Monthly Archives: March 2015

Relocation: benefit or a bait

It’s not uncommon for a developer to receive a linkedin spam. I have a few filters which direct most of the trendy ways to spam people to a special folder. 70% of linkedin spam letters I receive contain offerings from “international”, “successful” companies – filtering based on these words was a huge timesaver for me.

Recently, I’ve received a message from a recruiter “revealing” me as a person interested in relocation.

I recognize that kind of approach as another trend and apart from adding a new e-mail filter (“relocation”), I analyze why it should not work for the grown-ups.

You’re selling it wrong

nasty recruiter person

From sales perspective I can understand this move as a random value proposition. The guess is based on Ukrainian people generally feeling less secure than before and willing to do something about that (you probably know about Russia invading Ukraine).

This post is a clear objection and seeing an objection from a person you’re trying to sell something to is a clear sign you’re trying to sell to early. Meaning: ask about what is valuable first.

To save some time to all the sane future recruiters, I’m writing this opus. If you’re reading this and you’re a recruiter – let’s talk, I already like you for doing some homework ; )

What is in relocation for me

Case 1: US

Recently my company decided not to sponsor my H1B (for those who’re not knowledgeable: H1B is USA visa which is considered to be one of the ways to become a citizen in the end).

Given that we talked about this for a year, my feeling towards the news best can be approximated by childhood stuff: “I am no longer a beloved kid”.

Depending on circumstances, I would qualify that as a hit to one of the stages of Maslow’s pyramid:

  • Self-esteem
  • Love and belonging

WUT: Nothing about safety and security here! You’re selling it wrong!

Maslow pyramid wifi battery

Love and belonging theme in this case is related to a bunch of teammates from the US which I love to work with and seeing them in person would feel awesome.

Thus, if I’m not in love with your company – offering me to relocate is a clear bump in self-esteem. Unfortunately, telling me that you feel I am interested – is kind of doing stuff on my territory which has nothing to do with bumping my self-esteem ; )

Case 2: Poland

A few years ago I was offered to relocate to Poland (by the company I already worked for). It clearly affected my self-esteem at first.

I also perceived it as a growth opportunity, but then they’ve made me wait half a year and I’ve quit. As growth opportunities and illusions of such are different things : )

Case 3: Japan

A random approach by a recruiter. Salary after tax would be less than I earn and that’s given that Japan is more expensive.

Could have worked 5 years ago when I was huge Anime / Japanese fan.

Case 4: Self induced

I’ve just returned from 3.5 month long trip to south-east Asia. Changing location every month or so was a huge productivity boost for me. Budget was around $1000 per month per two of us.

Generalization of my relocation experience

It is often viewed as a value proposition by a [potential] employer.

From my experience when somebody believes, you’re receiving something of value, they’re asking for something in return. So most of the offers of relocation would assume lesser salary.

Exception to this rule will be a company which is already realizing a lot of value from your relationship so they are willing to go an extra mile to make you stay.

What is in relocation for other people

One fact is that I know a lot of people who move around south east Asia year round without selling their soul to any company.

There’s a famous psychological fallacy of considering actions of others to be directed by whatever selfishness they have and your actions to be directed by the sheer good intentions.

Thus, I won’t say a thing here. I don’t understand other people and all I can do is ask them to comment.

What to do if I am a a recruiter?

Uhm. Try to talk to me like I am a normal person?

I’ve suggested this to a few recruiters and they responded with a statement that they’re just playing the numbers game in match making. More tries meaning more hires.

Playing that numbers game in this way of cold-approaching as many people as possible makes you less godlike!

As I have said so many times, God doesn’t play dice with the world. (c) Einstein


Every pick up artist knows that cold approaching people is less efficient than having some warm up (like eye contact). You can try the same approach with engineers.

warm leads recruiting

What if I would like to relocate?

Go for it. All the experiences, actions and changes count towards becoming a better version of yourself.

If you’re relocating to Ukraine – talk to me : )


In the age of connectedness and free floating ideas location is just a tiny detail which can be easily tuned on your own.

Think twice: if you are concerned about changing the location of your body – who will be changing the world?

Geeks reflections on starting a conversation

Oh, my, it’s awkward again. Can’t I just chat with nice people like everyone else? (c) Ivan’s brain

Being a Software Engineer I was more used to talking to computers or with their help, so most of the real life conversations (especially with new people and in new contexts) had this overtone of awkwardness.

The problem was not in the awkwardness itself (I still feel it a lot), the problem was in me not entering into new conversations with awesome people just because a few conversations did not happen with a few others.
I blamed myself for this feeling for a while, until I realized a simple thing: two interested parties is what is needed to make the chat happen.

“It takes two flints to make a fire.” (c) Louisa May Alcott

Conversation initiation

– Hey, is that a #$@#^!%-zator?
– Yes, wanna see something cool?
– Sure!

If the conversation is meant to start (i.e. if everyone is interested), it will happen even if all you are a bunch of weirdoes.

Surely, being experienced communicator raises your chances to keep the chat going during the initial stages. But if the other one is not interested – the result is easy to predict. Also do you really want to talk about the weather?

If you’re reading this, you’re kind of interested : ) Understanding when the other person is not is simple too:

  • Not looking at you
  • Short responses (e.g. ‘yes’ vs ‘yes and …’)

Remember: it’s totally ok for someone to don’t care about you at all. We’re all different everybody has their unique interests and strong sides so matches don’t happen all the time. It’s somewhat a numbers game.

not you again carpet

What if I feel like a fraud?

It’s completely ok!

Probably you’ll be glad to hear that your feeling has a name, impostor syndrome. Also some studies say that it is especially common among high-achievers. If you feel that way – hit me up, I’m pretty sure we’ll have what to talk about.

What to do if the other party is not interested?

Walk on and talk to someone else.

Absence of interest might be temporary in a short term (so stop bothering the driver) or long term (so in a few years it will be your turn to be the highbrow).


It surprised me how changing the model of initiating the conversations on a party from ‘all or nothing’ to the numbers game bloated my ego with self-assurance.

By the way, awesome people I know have this blessing of being able to find interesting perspectives just in everyone and everything. Consequently, if a conversation did not happen – chances are you haven’t missed a thing!

Taking it to another level

It’s easier to be remembered if you ask your date unconventional questions, e.g. “What’s your deepest fear?” instead of “What’s your favorite movie?” (c) Cool Girl Magazine

I don’t clearly remember which of the teen girlish magazines was my source, but the thing does work for me still.

Recent article on NY Times uses a similar principle. Additionally the method on the article slowly transitions from commonalities to probing questions (which I guess raises the chances of not freaking out the companion).

I’d generalize this idea as a quick escalation. PUA (pick up artist) guys use that to describe the process of quickly getting to the bed, I’m ok with stopping the nonsense chat about the weather as quickly as possible!


What we’ve learned today:

  • It’s completely ok for a conversation to die off quickly
  • It’s ok for you to quit a conversation you’re not interested in
  • It’s ok to feel weird
  • It’s possible to talk to people without sedating yourself with alcohol or the like
  • I’ll kick your ass if you talk to me about the weather ; )

I know, you can do it! Get your ass out and start a joyful conversation!