Andre is an incredibly motivating person with a lot of life experience and strong character. What life situation made him move to the Czech Republic, and what is he doing now? Find the answers below!
Andre, tell me more about yourself – where did you grow up?
I was born in Amsterdam, which is the capital of the Netherlands, and I spent all my childhood there.
So, you grew up in such a big city full of life possibilities, why did you decide to move to the Czech Republic?
Well, it is a long story! Before moving to the Czech Republic I traveled a lot: when I was 20 I spent some time in Scotland because of the army. Later, I returned home, and I have worked there as a designer, store manager, and retail consultant. Once, by accident, I entered the IT world…
Yes, I have always been interested in IT, but at that time there was no real Internet, however, thanks to my son I learned a lot and started to do IT training for other people. This is how I entered the IT world. During one of my training, I met three men who wanted to start a business. They wanted to open a shop and I agreed. We built this shop up from nothing in 5 years and got successful.
What was your role in this business?
Well, I was only one non-technical guy…
Like Steve Jobs? 🙂
Definitely! By the way, he is the person I admire. Hence, I was responsible for all the team and various administrative tasks. This is what I still do now – build up teams.
Nice! So what happened next?
During the following years, I traveled to different countries, changed my jobs, and simply enjoyed life. Then, the bad time came: I lost everything I had! I divorced my wife, lost my business and my house. All I had was a bag and some money. However, I did not want to grieve and grabbed myself together. This is how I found myself in the Czech Republic. I started from scratch here.
You are a brave man, Andre! How did you find work here?
I started to contact European agencies, I had some conversations and Skype meetings, and after two months, I had two job offers: one from Monster and one from IBM. So, 21 October 2013 I started at IBM, the company which gave me an opportunity to build a second life.
That’s so wonderful to hear! So, what do you do now?
I am a project manager at IBM with a huge team who works with me. I also do training and seminars. I can say that I totally enjoy the work I do now. I am so passionate about everything I do here!
Amazing! Let’s switch from your career to your life here. Tell me, what do you enjoy most about living in the Czech Republic?
Since I moved, I gained 15 kilos, so it is the food. Definitely! 🙂 Furthermore, I like the countryside, development, and infrastructure. Although, what I like the most is the fact that Czech people can separate life and work not like in Holland where people work 24/7. Czechs know how to rest, and that is really nice!
And what about Czech language? Do you speak it?
No real conversation. I really tried hard, but I gave up. I only know some basic phrases. To be honest, Czech is not needed here if you know English. Almost everyone here speaks it, and it is never a problem to get some advice or assistance. It’s getting better and better every day.
I see! Andre, you have lived in many countries, so what advice can you give to someone who is planning to relocate to the Czech Republic?
Firstly, prepare your trip well. Secondly, be proactive. Use social media, ask people things, try to learn as much information as you can. And before you go – visit the city in two different seasons!
Because climate conditions are very important. If you plan to stay here for more than a year, you need to get some impressions about the city and its climate. You should test it.
Nice advice! And what are your plans for the future: Do you plan to stay here? Or maybe you want to continue exploring new countries?
Well, I do not know yet. It depends on many factors: my health, my mental condition and so on. I have a job, nice friends and I do not want to lose it for now. In general, I do have a great life here.
And what do you miss about Holland?
Mostly I miss my friends and my son. In addition, I miss the sea. The scent of the salty sea is really what I need to exhale every day!
And the last question: how can you describe your life now in three words?
It is good.
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