After doing some backpacking and also working on an international project in the Netherlands, I thought this was a good moment for me to broaden my horizon and to start working abroad. In March 2013 I started my search for jobs abroad via the internet. After a while I found out about the website of Globaljobbing. After some research I decided to apply for the Technical Support agent position in Johannesburg (South Africa).
After some emailing, some interviews via telephone and Skype with Jeroen of Globaljobbing, everything started to work out well and quickly. Within 1 week I had 2 interviews with the company in South Africa. These were pleasant conversations in English with 2 of my future supervisors. Although I don’t possess many IT skills (diplomas / certificates), they decided to hire me and to train me appropriately for my IT skills in Johannesburg. 3 days after my final interview, I received an email from the company with a job offer and with the news that I could start with the process for the visa and work permit.
Then all the paperwork for my new job abroad started: going to the doctor for a medical file, going to the hospital to make some photos for my radiological file, to the city council to apply for my international birth certificate and police clearance. I also received some documents from South Africa, an authorized certificate and my contract. After that I went with all my paperwork to the embassy in The Hague to apply for the permit.
Eventually it all worked out well with the permit and now it was time to book my flight to Johannesburg. I left Holland on the 12th of April to work abroad in South Africa for at least 1 year as a Technical Support agent. Saturday the 13th of April I arrived in Johannesburg and the owner of the guesthouse / hostel picked me up at the airport and brought me to my temporary residence until I would have found my own accommodation. When I arrived in the hostel, I found out that there were 2 more colleagues who were going to start with their new job in Johannesburg on the same day as me. Since we could get along with each other very well, we decided to search for a house with the 3 of us. Ideally and preferably as close as possible next to the work.
Within 2 weeks we found ourselves a nice and spacious apartment on walking distance from our work, in the Sandton area (the financial heart of South Africa). We now live in a secured complex with some other colleagues as well, and we do have a nice swimming pool!
Besides finding accommodation and the relocation itself, there were some other issues which needed to be taken care of. A medical aid and also opening a bank account. I was really happy that the company helped us with these practical issues, so we weren’t facing any problems. Employees of the bank and the insurance company actually came to our company so we could sort out everything in 1 time easily.
I am myself from a little village in Zeeland, so the transformation to a big city like Johannesburg is pretty big, but I adapted pretty easily and got familiar with my new surrounding soon. The city of Johannesburg is very vibrant, there are activities all the time, you never get bored. Doing some shopping’s in the big malls, hanging out in the park, drinking some Beers at a festival, going to little markets, barbequing (braaien) with my colleagues, going to a casino, going to the mountains for the weekend, making little tours on my scooter, nightclubs, parties at home. My social live is really great, and as I said, you never get bored in this energetic and lively city.
I also like my work a lot. I have learned so many things till now, I almost feel like I am a professional IT dude. Especially the atmosphere in the team is perfect, it’s a very nice group of colleagues with whom I also spend a lot of time after working hours. Most of the people who came working abroad in Johannesburg are from the Netherlands and they all came in the same situation: Going abroad. There is a strong band, we are always willing to help each other, and it’s like one big family!