I always wanted to live and work abroad and so when the opportunity at Insight TV arose I jumped at the chance to relocate from London to Amsterdam. My wife took a little more persuading, but a short sunny visit here (and a nice meal!) was enough to bring her on board.
So we both quit our jobs and started packing up our life in London. Three months of waiting (frustrating UK notice periods) and we finally arrived on the last day of September 2018. We were lucky enough to move straight into our lovely apartment, with the steepest flight of stairs I had ever seen (normal for Amsterdam). I started work at Insight later that week, and just ahead of MIPCOM.
The first few weeks were pretty crazy, both at home and at work. There was a huge unpacking day, when 60 boxes arrived from the UK, lots of frustrating government admin, and of course the obligatory trips to IKEA (handy as it’s just 5 mins from the Insight office). However, we soon got bicycles (there are more bikes than people in the city), enjoyed our first stroopwafels and began to settle into Dutch life.
Meanwhile at work, my role was a new one, so it was matter of getting things in order before I headed to Cannes in mid-October, to sell our programmes to broadcasters and platforms. This was also a great opportunity to get to know some of my colleagues better, especially as I had the joy of sharing a bathroom with one of them!
Soon after MIPCOM, I really started to settle in and got to know the whole office. It really is a diverse place to work with, as alongside the Dutch, there are Brits, Poles, Turks, Romanians, a Brazilian, a Finn, an Irishwoman, a Canadian, an Israeli, a South African, an American, to name just a few of the nationalities in this company of 45. I love overhearing all the different accents (speaking perfect English obviously) and learning about each culture’s traditions.
Compared to larger companies where I have worked, I really enjoy how broad my role is. And how I get to interact with so many different parts of the business (channel sales, marketing, finance, programming, technical, programming) Moreover, people in the business rarely say no the impossible, instead it’s “we’ll find a way”.
Before I knew it November had arrived and Sinterklaas and then Christmas were upon us. This coincided with boat trips, light festivals, Xmas parties, and some seriously cold weather (I never thought I move somewhere with worse weather than London!).
Now in early 2019, four months in, it feels like home (although it actually felt that way after only a few weeks) and I can’t imagine living or working anywhere else.