The perfect match?

    Ian McMaster
    Von Ian McMaster


    I am going to to let sb. in on sth.jmdn. in etw. einweihenlet you in on a little secret. I’m sure that you won’t tell anybody — least of all my colleagues or my boss. Because that might get me into trouble. So you’ll keep it to yourself, right?

    My secret is a hobby that I have practised for around 40 years now. I don’t do it as regularly as I used to, but last weekend I to have a goes probierenhad a go again — and it was fun.

    The secret is this: for the whole of my working life — whether or not I have been happy in my job — I have to scour sth.etw. durchstöbernscoured the job ads in print publications for one that could suit me, and for which I would be at least reasonably qualified. My thinking is that you never know when you are going to find something that could lead to a whole new life. And if you don’t look, you’re unlikely to find.

    Of course, the job-ad market has changed dramatically in recent years, with many ads wandering online. Searching electronic databases is no fun for me, however. So I limit myself to the print publications that I see regularly, such as The Economist or Die Zeit (published by Spotlight Verlag’s parent company).


    I saw an ad whose specifications seemed right up my street

    I should say at this point that only once in my career have I actually to land sth.etw. an Land ziehenlanded a job via an ad in a print publication. That was back in 1984, when I was employed as the researchForschungresearch and information worker for the Disability Alliance, a charity in London that advised disabled people on their benefit entitlementLeistungsanspruchbenefit entitlements and campaigned for better benefits. In that case, the (tiny) job ad appeared in The Guardian newspaper. I replied with a hand-written applicationBewerbungapplication and landed the position.

    The older I have got, the fewer jobs I have to spot sth.etw. entdeckenspotted that have to arouse (interest)Interesse weckenaroused even a minimum of interest in me. But last weekend, I saw an ad that grabbed my attention because the specifications seemed to be right up sb.‘s streetgenau das Richtige für jmdn. seinright up my street. The employer was looking for people for whom the following applied:

    • “available for full-time, part-time and consulting opportunities both at home and abroad”
    • “a wide range of skill setKompetenz(en)skill sets and life experiences”
    • “the intellectually curious adventurer”
    • “3+ years of international experience”
    •  “the desire to live, travel and work abroad”
    • “foreign language skills”

    Further, the ad said the job offered:

    • “An unparalleled high-impacthier: besonders großhigh-impact international opportunity”
    • “A way of life that to challenge sth.etw. herausfordernchallenges the deepest resources of an individual’s intellect, resilienceBelastbarkeitresilience and judgment”

    The ad also said that:

    • “While no specific work background is required, candidates with experience in business, entrepreneurshipUnternehmertumentrepreneurship, sales, marketing, real estateImmobilien(branche)real estate and project management are highly desirable”

    Bingo, I thought! The perfect match. Then I realized that there were two criteria that I definitely didn’t meet. Candidates have to:

    • “Possess … US citizenship, dual US citizenship or US lawful permanent resident (LPR)legal dauernd ansässige PersonLawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status”
    • “Be physically located in the US”

    Not me, then, with my British-German dual citizenship and residencyWohnsitzresidency in Munich. But the hobby can continue. Oh, you want to know who the potential employer was? Well, check out the job ad here.

    In his blog, Ian McMaster has been commenting on global business issues since 2002. You will find more of his blog posts here.