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  1. #1
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    Moving to Europe for work?

    The timing of this is particularly weird, given the recent election and the omnipresent promise to "move out of the US" if the results didn't align with one's particular agenda, but this is something that's been underway for a few months now. Warning: blog ahead.

    I've got a potential opportunity (pending final salary numbers, location specifics, etc.) to move to Europe to help a company start their European operations. They're a software/services company, focused on moving to the EU with a particular emphasis on a software solution they provide that is best of breed. I would be their first boots on the ground, so to speak, although there have been some preliminary efforts (from the US) that have shown considerable promise. The big problem right now, as they see it, is that they don't have a European presence, and it's limiting their ability to respond quickly to customer concerns.

    As far as the company goes, I've worked with them (as a partner) for the last 4.5 years, and like them a lot. I've got good/strong relationships with their owner and senior leadership, and feel good about working for them (I'd work for them in the US if the opportunity were available). I'm married to a EU citizen, which makes me an attractive candidate for the role, and their confidence in my abilities has, allegedly, made me their leading consideration for this effort.

    It's a bit scary looking at packing up and moving across the world, and I'm simultaneously excited/anxious about the possibilities. It would put us closer to my in-laws (actually a good thing in this case), and could potentially (depending on where the EU HQ ends up - that's an open topic of conversation) let me learn the wife's native language/culture in a way that's not possible from the US.

    Anyone ever taken a leap like this? It's hard to imagine leaving things here behind, but the upside seems huge, and the professional rewards could be enormous (even though I'd be a one-man band one day one, I'd have the chance to hire staff as I go, and effectively be in charge of European operations).

    One part of me thinks that this is once-in-a-lifetime stuff and is a risk that needs to be taken, and the other part is worried that the feeling that I think may be anticipation and excitement might be more of a warning sign that I'm making a bad move...

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Sounds like nothing really keeping you here. I say go for it
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  3. #3
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    It's funny... I feel like there are things keeping me here, but when pressed, I can't quite figure out what they are. Friends? I think I'll keep in touch with the important ones (and they'll be here if/when I come back). Favorite bar/restaurant/whatever? Totally replaceable (and will probably also still be here if/when I come back). Hockey team? They don't really need me, and I can probably find a team there. And so forth.

    I think that it's just tough, somehow, having grown up in the US, to imagine moving somewhere else, when it seems like people are supposed to move *to* the US, not from it. I don't really think I feel that way, but it does seem like a subconscious sort of concern that makes it tough to evaluate this fairly.
    Last edited by Captain Awesome; 11-15-2016 at 10:19 PM.

  4. #4
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    Sounds like a good gig if the company is solid and committed to the EU. What's the worst that can happen? Move back?

  5. #5
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    If we still have a global economy in a few years then the experience gives you an advantage. I had an opportunity to go to Hong Kong/Singapore a long time ago but turned it down because I liked skiing. I'd have been better off career wise had I taken it.

  6. #6
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    Earlier this year, I spent 3.5 months in our Singapore office, covering a maternity leave for one of our staff members there. It was easier than what you're doing because it was closed-ended -- I knew I would only be there for a limited time, and my office here held my job for me. So, lower stakes than your situation.

    Taking the role was the right decision. It was great professional experience, raised my profile in the company, and was personally very enjoyable as well. If you have the travel bug at all, you will love it. Guessing you would have some good opportunities for snow sports too, depending on where exactly you wind up.

    Seems like all upside to me, as long as you think the organization will be a going concern.

  7. #7
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    What are the tax consequences?
    Daniel Ortega eats here.

  8. #8
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    From what you've described, sounds like a great opportunity. I've been based in CA for a while but 8 or so yrs ago I was looking into transferring to one of our divisions in Geneva or Bergamo. Partly to be near my Swiss relatives but mostly to just to experience living there rather than just 2 week annual vacations. Anyway the job transfer didn't work out....I'm not complaining, I still go there on business trips etc but I read thru your summary and it sounds damn attractive.

    There are some very different business cultures within Europe. I've mostly dealt with Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Finland....that aspect would be part of the challenge and opportunity of your role. As stated already, there's really no bad outcome here.

    FWIW in my US based global corp anyone destined for upper mgmt does several yrs in AP or Europe before moving back to US. But regardless of the bootlicking careerist aspects, it'll probably be an interesting experience for you and your family.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viva View Post
    What are the tax consequences?
    Not good last I checked

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mazderati View Post
    Sounds like a good gig if the company is solid and committed to the EU. What's the worst that can happen? Move back?
    ^^^ this

    What happened with the opportunity with the euro brewery?

    I'm sure the new gig would be full throttle all the time until you gained some traction in the intended market but, if things end up shitty, you would be in the right neighborhood to explore _beer??

    ......
    On leaving "home" - Don't hesitate for a minute. It will always be there and it will change whether you are there or not. The people that are important to you will always be important and the most important one is going with you and has the knowledge and tools to avoid the common pitfalls of your new locale.

