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Polish / Irish couple with kids moving to Warsaw - finding a job without any connections.

25 Apr 2017 #1
Hi my husband and me are thinking of moving to Poland. Currently living in Dublin. I've been offered a job in Warsaw for similar money to what i earn n Dublin. My husband works in startup industry running programs n events for startups and scale ups. Im 40 he is 50. Any opinions on how likely it is to find a job over there if u basically know no one?
DominicB - | 2,709
25 Apr 2017 #2

A lot of that depends on what qualifications your husband has (I'm assuming he's the non-Pole). At his age, really the only thing that would pay well is a job as a higher-level manager, administrator, consultant or highly qualified technical specialist in technology or finance. There aren't very many other options that pay well enough to support an ex-pat family. Some specifics would help.

To many unknowns. What are the kids ages? Do they and your husband speak Polish well? Are the kids going to require private schooling, which is very expensive? What are your long-term goals, especially regarding your kids' education?

Generally, the problems couples like you face are that the non-Polish partner is unable to find well-remunerated employment, that the children will require expensive schooling, and that family income, and, more importantly, savings potential will be much lower than in the west. Savings potential is usually the deal breaker, especially for a couple that has kids to send to private school and college and that has to save up for retirement.

Why, exactly, do you want to move back to Poland? And are your husband and kids aboard?

Will they be able to leave their friends behind and adjust to a new environment?
OP Annitta
25 Apr 2017 #3
Hi DominicB thanks for your answer. My husband is irish and he runs training workshops and programs in ie in business innovation and enterpreneurship space. I was offered a job in Warsaw that pays about 13k net a month. We have 2 houses in ireland and we are thinking of selling one to build a house i suburban warsaw and rent out the other one (earning approc 2000 eur a month). Kids are aged 3 and 10,the older speaks and reads fluent polish as she went to the polish school i ireland. The little one has little polish. I reckon i could send both to private school which would cost approx 2500 pln a month.
DominicB - | 2,709
25 Apr 2017 #4
he runs training workshops and programs in ie in business innovation and enterpreneurship space.

Pretty much useless in Poland, especially if he doesn't speak Polish. Had a Polish friend, an experienced CFO, try the same and it didn't take off. Businesses have gotten stingy with that sort of thing since the economic crisis started, and that sort of market still has not recovered. If he has any chance it all, it will be if he finds a good job BEFORE he comes to Poland. Don't count on him finding one after he comes to Poland.

With a total net income of about 20,000 PLN, you won't have problems living comfortably by Polish standards, even if he doesn't find work. Saving for the kids' college funds and your retirement would be the main things holding you back. And him sitting around the house with nothing to do.
25 Apr 2017 #5

Then you are both minted.

Your husband is absurdly rich by Irish standards these days so happy days.

Swimming in it if you own 2 houses in Ireland.

Maybe go to Prague instead? Lots of business opportunities there for wealthy western Europeans.

I know a London fella just a few years older than me with his own bar. An Irishman as well who was just 30 when he bought a home there and then bought and sold his shares in a few local restaurants/pubs within 6-7 years...

Maybe he has a Business idea or two?

Sorry if I seem cold but the typical Irish emigrants don't worry about what to do with money. Many young Irish families left during the recession too with nothing.
Atch 20 | 3,951
26 Apr 2017 #6
Sorry but this sounds like the old 'much wants more' story. We all know how that worked out for Irish people during the so-called Celtic Tiger. You have a decent living in Ireland but you see the carrot dangling before you that you can have the same income in Poland and you're thinking how much richer you'll be in real terms because the cost of living in Poland is lower. However if you've spent much time in Poland lately you'll know that prices here are comparable to Ireland for many items and it's getting more expensive all the time. Plus the Polish state doesn't subsidise its people in the way that Ireland does. I'm not just talking about the welfare state but take your husband's job for example. Such a role exists in Ireland because a vast amount of state money is invested in encouraging start-ups and enterprise. Even if your husband doesn't work for a state body, the job is there because of them, if you get my drift.

