Job Hunting

Jacob and I continue to learn that things don't happen in Austria at the same pace as in America. For better or for worse, things in Austria appear to take a bit more time. 

In America you can find an apartment within a day - but granted, you are likely to be moving out of it within a year. In Vienna, the default lease period is 5 years. Knowing you could very well spend the next 5 years in that apartment makes signing the rental papers a weightier decision.  

Job hunting, likewise, is a longer process. Jacob and I have sent out many resumes in the past few months. Oftentimes when we check on the status of the application, we will find that the resumes are still under consideration, even some months after the closing date.  

Thankfully, even while searching for work, God has always provided. Jacob was able to convert his job in the States to a remote position, while I quickly picked up work as a substitute teacher, photographer, and several freelance projects. Even without full time jobs we have managed to stay quite busy. 

One of the applications I submitted was for a copy-writing position working for an international tech company. The company was looking for a native English speaker with creative writing experience and a background in marketing. Basically, a dream job. 

The problem is, however, that cover letters are nearly always boring. How are you supposed to make an impression as a writer when you are tasked with writing a laundry list of self approval?

A friend had recently pointed out the unfortunate slogan of a restaurant we had both frequented: upon receiving the reservation confirmation via email, she noticed the restaurant bore the tagline "Touching People." Hm. That was an unwise marketing decision. Who's up for dinner and a bit of harassment? 

Another friend had also shared a shop sign with me for an electronic cigarette store called "Dampf art" (steam art).  Once again the marketing had gone slightly awry when the company decided their logo would combine the words together as "Dampfart".

That's right: Damp fart. 

image courtesy of the brilliant Kathryn Stewart.

image courtesy of the brilliant Kathryn Stewart.


All of this ran through my head while staring at my computer screen, wracking my brain for a catchy lead-in. "Oh well", I thought to myself, "what do I have to lose?" I took a deep breath, wrote about the "Touching People" restaurant, and sent off the application without a second glance. 

Maybe I would receive a polite email response in 4 months.  

The following week I received a phone call from an unknown number. 

I called the number back, thinking it may have been a teacher looking for a substitute. A secretary picked up the phone and asked where she could direct my call. 

"I don't know," I said, somewhat lamely.

"Who called you?" the secretary asked. "I have over 150 colleagues."

"Oh. Ok. Who is this?"

The tech company. 

A couple minutes later I received a second call from the company, inviting me in for an interview.

Friends, I cannot over-emphasize how much of a miracle this is. Similarly to the States, having an inside connection is so key that many people will tell you it is a necessary prerequisite to being hired in Vienna.  Receiving an interview solely based on a cover letter and resume response to an online posting? That could have only been God. 

I had the interview the following Monday, where I found out that the "Touching People" anecdote had been such a hit that I had been brought in for the interview on the merit of that alone. 

The following day I received a phone call offering me the job. 

I start this coming Monday! I am so excited and amazed by how perfectly God has provided yet again. Not only is this job squarely within a field I greatly enjoy and thrive in, but it will offer great experience with an impressive company, and flexible hours that allow me to continue my photography and freelance work.

It is a statement we have heard so many times since moving here, it may as well be our mantra: "Wow, you guys move fast". Considering that we have lived in Vienna for barely four months, the level to which we are settled - with a beautiful apartment, a church, good friends, and a great job -  is a far cry from August when we arrived with a couple of suitcases and the hope that we had made the right decision. 


It only felt appropriate that we should celebrate by having dinner at the restaurant that got me the job - a nice dinner, thankfully harassment free.