    The new experience is what you should be preoccupied with, not what you're worried about leaving behind. Trust me on this one; the deeper you venture in this new direction, the clearer your overall perspective will become.


    Just jump in there and make some turns


    .
    PM me the new address - i'll be looking to use the futon 17/18

  11. #11
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    Which part of Europe?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mazderati View Post
    Sounds like a good gig if the company is solid and committed to the EU. What's the worst that can happen? Move back?

    Comes back broke with a really fucked up accent?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tippster View Post
    Which part of Europe?
    This.

    There are parts of the EU I'd pay to live in, and others you couldn't pay me to visit. The financial and cultural world is changing rapidly over there. I'm also married to an EU citizen. We talk about moving sometimes, but a month over there with the siblings and inlaws within arm's reach is usually enough to turn that idea off.

    But if it's six of one, etc., there's a lot to be said for trying something new just because. Good luck.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tippster View Post
    Which part of Europe?
    That's still sort of up for discussion. Phone call today suggested the Netherlands as an option, but I'd been hoping for in/around Czech Republic (in-laws, etc.). Sounds like it's still an open topic, as they're looking to establish HQ near where they'll be able to hire good talent (mobile developers), although they acknowledged that the sales/BD side of things could be a little more remote, as long I'd be willing to travel. I just suspect that, if things go well, I'd be expected to be near HQ more often than not.

    If anyone knows how to evaluate this (they're actually willing to listen to my opinion/input on the matter), in terms of assessing the workforce availability and qualifications, I'm all ears. I'm rooting for Prague, but Brno, Plzeň, or Ostrava are all attractive, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gepeto View Post
    What happened with the opportunity with the euro brewery?
    Funny you should ask. I could look at this opportunity as "hedging my bets", and could potentially make both happen, at least in the short term, at least on the timelines that are being thrown around, but once things are underway (and assuming a reasonable degree of success), I probably wouldn't have much time for the brewery.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gepeto View Post
    I'm sure the new gig would be full throttle all the time until you gained some traction in the intended market but, if things end up shitty, you would be in the right neighborhood to explore _beer??
    Understatement.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gepeto View Post
    On leaving "home" - Don't hesitate for a minute... (snip)... Trust me on this one; the deeper you venture in this new direction, the clearer your overall perspective will become.
    Thanks. Knowing you, that's meaningful input, and reinforces my gut feel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gepeto View Post
    PM me the new address - i'll be looking to use the futon 17/18
    You've got a spot, no questions asked (but I can't guarantee a futon - you may have to settle for an actual bed).

    As far as tax implications (Viva/frorider), I don't know. I need to sort that out. I think I may be OK?

    Also, thanks to dan_pdx, frorider, and 4matic (I've always wondered about your PU avatar - maybe it factors into the discussion?) for your experience in taking/missing the opportunities. I think I'm 99% sure that this is a risk I'm willing to take, but it helps to hear from people that have been down the same road. I'm really curious about potential pitfalls I haven't considered, or other unexpected challenges.

  15. #15
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    I've been an expat for over 10 years now, so I will chip in with my 2 cents.

    Housing is always the biggest expense. Especially for a place that is equal to US standards (i.e. Modern amenities and decent sq footage)...these can be hard (or expensive) to come by in certain places. Most expat assignments include housing - but clarify whether accommodation is provided or a monthly allowance. I prefer monthly allowance to have freedom to choose my own place. Do some research on the city to find out the rental prices so you have an idea when negotiating the package.

    Currency. Will you be paid in USD or local currency? Think of the FX rate exposure if paid in local currency.

    Taxes. Most European countries will have a higher tax rate (especially in top bracket). Some companies offer a "hypo tax" system where you pay the equivalent tax rate as if you were still residing in the US, the company takes care of your local tax liabilities. Also find out your exposure to US tax while resident of selected country...tax treaty etc (as US taxes citizens on global income even if non-US resident).

    Expat assignments are a great way to see the world but they should also benefit you financially as you are moving away from home (and making certain sacrifices) - don't look at it as the company is doing you a favour. However, Europe is far from a hardship posting! Good luck and I say go for it but make sure to work out all the details with your employer prior to moving.

  16. #16
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    "Don't look at it as if the company is doing you a favor"

    Negotiate for all the expenses he's talking about above.

    But do it.
    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
    I'm not a part of a redneck agenda

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Awesome View Post
    Phone call today suggested the Netherlands as an option, but I'd been hoping for in/around Czech Republic (in-laws, etc.)
    Pretty sure you're doing it wrong, dood. Standard protocol for an Eastern European mail order bride does not typically include moving back to her homeland to be closer to your in-laws.
    Brandine: Now Cletus, if I catch you with pig lipstick on your collar one more time you ain't gonna be allowed to sleep in the barn no more!
    Cletus: Duly noted.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Awesome View Post
    It's funny... I feel like there are things keeping me here, but when pressed, I can't quite figure out what they are. Friends? I think I'll keep in touch with the important ones (and they'll be here if/when I come back). Favorite bar/restaurant/whatever? Totally replaceable (and will probably also still be here if/when I come back). Hockey team? They don't really need me, and I can probably find a team there. And so forth.