Putting that aside however as a teacher I would advise strongly against disrupting the education of your older child and taking them out of an Irish primary school to send them to a private international school in Warsaw with a completely different curriculum and quite possbily, depending on the school, half-baked standards and poorly qualified teachers. Your child is probably in fourth class at the moment due to go into fifth in September? Let her finish the two years and have the milestone of graduating from primary school with her friends, saying goodbye when they do, not wrenching her from the familiar when there's no actual need to. For her academic and psychological well being that's the best route to take. By then your younger child will be coming up to the age when they start school in Poland so if you must make a move then would be the time to do it. This job opportunity for you is not a one-off. There will be plenty of others.
OP Annitta
26 Apr 2017 #7
Thanks for all your responses. Not sure Atch how did you quickly come to a conclusion that much wants reasons are simply related to the fact that my family would be nearby,the weather will be more stable and i would still have my own house if i wanted to buy land and build. Kids are not a big concern as my daughter is very open minded and loves the idea. My son is too young to make a call. What scares me is the polish mentality and negative mindset plus the fact that living in a stunning area with the beach and georgeus views will be hard to chage to a typical flat suburban cuontryside.
DominicB - | 2,709
26 Apr 2017 #8

Actually, I'm not sure that her motive is to make more money. It may be a case of Polish woman wants to go back home to be with her family.

The lower cost of living is unlikely to offset the loss in her husband's wages. She seems to be aware that they are going to take a big financial hit on that front.

I agree that it is going to be disruptive to the children's schooling, and like how you figured out when a move would be least disruptive. She does need qualified advice as to how to best prepare her children for university, and herself for the costs.

A lot depends on how much they have saved up already for college and retirement. I reached my retirement goals early, so moving to Poland was an option even with the loss of income figured in. If she's not all saved up, her savings potential is going to be lower unless her husband figures out a way to earn a decent wage.


It would help if you told us more about your motivation behind coming to Poland, and your long term plans. And about how your husband's and children's thoughts on the move. I really can't figure out what you are trying to accomplish.
Atch 20 | 3,951
26 Apr 2017 #9
the weather will be more stable

Better weather is a very flimsy reason to uproot yourself and your family.

my family would be nearby

Yes, that's understandable but what about your husband's family and his friends of a lifetime. He wouldn't have them nearby. That's the problem when you're from two different countries, there's always that element of compromise.

Kids are not a big concern

Wow! What can I say? It's not a question of being open-minded. A ten year old, no matter how intelligent or sensible she is, is not mature enough to realise the implications of such a move. The idea of it may appeal greatly to an adventurous child especially if she's had wonderful holidays in Poland but you are the adult and the children depend on you to make the decisions that are best for them. If you were staying in Ireland, would you take her out of the school she now attends, simply for the sake of a change? If the answer is no, then why is that? Just ask yourself that question now Annitta. Why not send your daughter to a new school in September?

still have my own house

You have that now.

The only good reason to move is if you're worried about your parents and want to be there for them as they get older. That I could completely understand and sympathise with. But that could wait for a year or two until your daughter is finished primary school. Anyway, how does your husband feel about it? Dominic B's comments about his employment prospects are spot on.
OP Annitta
26 Apr 2017 #10
Hi all. Thanks for you advice. As of more information-here it is:

Our assets in ireland oncluding 2 houses and pension fund (my husbands in around 400k eur) exceed 1 mln eur. Savings are not a concern.
His family lives nearby and has totally no time for us. My kids have 7 cousins within 15 mins drive and rhey see them once a year be ause life is so hectic. Our irish friends at this stage in life prioritise family relationships again as life is v busy and free time is v precious. My husband doesnt have any concerns about leaving his family.

My daughter has no very close friends that she is mad about. The peer pressure here is insane on tech gadgets make up etc. Kids as young as 11 wear full make up occasionally. Our neighbours daughters have iphones and full social media access from the age of 6. It kills me as my child is not ready for it but the pressure makes her feel excluded.

Family in Poland
I have 3 niees and my sister is my best friends. We see each other once a year at present. Kids love each other and also my parents have a huge bond with my kids but again see them twice a year at most. I feel my family misses out on the live and affection they could get from my side of family. Noone comes to their school plays,xmas carol service,birthdays and graduations. They would love their family around.

I feel increasi gly lonely and isolated. Life is so hectic here and we get no break. Ive noone to take the kids for the weekend so we can have so.e rest and quality time together.

