How many CVs do you need to send out nowadays to land a job abroad? It appears that the answer is zero! Or at least it was for Margarita, whose move from Minsk to Vilnius started with updating her LinkedIn profile.
I have not encountered any language problems so far. Many people ask you whether it is hard to live without knowing a language? A lot of people speak Russian, and if not, young people know English.
My name is Margarita, and I am from Minsk. I studied at the Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics. That is how I got into IT, and after graduation, I found a job in my field. In Belarus, I worked as a PHP-developer for six years in an IT outsourcing company. Last December, I moved to Lithuania to work in the same field together with my partner. So it happened that in Minsk we both worked together and in Lithuania we received an offer from the same company.
Now, we work together for a Finnish company called Supermetrics that develops software for marketers. By the way, they are still searching for developers, offering both remote work and relocation options. You can find more about their conditions and perks here.
We have been planning to move somewhere else for a long time. And we regularly kеpt visiting Lithuania, at least once a month or two months. In the last five years, maybe more, we used to go there all the time. But we did not have a goal to look for a job in Lithuania.
When it became impossible to travel just for fun (as the coronavirus disrupted all of our lives), somehow, it became less comfortable not being able to travel to many places with Belarusian citizenship. In addition, due to the complicated political situation in our country, many European nations started easing the rules for relocation. That’s when we decided that it’s not worth postponing our move abroad.
So all we both did is we changed the status on LinkedIn that we are looking for a job and listed our preferred countries. I think I had Poland, Lithuania, maybe Latvia and then, in the end, the whole of Europe. I didn’t send my CV to anyone but I did update my LinkedIn profile. Later, recruiters themselves started to contact us, and for some reason, most of them were from Lithuania. Before our interview with Supermetrics, we did not even know that they had an office in Lithuania. They wrote to us from Helsinki, and we were considering to move there. Then, during a subsequent interview, they told us about their Vilnius branch. We replied: “So we are closer to Vilnius. We know Vilnius well enough, and it will be close enough to visit our relatives in Belarus.”
When we signed the contract, Supermetrics agreed with Work in Lithuania that they would help us with everything. When we needed documents for the migration department and when I needed a visa, they helped us to deal with everything.
In the beginning, there was a lot of uncertainty because of covid and because many things and processes have changed, including the list of documents, even in the standard Blue Card procedure for highly qualified professionals. But then it turned out that it was completely unnecessary, aswe were not asked for such documents as birth certificates, police records or diplomas, anywhere. If you already have a signed contract, and you were hired as a highly qualified specialist with a high salary, then no one checks. They think that the employer has already checked everything. All we needed to apply for a residence permit was a work contract, a passport and a copy of our passport. We did not add anything else to the application form.
Among the advantages, I noticed that there was a wider choice of products than in Belarus. Although, it is still difficult to get to know the environment, as everything is closed. Recently, even the shops and salons were closed down. For me, the biggest disaster was that I could not get my nails done. That is why it is difficult to notice some strong pluses and minuses. But overall we like it. We use Wolt delivery if we want something to eat something else or we have not cooked anything ourselves. We usually work from the office because it is more convenient for us. There is a big screen, comfy chairs and the office is in the city centre. Also, there are few people, as almost everyone works from home.
To get around, we use SPARK car-sharing. It is easy and we like it. Another cool thing is that Lithuania has a well-developed network of post terminals. They are everywhere in Lithuania. We order a lot of things during the pandemic because it is boring, so we use it all the time. Of course, stores are simply flooded with orders these days, and sometimes you have to wait for a couple of weeks before your package arrives. Now, we often walk around the cities, making mental notes of the places we’d like to visit once they open.
I have not encountered any language problems so far. Many people ask you whether it is hard to live without knowing a language? A lot of people speak Russian, and if not, young people know English. For example, at the hairdresser’s, we simply switch to English. At the migration department, everyone knew Russian. Same goes for the post office.
At the migration department and at the bank, you can even choose the language when you sign up. We wanted to open a bank account and made an appointment at Swedbank, so we could choose the time and language (from Lithuanian, Russian and English). There is no such thing as coming and worrying whether you will or will not be understood.
We plan to buy a car and go to the sea, at least to the closest coast. Actually, this is the reason why we moved to Lithuania in the first place. Because we love to travel. One of the main advantages was that in Vilnius the airport is close to the city and there are many direct flights. But so far, of course, we couldn’t use this advantage. So we are really waiting for the borders to open and when the test will be not required any longer.