I went for drinks last night with the International Professional Women of Istanbul. I have never really wanted to join in these expat things, because I want to mingle in normal Turkish life and was afraid that getting too much into expat life would hinder that. But now after three years just one expat thing would be ok, I decided. So off I went.
After a few hours with some nice, funny, interesting women, I came home feeling a lucky woman. One of the activities IPWIN plans to organize is a theme day on changes in your professional life. How to deal with it if you come to Istanbul with your husband and you can’t get a work permit yourself, but want to keep up your professional skills anyway? What if you come here for a job, you want to quit the job after some time but find out your work permit is only valid for that particular job, not any others? What if you can’t find a job in your own field and have to change careers? What if the only jobs you can find are illegal and pay shitty wages?
They asked me if this activity would suit me, and I said yes. You never know, do you, when your life might change, or when you want your life to change. But for now, this is all not applicable to me. My press visa is my working permit, I earn hard Euros, I do the job I love.
The women I met who had good jobs didn’t really have the easiest life either. One of them goes to the gym at 6.30 in the morning, then drives to work in the traffic jam that Istanbul is, to get home again around eleven at night. Yesterday, she left her job around 9, and called it ‘knocking off early’. I was almost reluctant to say that I have a home office, stumble from bed to my working corner and if I want to get some exercise, I go to an Istanbul park at any time I want to. I am indeed a lucky woman!