These are pretty much my reasons. I know it wint be always fantastic with my family as we will disagree etc but all in all i really miss them. Stunning surrounding og Irish beautiful nature and positive ppl around would be the trade off for famy relationships and safer environment for my kids.
terri 1 | 1,664
26 Apr 2017 #11
I have always gone on the maxim: Be careful what you want. Be very careful in deciding why exactly you want to move. Seeing family twice a year is ok, but it is completely different being with them 24/7. They may see you as a cash-cow.
Atch 20 | 3,951
26 Apr 2017 #12
Savings are not a concern.

You've picked up the Irish attitude there I see :)) Savings are always a concern. Have you cleared the mortgages on both houses?

Our neighbours daughters have iphones]

That's the case in Warsaw too Annitta. There are many affluent Polish families nowadays who are very gadget obsessesd, image conscious etc and their kids are being raised that way.

Kids as young as 11 wear full make up occasionally.

I get what you're sayng Annitta but there are loads of kids who are not like that and this I know from experience. If your daughter was in something like GAA at weekends she'd be mixing with a very different type of child. What's her involvement in sports, Guides/orienteering, that sort of thing? Music? Choir, childrens' orchestra? Is she interested in science, maths, computing. There are lots of camps/events where she would meet a diverse group of children who are interested in more than make-up.

Life is so hectic here

If you want two houses and a fat bank balance, life tends to become hectic. Just saying Annitta that sometimes our problems are of our own making to a degree.

Ive noone to take the kids

lonely and isolated

So what you're saying is that you have no friends.

My daughter has no very close friends

And now your daughter is repeating the pattern. That's something to reflect on. How has that come about both for you and for her? Your husband also is emotionally distanced from his family which is unusual in Ireland.

Just be careful that you don't present the move to Poland to your daughter as some magical panacea that will solve all her problems, and that she'll have friends and everything will be great. If she's already struggling socially she may well find it harder than either of you imagine to settle in a new school. I notice you're talking about sending her to a private international school. As she speaks Polish why not send her to the school where her cousins are? Also the remarks I made about the academic side of things still stand. Your daughter will have the added pressure and struggle of adjusting to a new school system and curriculum.

safer environment

Why do you consider Warsaw 'safer' for your children than suburban Dublin?

Bascially you're miserable, lonely and homesick and the nice house and the money doesn't make up for it. But by moving you will be swapping one set of challenges for another so think very carefully before you make a final decision.
DominicB - | 2,709
26 Apr 2017 #13

If your combined assets minus debts are more than 1 million Euro and are properly invested, then your retirement savings goals have been meet if you intend to retire in Poland. Your income alone will be enough to ensure you and your family a comfortable existence in Poland until then, and even to make a significant contribution to the kids college funds. If, somehow, your husband is able to find gainful employment, so much the better.

So financially, there is nothing major against this move. As long as your assets minus debts are more than 1 million Euro and properly invested.

As for the kids, enrolling them in a very good state school would help immensely with socialization. Your daughter might have some difficulty adjusting during the first year or so, but she will soon find her place. The younger child will have no problem adjusting.

Not being a social butterfly is nothing to be ashamed of. However, do encourage your children to socialize and be active members of the community, even if they resist. It will teach them important life skills. Make sure they become active and voracious readers of both Polish and English literature from an early age, and also develop their math skills far in advance of their required school work. And keep them involved in extracurricular activities.

As for your husband, if he is content with early retirement, great. Chances are that that is how it is going to work out. Encourage him to spend his time intensively learning Polish so that he does not die of social privation.

Of course, it's not going to be all wine and roses, but with a 1 million euro safety net under you, you will be able to deal with any curve balls life sends your way.

And of course, you do have to discuss this with your husband, without the aid of rose-colored glasses. Some guys thrive in this situation, and others fade away. You're going to have to have a good heart to heart.

I wish you well!
OP Annitta
26 Apr 2017 #14 ur point re savings..yes we have no mortgage on the bigger house which is now worth circa 600k eur. The smaller house is worth circa 300k and there is 50k left on it to be paid. Rent we get from it covers the repayment and there is still about 500 eur left to spend.

