|It is hard to believe but it is already almost 10 weeks since I returned to The Netherlands and my time here has flown by. It seems like only days ago that I was waiting for my transfer in Moscow airport watching snow machines clear the runways so I could catch my final flight back to Schiphol. Now I am enjoying the early summer sun, biking in Limburg and chilling on the roof terrace of Agnes’s apartment.
Life has been busy since I returned. The biggest change has been moving in with Agnes and her 16 year old daughter Patricia and her 13 year old son Leon into their 3 bedroom apartment. It has been good to get into a real life day-to-day relationship with Agnes and I have really been enjoying spending time doing the normal things like shopping, cooking, cleaning etc. We have already had our first visits to Ikea together so I guess that means that we are now an ‘official’ couple. That said, we continue to get out and have fun, going hiking, catching movies, visiting PSV games and meeting up with friends and family and we are looking forward to our first weekend break later this month.
We have also been very busy with friends and family. Since we have got back we have had about 10 different people / groups over for dinner in our apartment and visited almost as many people in their own homes. It has been great fun for me to see everybody again and hear their news and talk about my new life back in Holland and of course talk about my trip. It has been quite interesting to see the reactions. Some people spend the entire evening ‘interrogating’ me about my world trip wanting to know all the details, what I liked best / worse, where I would recommend etc. Others are focused much more on what it is like to be back and are keen to get to know Agnes better and understand what it is like for both of us to live to together. And some people are so focused on their own lives that they don’t ask me anything about either !! Nevertheless, it has been fun to meet up with everybody and hear all their news about new jobs, new babies, new houses, holidays, divorces, marriages and deaths. Everyone has been very busy during the last year. With so much going on, I am still trying to catch up with everybody, so if you haven’t heard from me yet rest assured that I will be getting in contact with you sometime soon.
My other main activity since my return has of course been to look for a new job !! Some days have been easy, others tougher but I have stuck to my plan and am pleased to report that I have finally been successful. Given that I have over 25 years of work experience, my search focused on using my existing network of contacts to try to find a job in the Eindhoven area for smaller international company. This proved to be an interesting challenge, as having always worked across Europe, I didn’t have a great knowledge of the companies in the Eindhoven area. Fortunately, my friends and ex-colleagues were willing to give me lots of tips and suggestions and within a month I had identified over 100 potential targets within the region. In the end however, it turned out that I didn’t need to follow up on any of them, as a phone call I made before i left, turned out to be the key to my success.
Just before I started my trip, I called my friend Geoff Breed at TTI, letting him know I was leaving Molex but also leaving a strong hint that I would be interested in working for TTI if they had an open position when I got back. Fortunately, Geoff remembered this and surprised me in December with a phone call, when I was walking around a temple in Vietnam, to ask if I would be interested in a marketing position they were thinking of creating in 2011. I then surprised him by returning home two months earlier than planned and before TTI had gotten around to advertising the position ! This meant I had to wait six weeks from my first interview for TTI to search for other and potentially better candidates.
Fortunately, I am glad to report that last week, TTI finally made their decision and offered me a position as Regional Business Development Manager, for their Central and Eastern European region. I was happy to accept and will officially start working for them on April 18th. Although the job will require me to travel around Europe, my first 4 weeks will be spent primarily in TTI’s European Headquarters in Munich. After that I will work from a home office here in Geldrop which will mean that I should be able to keep my life / work balance in check. My new job will obviously mean big changes at home but Agnes and I are looking forward to the changes and finding another new balance into our busy lives. We are already making plans to enjoy the summer and eventually finding a bigger place to stay once the finances allow it. So it looks like my next year will be just an interesting and exciting as my last 12 months.
More news from Geldrop to follow later in the year !