the USA was the ability/freedom to take vacations.  There is always going to be some other project that must be finished right after the current, so we never went.  I cashed out almost 3 weeks of vacation before coming here because I never had "time" at work to take it without some other deadline.  I certainly never took more than a week at a time.

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My short story...

 

Started freelancing. Got a lucky break with a well known Uni. I was too expensive freelancing, so got a contract. Changed the focus.


Couldn't handle it all myself so got a staff memeber. Changed the focus of the business needs and the money starting to roll in.

 

Time after time, my staff has increased. I consciously made a decision not to employ 100% German staff. All my staff have grown-up in dual cultures (home/society) and that was very important to me. I have a work ethic. The first generation Germans have the same work ethic. I built a team.

 

I have an arrogant, Prussian boss who doesn't "get" me and explodes every time I authorise things I'm not authorised to do. I've been verbally sacked three times. And each time my team walked-out with me. He's now given up sacking me, but he's still a Shouty Boy at times.

 

Yes, there's rules and regs in Germany, but sometimes it's possible to use them to your advantage. The OP has skills I don't even understand. I'm IT-illiterate.

 

I've been here nine years. I love it here. So, I'll never diss Germany. It is a wonderful opportunity to do what you want to do. Maybe what you could never do at "home"? And be who you are.

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1.  Apply some of this "open mindedness" you seem to value to your situation here

2.  Consider the emotional/physical stress of living a lifestyle where vacations/personal time is discouraged in order to finish these "projects" and is this actually a feasible lifestyle?

3.  If in contact with any of these former persons, ask them their honest opinion of their work situation.  Rarely is the grass actually greener on the other side.

 

I worked in the USA for a company based in Germany (now working for them in Germany), and if there is anything we were more jealous of in the USA was the ability/freedom to take vacations.  There is always going to be some other project that must be finished right after the current, so we never went.  I cashed out almost 3 weeks of vacation before coming here because I never had "time" at work to take it without some other deadline.  I certainly never took more than a week at a time.

Thanks for your comment. I agree that living in Germany is very comfortable, and I never said I hate Germany or German living style in general. I love it! But I am somehow tired about narrow-minded colleagues (not all of them like that, of course, but many of them!) who know only their narrow field and never look a little bit further. If you are a IT guy, I can give you some example. We had a discussion today about bug tracking system used in the company. It is very old (IBM Clear Quest) and it's usage slows down the bug fixing workflow drastically. I've said, that on my mind, the company might consider a switch to another, modern one because of administering and usage simplicity. Do you know what the answer was? "We don't know any other bug tracking systems"! They DON'T KNOW! Hey, Guys, you have "Software Engineer" label written on your cards and 5-10 years of experience. And you've never heard of other bug tracking systems??? OK, maybe you have no experience with them, that's might be OK. But you should at least spend 30 minutes, and instead of mingling for hours after lunch just try to learn something?

 

I've talked with some recruiters sine last time I'have been here. The bad news is that there is low demand for what I am looking for. The good news there is a demand in some smart companies, including, but not limited to the consulting agencies (Dienstleistung). So, my next step will be to apply to such companies next year. Preferably with relocation option in the US if it doesn't work here. And with extremely open and transparent culture, that includes precise "weiterbildung" plan. So, the interviews for all these companies will be a challenge for them! :) And for me too, of course!  

 

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Now you're on to something. When a company wants someone to operate their existing solutions, they hire a temp. When they want someone to revamp and upgrade their platforms, they call a consulting firm.

 

Good luck with your search.

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