George Papakosmas – Building his future in the Netherlands!
George Papakosmas is an electronic engineer from Thessaloniki, Greece. He worked for 2 years in a Greek company and was responsible for services, updating and installing medical systems. But then realized he wanted something else, something different, something bigger. So he took the plunge, and now he works for Trumpf in the Netherlands!
Why did you choose to work abroad?
”The first thing was the terrible financial situation in Greece. But even before that, I was always dreaming about the experiences of living and working abroad. That’s also why I chose to go for an Erasmus program. I studied for 6 months in Portugal in 2015, and since then, I realized I wanted to experience new places. So, I came to the Netherlands!”
How do you see the process of working abroad?
”It is extremely straightforward, at least for the Netherlands! You just have to follow the steps that are given to you. It really is that easy. Then, within a month or 2, you know your way around; you’re socializing and meeting new people.”
What has your experience working abroad given you?
”Many things, the working environment is totally different compared to Greece. In the Netherlands, you can really advance in your career. In Greece, the possibilities are limited. You need to be very lucky over there to get forward. But in the Netherlands, they give you that space to grow; the people respect you way more. You have to keep in mind that Trumpf is a massive company with many employees, but you still have the feeling that it’s like a family!”
If you now look back on where you are now, would you still choose to work abroad and why?
”Yes, definitely. It has changed my personality and my way of looking at the world. There are so many different nationalities and cultures, and this is perfect for me. This is what I wanted! Also, I’m more relaxed. The lifestyle in the Netherlands is quite easy to adapt to; people are friendly and always willing to help.”
What makes Xelvin unique in your opinion?
”I have a good connection with Bram, he always replies to my messages quickly, and he is very supportive. The personal contact is really unique. Xelvin has a lot of experience; they’ve helped a lot of people over the years. So, they understand what a person from South Africa needs, what a person from Greece needs, and they’re always willing to help.”
What would be your advice for other people that are thinking about making the move?
”Just take a deep breath and just do it. Some people say, ‘you’re doing the best thing. I also want to do it.’ Yeah, okay, you’re saying that you want to do it as well, but have you already done something about it? If you really want to do it, then do it! Just try it. Otherwise, you will regret it.”