Florin, a design engineer, tells me on the phone that he can’t wait to see his children soon. They’re currently in Japan with his wife, while he’s working in the UK. He’s just started a new automotive job at Nissan and is waiting for his family to join him hopefully by the end of the year.
Though they are time zones apart, the move was purposely made with his children’s future in mind. “I thought perhaps there were more opportunities in Europe for them,” he says.
Florin’s story emphasises how important it is to take someone’s personal circumstances into consideration throughout the job hunting process, as that’s what drives them.
A new job overseas
Florin’s path into the automotive industry was fairly straightforward. After graduating from university in Romania, he was employed by subsidiary of German firm, Petri AG (later Takata) as a design engineer, developing automotive safety systems like airbags, steering wheels and seat belts for various European and Japanese automotive companies. He was there for over 12 years, then made the move to Germany itself, where his role expanded into designing and developing brackets for engines and gear boxes, and suspension components.
During this time, Florin had married and become a father. Germany was home for two years until his wife – who is Japanese – was offered a good opportunity to progress in her career. They made the decision, therefore, to relocate to Japan.
Thinking about the future
Moving to an entirely new continent, especially one where the culture and language is so different, can be hard. Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t easy for Florin to find any motor trade jobs. One massive obstacle stood in his way: “I realised I needed to improve my Japanese.”
He enrolled at a language school, studied for six months and with his newfound linguistics, was able to secure a job with a company called Hi-Lex. Florin joined the design team, designing components and new concepts for window regulator systems. However, after a few years, Florin’s focus shifted and he started to look for jobs in Europe.
“I’d been thinking about my kids’ future; I strongly wanted to raise my kids under European values and thought Europe offered them more opportunities,” he says. “That's when I got in touch with ARM.”
Motivated to progress
There’s nothing better than a word of mouth recommendation. “I heard about ARM through a friend of mine, a current contractor at Jaguar, who I’d worked with in Germany. He sent me the website link and I contacted the Automotive Team.”
Florin was initially considered for a role with a car manufacturer and got through to interview stage. A video interview from Japan, unfortunately, proved awkward. The connection was poor and the interview was lost half way through. Though it continued over the phone, it ultimately wasn’t successful.
“That’s when I decided, if I am going to get the next interview, I need to get on a plane and come to Europe. I was that motivated,” Florin says. “So when I heard about the Nissan opportunity through Matthew (Whyley, Senior Account Consultant), I didn’t hesitate to plan a face to face meeting.”
“I think this is key in life: if you have a strong motivation, then nothing will stop you from progressing.”
The job appealed to Florin on several levels. He wanted to remain in the automotive industry and was thrilled to have the opportunity to use the knowledge he had gained in Romania developing safety systems. Not only that, the new job afforded him more of an overview regarding what's happening in a project, in addition to designing. He makes more decisions; there are greater possibilities. Most importantly, he’s enjoying it so far. You could say it was a good match all round, then?
“I think Matthew saw the opportunity to exploit - in a positive manner - the engineering knowledge I gained in Romania and also my experience of Japanese culture. I know how to communicate with Japanese people; my language skills are quite useful sometimes, especially when you meet somebody who can't express themselves well in English.”
While Florin and his family are still temporarily apart, and he’s planning his imminent visit, it hopefully won’t be too much longer before they are reunited and he can see his wish of having his children grow up in Europe realised.