United States? Quite okay, but have you ever been part of Team Papershift?
The new Team Papershift format gives you a behind-the-scenes look at Papershift as a company. Let’s start with Dylan and his experiences of moving from America to Germany and his impressions of Papershift as an employer.
A new beginning is always scary, especially when you’re looking for it on the other side of the world in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. For Dylan Howard, however, it was not an obstacle but a challenge he gladly accepted. At the end of October 2020, he packed up all his stuff and dared to move from his home near San Francisco, California to his longtime girlfriend in Bavaria. Since May 2021, the two have resided in Rastatt, south of Karlsruhe.
While being part of the Papershift Team wasn’t part of Dylan’s plan from the beginning, it’s now an integral part of his future. The same is true for us at Papershift, Dylan has already been an integral part of Chris Redmore’s UK Sales team since the beginning of May 2021. That’s why we interviewed Dylan about his tasks at Papershift and his move to Germany.
What exactly do you do in the sales team at Papershift?
I’m an Account Executive in the UK Sales Team, which means I deal with the concerns of prospective customers. Specifically, this means I contact companies who have booked a demo and go over the product and their requirements for it with them. In short, I do everything I can to solve our customers’ problems through Papershift.
How did you become part of Team Papershift?
It’s a rather unusual and indirect path. I originally studied screenwriting and film production but was able to gain experience in sales and tech on the side. Here in Germany, I then looked around in all directions, initially with little success due to the pandemic. I have to admit I was surprised myself when I actually got a response and the job offer because so many companies wouldn’t even write or call you back.
What was the trigger for your move?
Before my move, my girlfriend and I were in a long-distance relationship. That is very exhausting in the long run, especially with both of us working full-time jobs and in school in different time zones. When the pandemic hit, I used that time to reorganize my life and decided that it’s time to move to Germany permanently.
How did your move go?
The actual move went without any major problems. The difficulties were more in the bureaucracy once I got the ball rolling. There were months of delays and uncertainty with my visa and in the end I even had to reapply for everything because I took the job at Papershift in the middle of the process. From that point on, I was very well supported by the human resources team. All in all, I would say the process of getting a visa was trial and error above all.
What do you like best about Germany and the Karlsruhe area?
The first thing that comes to mind is the landscape in Germany. As an American, you think of lederhosen and the Alps when you hear Germany, but the country has so much more to offer. The forests, rivers, lakes and old towns are just breathtaking. Then of course the food, I really like Greek and Mexican food, but German food is up there with the best.
And last but not least, the culture. By that I don’t exclusively mean the warm and welcoming treatment I received in the country, but also the great work culture. The work-life balance is so much more balanced than I’m used to in the United States.
Oh… And the beer, of course! 🍻😉
While I haven’t been in the Karlsruhe area long, I actually had a doubt or two at first. To my surprise I got to know Karlsruhe as a young and modern city. There are things to do here and even more to see, especially in the surrounding area. From endless vineyards in the baden wine country to city trips, like to, Colmar and Strasbourg in France – there’s something for everyone. I realize that I sound like a travel guide but I just hope that more people become aware that Germany has more beautiful and lively cities than just Berlin and Munich.
How good is your German by now?
Pretty good, I would say. I took a few classes before I moved, here in Germany when I visited and back home in the States. Small talk or ordering food are no problem but when a conversation goes deeper into a topic, I miss word every now and then. I also have problems with group conversations, where people talk very quickly in a jumbled way. But I think that’s normal when you learn a whole new language. What I miss most at the moment is simply speaking German and hearing it. I just miss the conversations that have fallen away since you can’t really go out anymore thanks to the pandemic. Fortunately, that’s slowly changing for the better.
Would you do it again and do you have any advice?
I would 100% do it again! And that’s also my only tip: anyone who is seriously thinking about it and really wants to, should take the chance as well. We Americans often think we are richer in culture, nature and diversity than other countries, but I can assure you, this is not the case. In less than a year, this move has given me so much. I’m growing daily from the opportunities and challenges that this life in Europe offers me. I’m growing as a person in the awareness of my own origins and the cultural diversity around me.
Dylan kam den ganzen Weg von den USA nach Deutschland und fand mit Karlsruhe eine wunderschöne Stadt zum Leben und Arbeiten. Seinen Tipp, den Sprung zu wagen und nach Deutschland zu kommen, können wir nur unterstreichen. Deutschland bietet – egal ob als Teil des Papershift Teams oder sonst wo – ausgezeichnete Möglichkeiten, private und berufliche Träume wahr werden zu lassen.
You want to be part of Team Papershift?
Dylan came all the way from the US to Germany and found with Karlsruhe a beautiful city to live and work in. We can only confirm his tip to take the plunge and come to Germany. Germany offers excellent opportunities – whether at Papershift or elsewhere – to make private and professional dreams come true.
Our diverse Papershift team consists of employees from over 15 different countries and our HR team is happy to help you to achieve personal and professional growth. So if you’re interested in Papershift or would just like to become Dylan’s colleague, check out our open positions for Product Designer, Senior Web Developer or the rest of our career page.