Wednesday, 4 June 2014

The 30-Year-Old Man Who Almost Quit Blogging

A lot of things have happened since last post. New apartment, new year, new job, ups & downs, new year again, and suddenly I now turned 30 years old. For the interested, below is a summary of the past.

Getting integrated in Switzerland - Moving physically from Sweden to Switzerland is easy (especially if the parents help moving and not at least driving their car down and then up again), but to integrate and to move in to this fantastic country physiologically is not that simple. How come? Well, first of all it is a hell of a lot of administrative-, cultural- and simply other differences in order to feel and be fully "Swiss" (it will take many more years...). Secondly, yes, anyone with a decent job and most importing a salary to pay the rent towards the landlord can get a rental apartment here, ...but if you do not have a job it is almost impossible to get a apartment. However, as I was done with my studies I wished to have both a job and a apartment (together with Rachel of course).

To get a (first) job in Switzerland is not easy - For getting a first job here in Switzerland I applied for 70 of them whereof 69 positions within the wide industry of production or logistics (all supply chain management/"SCM" related positions). Everywhere they (the companies) were looking for experience and sooner or later in the apply process I was turned down with a "no, unfortunately we have found someone with a bit more experience". I later found out that statistically about 500 persons applied for the typical jobs (that I applied for) and most probably most of the applicants were indeed more qualified for the job than (newly graduated) me. People from all over Europe want to come to Switzerland and they apply from everywhere, the pressure of applicants to all open positions is huge). Luckily, I got a job as scientific researcher at the University of Applied Science in Northwest Switzerland and could directly start research in SCM related projects and getting even more challenged as the communication language was mainly in German! After a year within the academy I felt it was time to move on and then I got in contact with IKEA...

Starting at IKEA Supply AG -  IKEA - So Swedish (culture). So much Supply Chain Management. So global. So nice. Even nicer that the supply center is situated in Pratteln, Baselland, Switzerland! Since late autumn 2013 I've been happily working as a BA Specialist and it has really been a perfect match from the start. My responsibility in short is to secure availability of the full range of plant pots and also green plant activities (special sales actions etc.) for all stores, warehouses and other storage places in whole Europe. Frequent contact with a lot of supply chain partners (from suppliers and customers/IKEA stores) is very motivating and enhance my joy and motivation for a positive contribution to "a better world for the many people". The vision and values of IKEA is something I can relate to well and dear. Earning money while enjoying my job and tasks is for sure a good and great thing. Thanks to recent insight I now learned how to directly cut away some of the monthly margin (salary minus our living cost) each month to start build up some great investment potentials for the future...

Dollar cost averaging (defensive intelligent investing) & the art of generating passive income - During a lunch in Zürich 2013 some magic happened. A nice old Chalmers (school) friend of mine explained briefly the logic of having financial assets generating passive income, the beautiful benefits of long term investment (but also its mental challenges) and also gave advice of three good books to read in order to get perspective: "The Intelligent Investor" by Benjamin Graham, "The Millionaire Next Door" by William D. Danko & Thomas J. Stanley and last but not least the "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" by Robert T. Kiyosaki. I read the books with huge interest and even some other to get even more understanding and perspective. After that I took fast action. I played the CASHFLOW game, created a investment owner's contract for my self to fill out and sign AND of course start follow. For sure - it is a way of art being able to follow the the dollar cost averaging. Now the future looks even more promising for my love and myself.

Rachel & me in Römerweg 21 - After the first three months in Switzerland in a temporary apartment in the city of Basel, Rachel and I decided to move out to a old, but nice and big, apartment on Römerweg 21 in Sissach, Baselland. Of a nice and well known coincident our common friends Anina & Anders lived just about next door. To live here in Sissach is really nice. Close to the things we need (train station, food store etc.), multiple giant hills just some hundred meters away in all directions and not at least great neighbors....and a balcony towards the south. We both like this way of living a lot and we will stay for some time.

Family and friends on visit & travel - It is a great joy and maybe also the meaning of life - to meet people. A lot of fun moments has passed and a lot to come. Switzerland is really beautiful. Highlights right now is not at least a visit to Locarno, Ticino (still in Switzerland, but on the "Italian" side), for mum, dad, my sister, Rachel and me. I will try to remember to bring a camera and not at least enjoy the moment 100%. It is also nice to travel outside and last summer Rachel & I enjoyed a 3 weeks road trip in north Scandinavia. We finalized the trip by participating in O-ringen in Boden. This year we chose to participate during Swiss-O-Week in Zermatt instead. I think that will do too.

Switching from elite to amateur - This topic is now on the top of my agenda. I need to lower my ambitions in sports, but also a lot of other things in life. I will need to live "here and now" more instead of having great visions for the future. My stupidity in thinking (too) high about myself even finally started to force my heart beat non-regular and it still does from time to time during the day (in physically and stressfully moments). For identifying this issue and not at least getting help to get rid of it I got professional help from doctors and psychiatrist. Something I avoided before, but appreciate a lot now. As a result of all this, and as the title says, I need to lower my athletic ambitions, not at least since I'm getting older, but also because I lack motivation and circumstances to succeed. Understanding and respecting the fact that I now live a different life than when I was 20... I will still do a lot of orienteering and upload my orienteering maps and courses I run here, but from now on I will not set up too high expectations on myself for the present nor the future.

Most things still remain to be done. A glorious future! - These positive words comes from point 9 in Ingvar Kamprad's "The Testament of a Furniture Dealer". For sure I'm looking forward to a glorious future with a lot of fun things to do, but before that I have now written down some of my thoughts (now becoming history), will live today (my birthday) and not at least enjoy the moment. One day I will die, and all the other I will not.