My final project was handed-in back in May, course commitments were over in June, Graduation Ceremonies were back in July…so now that it’s August, what happens next in life after the Contour Fashion program ends?
Well - it’s been a busy few weeks, and that’s what’s kept me away from the blog. It’s still hard to believe that I’ve had a mini trans-Atlantic move in less than a month. Here’s a recap of what’s happened…and a crystal ball forecast for the future.
It was July 26th when I got the email through LinkedIn. Never underestimate the power of your network and your contacts. I first met Peter & Charlotte, from Germany, in December of 2012 on a short course. I had only moved to the UK a few months prior for the start of my course. I had become close with one of my lecturers, David Morris, as we’re both technically minded, and my willingness to be a fit model for his short courses, and extensive bra fitting experience, worked as an advantage to both of us.
Fast forward to September of 2014, where I cross paths with Charlotte again, and two of her staff, on yet another short course through my mentor David. Since first meeting Charlotte, her lingerie retail business has expanded - and she’s now in the midst of designing her own brand of swimwear, lingerie and full-bust blouses. She’s working with freelance designers in the UK to produce the patterns, one of whom turns out to be a part-time lecturer at my Uni that following October who specializes in BOTH full-bust lingerie AND Lectra Modaris. Is this a dream come true?
So, when that email shows up that fateful day in July from Peter regarding some freelance work for their lingerie brand, my heart sinks just a little bit at the word ‘freelance’ and the fact that their company is based in Germany. Since the spring, I had been actively looking for work in the UK. It had been a huge challenge to find jobs that I was remotely qualified for, and that might meet the strict requirements to obtain a UK work visa. Oh, the joys of being foreign. I had one single interview for a Lingerie Grading position in South London, and my intuition was that it wasn’t going to happen. The company didn’t have a licence to sponsor me, and I dreaded the thought of the process and paying legal fees upwards of £6,000 - £8,000. All for an entry level job in a city I couldn’t afford.
Peter and Charlotte arranged a phone interview late in July, and it was not at all what I thought. There was no freelance position - but an actual full-time job, on a 12-month contract, in Germany, and it was mine if I wanted it. They were both aware of my skills, and had met me personally, and they too, were close with my mentor, David. Without even seeing my resume or even having ever visited Germany, an offer was made, a contract was sent, and the wheels were set in motion. I would need to return to Canada, as quickly as I could, to apply for a German visa.
So why is it easier to me to go work in Germany than it is to stay in the UK? This is a question I ask myself nearly every day. I had wanted to stay in the UK as I had made it my home over the last three years. I have made lifelong friends through the university and my work networks, along with my partner. It’s been very difficult to leave these relationships behind, but they will all continue, with my partner being incredibly supportive of this journey. My adventure to Germany is still fraught with visas and approvals, but through the Youth Mobility Program, a reciprocal partnership that Canada has with many foreign countries, I am eligible for a 12-month visa to live and work in Germany, which is perfect for the job that I have been offered. It’s funny how things work out at the end of the day, as there is a similar program between the UK and Canada, although the keyword is ‘YOUTH’. The eligibility requirements for age differ between the UK (30) and Germany (35), so having just celebrated my 32nd birthday last week, Germany is a strong possibility, where staying in the UK just wasn’t looking promising. There is still the challenge with the German visa - I have applied and I’m currently awaiting the response. It’s involved tracking down the appropriate travel insurance (difficult when your Canadian residency status is questioned) and a small amount of government paperwork, which all had to be notarized by my lawyer, which wasn’t as affordable as I had hoped.
All challenges aside, this is the perfect opportunity for me right now, at this stage of my life. So, I’m embracing it and can’t wait to start. I had the opportunity to travel to Germany for a few days to see the city, meet my coworkers and learn more about the projects I’ll be working on. It really is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I couldn’t be more thankful! The crystal ball prediction is that I’ll get my visa shortly, and be able to move to Germany for October 1st, and start my position shortly after. It means that I’ll still be close to the UK, with the ability to spend Christmas with my partner and his family, visit with my friends and coworkers, and attend the wedding of a friend who will be marrying next summer!
Stay tuned because there is still so much more in store for me the next few weeks! Can’t wait to have you join me on this journey!
Educating women on the benefits of proper fitting bras is important to Kim. Designing lingerie that complements the fuller figure, and is comfortable, on-trend and beautifully constructed is her mission.
We are in charge of our bodies, and we make the decisions that are right for us, with no judgement. Kimtimates supports those who make their own choices about their own bodies. #yourbodyyourchoice #mybodymychoice