I am being extreme as we do have friends but none of them are close enough. My kids are well settled and my daughter has many friends but noone she would hugely miss if moved away. She trains competitive swimming and loves acting plus she goes to the coding classes learning basics programming. Very creative mind and makes friends easily but hasnt maintained any worthy frienship.

I dont co sider english speaking schools but a small private polish svhool. Simply from talking to my family and their experience of public vs private.

Our life is hectic not because we are killing ourselves to earn money. We were lucky to invest in these houses when my husband sold his business in 2008 and we had plenty of cash to invest.

Its the western life style that is hectic. Long hours in the office no support to pay for childcare, no options to tale time off when kids are sick other than usig annual leave. Its all go go go. The weather changing within 20 mins makes it difficult to enjoy outdoor activities for about 8 months in a year.
Atch 20 | 3,951
26 Apr 2017 #15
1 million euro safety net under you,

But the plan is to use part of that money to build a house in Warsaw. The problem with counting a family home as an asset is that we all have to live in it so therefore unless we sell it and downsize, the money is tied up.

do encourage your children to socialize and be active members of the community,

There has been some concern expressed in Ireland about Polish children spending their Saturdays at Polish schools, often doing extra school work in the form of the Polish curriculum, instead of getting involved in community activities/sports etc.

Something that I find a bit telling is that Annitta hasn't succeeded, nor indeed has her daughter, in making any close friends in the Polish community with whom they've had plenty of contact.

develop their math skills far in advance of their required school work

I would be cautious about that. That entails going down the 'extra work' with a private tutor route during time better spent in social activities and developing oneself in other directions. With respect Dominic you have an outsized B in your bonnet regarding maths. A ten year old shoudn't be doing extra maths work in the evenings or at weekends - not unless they have an inherent interest in the subject and actually want to do it. That's a very different matter.
DominicB - | 2,709
26 Apr 2017 #16
A ten year old shoudn't be doing extra maths work in the evenings or at weekends

I think the school day should be expanded by three hours, the school week by one day, and the school year by two months, to be devoted to math and science.

And that schoolchildren should wear color coded uniforms based on their level of achievement in math and science.

Our jails would be empty in no time, and no one would be on the dole.
Atch 20 | 3,951
26 Apr 2017 #17
Thanks Dominic, you gave me a laugh out loud moment and I don't get many of those on this forum! I would add that the Montessori maths curriculum for all children aged three to twelve, together with the materials should be introduced in all schools immediately. I hated maths at school and it was only when I trained as a Montessori teacher that I saw the beauty, perfection and inherent simplicity of maths.
DominicB - | 2,709
26 Apr 2017 #18

I loved math and science from the cradle. My dad was a nuclear engineer, and he kept us years ahead of our classmates. So that we would be on the first spaceships off to Mars when the Earth was going up in flames (I kid you not). I started university two years early and tested out of all the introductory math and science classes, which put me three years ahead. The only thing my parents did wrong is that they did not teach us Polish. I had to learn that all on my own as an adult.

Oh, and if you think I'm one-sided, I also majored in classical languages and German.
Atch 20 | 3,951
26 Apr 2017 #19
The weather changing within 20 mins makes it difficult to enjoy outdoor activities for about 8 months in a year.

Ah yes, Irish weather, the four seasons in one day. The rain, the relentless wind which is always, always in your face no matter what direction you walk in! And the Irish summer when you forget about the picnic you planned, put on a nice warm woolly and shiver all day watching the downpour from a leaden sky 'I think the sky is looking a bit clearer over there, I think it's easing off a bit, sure it might clear up yet' and then at five o'clock in the evening when the day is nearly over, the sun starts shining.

Bottom line is that no matter how much one tries to figure out the practial pros and cons of where to live, in the end it comes down to where you feel right. It's a decision that ultimately you'll probably end up making with your heart and not your head.

@ Dominic, a Renaissance man, now what about fencing and water colour painting??!
DominicB - | 2,709
26 Apr 2017 #20

Swimming and sharpshooting and marksmanship were my sports. I never got beyond the stickman and broccoli tree stage in art, though. Later, during graduate school, I discovered that I had a talent for cartography, and my maps were highly praised by the professor. So draw I could, and well, as long as it was maps. Music was the organ, and I got pretty good at it, good enough to play in church.

