Classes in the German universities started yesterday and I attended my first class of the third semester today. It wasn’t anything interesting but for group assignments, we had to make a team of 5 in the class. I talked to the person right next to me if he has a group, he glimpsed at his other teammate, visually interviewed me right there and then and said, “okay!”. One task is done and another two to go: having a Skype interview at 13:00 hours for a job at a company in Hamburg and attending the rest of the class, which I would be missing out on because of this interview. (Mind you! If you miss some lectures and it is always better that you write the Teacher/Professor an email telling about your issue. It always helps them keep your name in their mind, in case you would ever need any help from them. Very few students actually do it!).
During my journey to the university with the S Bahn, I was going through some Quora posts where some students were expressing their ambitions and what they would like to achieve once they go abroad and many of them sounded pretty reasonable: have hobbies, enjoy the free time, earn good money and live a life of peace. You can’t have these “luxuries” in India because after a full day’s grind, getting overworked and underpaid, coming home after 1 or 2 hours of commute and no fixed work timing leaves absolutely meagre room for you to do anything after your day is over. The only thing that happens is streaming some movies or just spending time on Facebook or Instagram. Even if the jobs would have some structure, if you get free at around 18:00 or at 19:00, you can still somehow plan the day and figure out time for your hobbies but when any day you can be ordered by your boss or told by your project leader to stay a bit longer at the job, it’s pretty useless to schedule out any time for hobby or any kind of side activities. It’s difficult to gather some energy to make a schedule in the first place, let alone to execute it.
Because it takes around 70 minutes for me to reach the university, I was surprisingly able to go through quite a few of these posts and in many posts, people naively wrote about buying a luxury car within a few years and then having a nice house and living the dream life that they want just by getting a really good job after their studies in foreign countries. Again, these are just idealistic expressions of how their life should be in the future and I honestly appreciate them opening up on the internet at all because many people feel insecure saying anything about their aim and ambitions at all, but here is the problem: there is one thing standing between them and their Porsche: their job.
There are jobs where you can earn really hefty amounts of money and actually live these dreams and lifestyles which are acting as a blueprint for your future, but in the other ones, you will just make enough to get by and if you have ambitions like the kids express on Quora, it is really important to understand what kind of field you should choose. In general, people with MBAs and a few years of work experience are always paid more in their management jobs than their engineer counterparts but the work stress also rises proportionally to every new cent that you earn. Management consultants working in McKinsey, BCG or Bain almost find no time at all to enjoy the money that they are earning, although the on job perks are not something that you can overlook at all. The first 3 years in these companies are particularly harsher than any other place that you might start just after your Masters.
If you are doing law and would like to practice in Germany, that’s also a really good profession to earn buttloads of money and actually start saving to buy that dream house or dream car of yours and it is going to take a lot of work. Work at the law firm where you are recruited in and sweep some clients every now and then to build your own rapport. I have seen lawyers here start their YouTube channels educating people about German laws that people should be aware of and running quite a successful business and along with a decent number of subscribers on their channels.
Following are the median incomes of the best-paid professions in Germany:
- Medical Specialist: 78,483 Euros (per year)
- Corporate Finance: 77,525 Euros
- Court Justice: 77,525 Euros
- Business Development: 73,755 Euros
- Technical Research and Development: 73,063 Euros
- Cash Management/Treasury: 71,916 Euros
- Tax Consultant: 71,128 Euros
- Sales Engineer: 70,295 Euros
- Corporate client Banker: 69,275 Euros
- IT Security: 68,277 Euros
- Risk Management: 67,773 Euros
- SAP Consulting: 67,542 Euros
- Management Consultant: 67,543 Euros
- Tax Manager: 67,221 Euros
- Asset Consultant: 67,205 Euros
- Insurance Mathematician: 67,149 Euros
- Key Account Manager: 66,980 Euros
- Production Engineer: 64,875 Euros
- Engineer in Project development: 64,101 Euros
- IT Consultant: 64,070 Euros
99% of the people might not be studying in a field which is even remotely associated with any of the ones I mentioned above, but that absolutely doesn’t mean that you can’t accomplish the financial dreams and goals that you have set for yourself. With the entrepreneurship culture going strong and the advent of digital businesses, it is possible to carve out a piece of this huge pie for yourself. I personally have never heard of somebody getting rich purely by doing a job and by that I mean any kind of job. You always have a fixed salary, you always have the fixed number of hours when you will work and if your work results in some profit for the company, that extra money earned will go in the company’s pocket and not yours. The same is true for losses too. If you are working for someone and even after putting a lot of efforts inside, the project that you were working on resulted in some losses, it wouldn’t affect you but it would affect the finances of the company. Where there is a risk of losing something there is always a chance of gaining something and that’s why Google’s definition for entrepreneurship is:
“the activity of setting up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit.”
Any kind of business that you might plan on running which is scalable comes with the opportunity for you to make money on the side. I am not a big fan of quitting everything and jumping in full time in your business and this is the reason why I gave my interview today for the position of werkstudent, because having a job not only gives you financial stability but also fuels your motivation to work even harder on your business or the side hustle that you have when you finally get home. Every single winter morning that you would wake up to go to the job, you will look at the faces of hundreds of others sitting in the train and their faces just screaming “I don’t want to be here!”, but then if their job is something that REALLY disturbs them, they would definitely do something about it, rather than just complaining about their jobs.
The constant gossips in the trains from people about how tough their jobs are in Germany and how they have to wake up early or go late from work is something that I still don’t understand because if they would really hate their job, they would do something about it and not just complaint to their colleagues or friends the first thing in the morning. It’s just another reason that I despise going with public transports and when I do, I just like to have my earphones on to keep myself in my own zone. This also makes me realize how everybody thinks that their problems are the worst when you might actually be living a life which is just an absolute dream for somebody else. At least in Germany, you have a structure to the job. You have laws which actively give power to the employee to say no if your employer asks you to work for more than 8 hours a day and if we try to pull out some labour laws in India, you will just get replaced faster than you would be able to blink your eye.
“Complaining about something doesn’t mean that you genuinely hate it. If something really disturbs you, you would do something about it.”
To anybody who wants to have this extravagant lifestyle, and who isn’t doing a job which will take them there, it is always a great idea to start freelancing or starting the business that you always wanted to, especially now, when you have Facebook, YouTube and Instagram to take your voice to a potential audience, which might come across your work and absolutely appreciate it! The first thing is to always build a community of strong followers, you give you their time and attention. You give so much value to them that they can’t stop talking about you with their friends and once you reach that point, whatever products or services that you offer online would start getting bought by any person who needs it. Building rapport and trust with your community is always the first thing and that too a genuine one. In this time of social media, everything is transparent and if you try to hide your true personality, it wouldn’t work because things will come out in a way or the other. The people who follow “Fake it till you make it” will get called bullshit upon by the people because no matter how smart you think you are, building a community by misleading an audience would result in a house which is built on foundations of twigs.
One thing that should be understood is that if you want to get filthy rich or even just want to live an exorbitant life, it is definitely possible, but only doing a job wouldn’t make that happen for you, at least not when you are young.