    I think that it's just tough, somehow, having grown up in the US, to imagine moving somewhere else, when it seems like people are supposed to move *to* the US, not from it. I don't really think I feel that way, but it does seem like a subconscious sort of concern that makes it tough to evaluate this fairly.
    Id move nearly anywhere in EU if given the chance. Kids/family/etc keep me here. Maybe when there is less for me here...MAYBE...

    Anytime ive visited EU im amazed at how much culture there is. I envision how much a kid would be exposed to in that environment? 2 Hours by plane in the US? You're in like Wisconsin..Da FUQ is in wisconsin?? 2 hours by plane in EU? You're in another fucking country. thats something great if you ask me. Caution to the wind young man...GO!!!!!!
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Awesome View Post
    That's still sort of up for discussion. Phone call today suggested the Netherlands as an option, but I'd been hoping for in/around Czech Republic (in-laws, etc.). Sounds like it's still an open topic, as they're looking to establish HQ near where they'll be able to hire good talent (mobile developers), although they acknowledged that the sales/BD side of things could be a little more remote, as long I'd be willing to travel. I just suspect that, if things go well, I'd be expected to be near HQ more often than not.
    1.25 HR plane ride.. Amsterdam>Prague..... Who the FUCK wouldnt want to live in the Netherlands? That is actually my top pick if I decided to move that direction..

    Good luck man...
    TGR MODS EAT SKIDOG JIZZ

  20. #20
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    another in favor of just dewing it.
    I've been wanting an excuse to move overseas (and not necessarily bc of the election. I just like to travel yo)

    you can always come back and having a job set up is dope.
    seems especially easy choice since your wife is a euro
    We'll all come visit you- altho you'll have to start posting on tgr at the weird off hours that our euro friends here often do
    skid luxury

  21. #21
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    Just FYI - the only day-tripping for skiing from the greater Prague area puts you in some Mid-Atlantic type terrain. The Alps would mean a long weekend. Ostrava would be slightly better because it's only 3 hours to Zakopane, and having beautiful Krakow only 1.5 hours away would be bangin' too.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Awesome View Post
    Anyone ever taken a leap like this?

    One part of me thinks that this is once-in-a-lifetime stuff and is a risk that needs to be taken, and the other part is worried that the feeling that I think may be anticipation and excitement might be more of a warning sign that I'm making a bad move...
    I did the complete reverse.

    Moved from UK to Seattle when US citizen wife given amazing job offer here.

    Totally worth it. There were tough times - for instance owning/selling house in London meant 5 months living apart when she had to start job earlier than expected.

    It all depends on your particular situation, for us having decided pretty much 100% not to have kids that was removed from calculations.

    What does your wife do? What would she do? Seems like where in Europe you'll end up is still very vague? Language issues.

    What roots do you have here? Family, friends, home?

    Our move was very much prompted by it being to Seattle - for great Sailing which was particularly important to us at the time and proximity to skiing - although we had little idea how really, really good the skiing in WA was, we were mostly just thinking of Whistler being close - I'd looked into moving to Vancouver BC ten years earlier.

    There aren't very many other places in the US that we would have moved to. Wouldn't have even thought about it if there was any vaguery in where it would be.

    We viewed the move as a chance to0 good to not take. And agreed to both give it two years minimum before asking to pull the plug.

    I really did expect to be homesick, miss family, friends and be the one to give up first if it didn't go well.

    Have never regretted the move, not once, never even close to it. The distance from family and friends has been an interesting gauge of who is actually important to you and you to them and we've spent time together with those important people that we'd never have shared if we still lived 30 miles apart.

    17 years in.
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  23. #23
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    Learn Russian. Sadly, Europe is in for some nastiness in the coming few years. Otherwise, do it, don't look back. Oh, and I hear there are lots of tech companies in Wroclaw, Poland.
    I see hydraulic turtles.

  24. #24
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    I did it the other way. Left my life, family & friends in Europe to follow a girl to Canada. She was living in Toronto but 9 months after I moved to Canada we upped and arrived in Vancouver. 6 years ago. 2 houses and 2 kids later I can firmly say we are here to stay. I was 31 when I left Europe, I was "living the dream" (seven years in Verbier) but I could not be happier.

    Obviously my motivation was different to yours but it comes down to the same thing. The World is a much smaller place these days. You don't have much to lose and whole load of stories whether you stay in Europe or not.

    Go for it.
    i wish i never chose that user_name

    Whitedot Freeride

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huck_Schmuck View Post
    Obviously my motivation was different to yours
    I'd be wary of the motivation thing.

    Are you doing it because it's a work opportunity or a life opportunity?

    Is the former providing an opportunity to have the later?

    Or are you talking yourself into accepting the former by talking up the later.

    what's your timescale too? Is this something you want to do for a while? or leaping in with both feet and hoping you stay there?
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

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