@ the OP

The important thing is to give your kids exposure to a wide variety of different activities to discover latent strengths and weaknesses, with a strong basis in reading literature and doing math and science well above grade level. We live in a technocracy where math means money, and those that can't do math end up washing the socks and underwear and cleaning the toilets of those who can.
26 Apr 2017 #21
I reckon i could send both to private school which would cost approx 2500 pln a month.

Even a semi-private school is going to cost more than that.
OP Annitta
26 Apr 2017 #22
Harry no. Ive done the research and the fee for a privale school close to Zalesie where im planning to move is 1100 a month. Creche is 1000. Semi private school? Whats that?

Also to the point on the asset liquidity. It doesnt really matter if the house is your asset as long as you have 2 of them-one lived in and one rented out. With the market here and the area where both houses are based-we could sell them very quickly.

So it does give me a level of comfort. But having my husband stay at home is not an option.
Maybe teaching enterpreneurship and business i tjird level private schools wd be an option?
Any experience anyone?
delphiandomine 88 | 18,322
26 Apr 2017 #23
Ive done the research and the fee for a privale school close to Zalesie where im planning to move is 1100 a month.

In Warsaw, the quality isn't going to be very high for that price. It will essentially be a pretty public school, nothing more.

Maybe teaching enterpreneurship and business i tjird level private schools wd be an option?

Nope. He would need academic qualifications to do that, with an MA/MSc as a minimum.
26 Apr 2017 #24
Semi private school? Whats that?

Spoleczne Towarzystwo Oswiatowe They are partly funded by the state and partly funded by tuition fees. The STO middle school that my younger step-daughter went to was about 1,500zl a month.
OP Annitta
26 Apr 2017 #25
He has MA in business that what u mean?
OP Annitta
26 Apr 2017 #26
Plus 20 years of succesfully run businesses. Mentoring. Loads of experience in teaching. Lean consultant.director of nationally run events. Ex politician. Working with the governemnt on multiple initiatives. Stock exchange 5 years experience. Wealth of knowledge.
DominicB - | 2,709
26 Apr 2017 #27

Unfortunately, it's the kind of knowledge that is hard to sell on the Polish job market unless he speaks Polish and has developed a solid network of local real-world contacts. He could try a consulting firm like Mckinsey or the like to tide him over and get his foot in the door. But sooner rather than later, he's going to have to learn Polish and get out there and network his butt off to find a niche that requires his expertise. It ain't gonna be easy, especially if he is not eager to seriously hit the books and learn Polish to a high level.
OP Annitta
26 Apr 2017 #28
Hmm im not sure if polish os really needed to network. Know 2 irish expats living in Warsaw for years doing well with no language. Thanks for the tip to try Mckinsey. Will explore it. He is amazing at networking and i would think any contact worth having wd b fluent in English..
delphiandomine 88 | 18,322
26 Apr 2017 #29
Plus 20 years of succesfully run businesses. Mentoring. Loads of experience in teaching. Lean consultant.director of nationally run events. Ex politician. Working with the governemnt on multiple initiatives. Stock exchange 5 years experience. Wealth of knowledge.

If he's got that kind of background, I can't imagine he's going to have problems. To be honest, he might even be better off just working as a freelance consultant here, as there's plenty of companies that would kill for introductions to the Western market. Polish startups really struggle with sales to the West - I'm 100% certain he could walk into any startup here and get a sales management job within seconds.

Don't waste his time with teaching, just get him to go out there and speak to people.

If he wants, I'm happy to have a chat with him about the Polish startup market and what it can do for him. There's also an Irish guy in Wroclaw that he can contact, who would probably be able to give him excellent pointers.
DominicB - | 2,709
26 Apr 2017 #30

That cuts off a lot of the potential market. Sure, you can find people that made it without Polish, but for every one of them there a hundred or more who tried and failed. I would have had great difficulty marketing myself if I didn't speak Polish. It let me operate on a totally different plane of existence. Not to mention that my social and cultural life was immeasurably more fulfilling. If you were only going for a year or two, I would say forget about it. But as it seems you intend to relocate to Poland permanently, then learning Polish should be a high priority for him.

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