Why I Left India For Germany

I am sharing a personal story - my choices and decision to move from India to Germany. Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. And no country is perfect.

Why I Left India For Germany
Photo by Joshua Hoehne / Unsplash

Either human beings change or their requirements change. The latter is true for me. I got a promotion in Jan 2022, a handsome stock bonus, and a salary hike. I lived in my apartment located in Bangalore's prime neighborhood. My wife had a stable job. I didn't hate slogging at the office. Working for a US-based MNC implies one has to work around the clock. So, I did. On average, I spent 10 hours on the laptop.

However, (a) I was a father of a one-year-old son, (b) I was a software professional who always imagined himself working in a different setup, and (c) I was a human being who desired to experience the world.

(a) A Father Of A One-Year-Old

The birth of my son brought with it an overwhelming, all-consuming love like nothing I have ever experienced before. I felt proud and powerful at having created a new life. However, I also felt helpless when I could not understand why my baby was crying. I worried about being a good father, my relationship with my partner, and my finances.

Twenty-four hours in a day was never enough. Most days, I would not see my son going to bed or wake up with him in the morning. I believe in value-based parenting. Hence, I wanted to spend time with my son—the problem of not having time started bothering me. At the same time, I found it extremely difficult to bring up my child in the existing setup. India's infrastructure is not child-friendly. So I had to stay cautious also at every step.

(b) A Software Professional Who Always Imagined Himself Working In A Different Setup

I belong to the generation of software engineers for whom securing a job in IT Services to travel onsite for the long term is unquestionably the best thing to ever happen in their career. I was no different. I had the same dream. I secured a job in IT Services but could not achieve the ultimate goal. My US L1 visa was denied in 2009. As a consequence, I focussed on my career in Bangalore. Most of my friends either relocated to their hometowns or grabbed the onsite opportunity with both hands. I did well in Bangalore. However, something inside me always craved to experience a different office, different people, different culture, different food, and everything I could hope or not hope for.

It's incredibly competitive out there in India. There is plenty of talent. The talents are young and hungry for success. They are happy spending day and night on their laptops to rise and shine. According to NASSCOM, the Indian IT industry added around 450,000 new jobs in FY2022 and is projected to grow. Being a professional who created a career pivot, my competition was with the young talent. Unfortunately, accepting the challenge implied sacrificing work-life harmony in my new life stage.

(c) A Human Being Who Desired To Experience The World

I have always wanted to experience life in all its colors and potential. Moving to Bangalore after staying in Kolkata for 22 years made me realize that exposure is education. I wanted to explore more - explore new places and cultures, and discover the different ways that people live around the globe. I will find as much about myself as I would about the world - my confidence will grow, and I will realize how capable I am of taking charge and getting out into the world. This belief is just not for me. The same goes for my partner and my son.

It is essential to adapt to a changing reality. Perspective-taking and good emotional intelligence are crucial for success. To get an advantage, one needs more than certificates and degrees. My son will have the opportunity to see many cultures. That will help him become a more well-rounded person than I am.

Wrapping Up

Moving to Germany is a conscious choice. It is also an experiment that can go either way. However, as Ralph Waldo Emerson correctly said,

All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.

I am thankful to my wife, who supported the decision.

Every country has its pros and cons. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Go to the Facebook group Indians in Germany/ Deutschland, which has almost 100,000 members. You will run into thousands and thousands of polarized points of view.

My take on Germany - It has a well-developed public education system that provides free education to all residents, including foreign nationals. In addition, Germany's robust social welfare system supports families with children, including financial assistance, parental leave, and affordable childcare options. The country also has a high standard of living, with excellent healthcare, public transportation, and infrastructure. Finally, Germany is diverse and multicultural, offering a welcoming environment for people from all backgrounds.

I am keeping my fingers crossed. I hope that this experiment works out for my family. Please wish my family luck.