Working and living abroad can be one of the most valuable experiences of your life and our expats can definitely confirm this. For this Workwide Recruit story, we got to interview one of our previous candidates, Jacob Holm Jensen (27) from Denmark. In August 2019, Jacob moved to Budapest, Hungary, to work as a Customer Service Specialist. Back now in his home country, Jacob will tell us everything about his experience with Workwide Recruit and working and living abroad.
After Jacob graduated in 2019, he had a hard time finding a job in IT, the field he was educated in. This made him realize that it was time to move out of his comfort zone and start looking for jobs abroad. Jacob found out about Workwide Recruit’s existence through one of his friends, who was really satisfied with the personal approach of the service. Jacob: “When I was looking at Workwide Recruit’s website, I got really interested in a job ad for a Danish-speaking Customer Service Specialist vacancy, but I found out later on that that job position in Ireland was already filled. However, Workwide Recruit contacted me anyways and told me there was still a job opening for the same position in Hungary, Budapest.”
Jacob’s experience with Workwide Recruit
Jacob had several goals that he wanted to achieve with working and living abroad. Jacob: “After I graduated from college, I really wanted to gain some work experience in general. In fact, I wanted to gain experience in a new field and I had this desire to get out of my comfort zone and work on myself on a personal level.” Jacob told us that he felt more comfortable going on this adventure as he knew from his friend that Workwide Recruit would guide him through the whole process.
When Jacob saw the job position of Customer Service Specialist, he got really enthusiastic. Especially because it was from a big company that was looking for someone that could speak the Danish language. Jacob: “I was really excited about it because their ad included all the information that I needed and they were very honest and upfront to me. This transparency made me feel really relaxed.”
However, Jacob had a lot of questions in his mind and he was still feeling a bit hesitant after sending his application. Jacob: “Some questions that ran through my mind before applying for a job position abroad were “Am I personally ready to start this adventure abroad?, “Can I handle being away from my friends and family?and “Do I have the right skills and qualities to do the job?”. However, in the end, I think you just need to take a leap of faith and try something new.”
Jacob’s job interview process
Jacob was pretty satisfied with the way the interview process went. Jacob: “I thought it was really nice how Workwide Recruit handled the interview process. Fiddelie, one of the international recruiters at Workwide Recruit, took enough time to get to know me and she guided and followed me through the whole process. She made sure that everything was alright and that I was comfortable through the entire process and even afterwards. I really liked the personal approach that Workwide Recruit applied.”
An important part of the job interview with Workwide Recruit is that the candidates receive enough information about the job position, the company, and the whole process. Jacob shared his opinion about this as well:“Workwide Recruit sent me all the information that I needed and they put me in contact with the right people from the company I was going to work for. They gave me the necessary information but also left some space to do some research by myself.”
What's more, we felt quite grateful when he told us that he started to recommend our services to his friends that also wanted to work abroad! Jacob: "When I was working in Budapest, I also encouraged a lot of my friends to work there, as they were searching for a lot of Danish speakers at the time. I recommended them to talk to Workwide Recruit and informed them about the fact that they would get help from them through the entire process.”
Jacob’s working and living abroad experience
Jacob’s experience in Budapest was not his first working abroad experience, as he previously worked in Germany for his college project. Jacob: “I cannot really compare my first working and living abroad experience in Germany to the experience in Budapest. I actually liked that I could prepare more myself before moving, which made me feel more confident. However, going to Budapest was a bit scary at first because I arrived in a new country and I didn’t speak the language at all. Not many people speak English in Hungary, but since Budapest is Hungary’s capital, you can still find people that understand it and can speak it pretty well”.
Moreover, Jacob got the help from his new employer when he arrived at his destination. Jacob: “I had a place to stay for the first couple of days until I found an apartment. Moreover, the company helped me arrange other important things, like healthcare, and they made sure that I had a copy of the signed work contract. They even helped me to make a list of everything that I had to bring and think of! Regarding the social aspect, they advised me about things that I could do in my spare time and they arranged after-work activities, such as pub quizzes. All in all, they did not just help me with the work part, but also with the daily life part, which was really helpful!”
Once Jacob started working in Budapest, his first month was fully booked with training and onboarding sessions. Jacob: “The manager in my department made sure to keep track of my progress and that I developed myself enough. In the first week, they already let me try to answer some calls, and they listened to some ideas I suggested. I also felt really taken care of. For example, one day my boss asked me if I was alright, since he had not seen me smile. I think it was really nice that he really tried to take care of everyone.”
After the onboarding process, Jacob was ready and he officially started working as a Customer Service Specialist. Jacob: “Every day at 8:00h we started with a morning meeting in our Danish department. Then we would start going through all the calls and when we finished the calls, we moved on to answering the emails we had pending. There was sometimes some pressure to answer all the questions in time. But since the working environment was so relaxed, I did not really feel it. After work, I would usually discover Budapest with my colleagues.”
Our previous candidate not only enjoyed this relaxed working environment, but also the cultural diversity he found at the workplace. Jacob: “In international teams, there are a lot of different people with different experiences and ages.When people speak different languages and have different cultural traditions, it is like if you had a little world in a small office. I experienced thiscultural diversity as one of the greatest values of an international environment.”
Living in Budapest
When Jacob saw some pictures of Budapest, he immediately got really excited about moving there. Jacob: “I did not even think about the language barrier anymore. I was really eager to discover the city. Budapest is a very beautiful city, there are a lot of old buildings: you can see a lot of history there. Furthermore, there are a lot of food festivals, which is really helpful to get to know the Hungarian culture and cuisine.”
However, as other expats, Jacob faced some challenges at the beginning of his journey abroad. But as he said previously, it's crucial to take them as part of the experience and as an opportunity to learn about yourself. Jacob: “When you are away from your friends and family, you really start to appreciate online communication methods. Living abroad is a big opportunity to learn more about yourself and to figure out how to deal with challenging situations. In general, it was a very valuable experience and I even grew from the things that went wrong.”
In general, Jacob really values his time abroad and he considers this journey has also boosted his career. He eventually got a job offer in his original field of work by a company in Denmark. Jacob: “My experience made me more attractive to the job market in general and I gained a lot of confidence because of this.”
Jacob’s tips and tricks
There is no doubt that Jacob learned a lot during his time living abroad. For this reason, we also asked him to share some tips and tricks with you so that you can also get the best out of your experience. Jacob: “My advice is to try to arrange and prepare as much as you can before going abroad. That will make everything easier, and you will feel more satisfied. Besides this, it is really helpful to learn some basic sentences and words in the language of the country you are moving in. But most important: do not be afraid to go on tours and adventures! Discover and explore the city by yourself. You can consider this as doing your homework once you arrive. In the end, I can recommend anyone to just take a chance and chase their dream of working abroad”
Definitely, Jacob would love to live an experience abroad again in the future. Jacob: “I would love to take my girlfriend with me and I am open to living in pretty much any country right now. However, I am really interested in going to the Northern part of Sweden and Norway because that part of the worldis just so stunning!”
Jacob is currently back in Denmark and he is now working as a Research Assistant at TECHCOLLEGE in Denmark. However, he would love to answer any questions you might have about his adventure or about living and working abroad in general. Don’t hesitate to contact him with your questions!