Blog - Russian crisis, going part-time, and back to Paragin

Added on Monday, 2015-09-28 17:39 CEST in categories Programming, Netherlands
After the global financial crisis in 2008, Russia was hit by another financial crisis in 2014: international sanctions hit after Russia annexed Crimea and the oil price went down. Subsequently so did the Russian ruble, which lost about 50% of its value against major currencies. It also started to fluctuate wildly: from a high of almost 100, to a low of 53 ruble to the euro only three months later. (The exchange rate is currently a seemingly stable 75-ish.)

Yandex, which is mainly active on the Russian market, also felt the blow, and decided to cut its budget (in Russian only). One of those budget cuts was me :( I was lucky I could stay on part time, with a huge thanks to my manager! And although the loads of free time were interesting at first, I'm way too young to be resting on my laurels already.

I therefore decided I needed to go back full time, and contacted my former employer Paragin, where I had left six years earlier because of our move to Moscow. We had a short and interesting talk about my situation, and they decided to hire me back on the team! Obviously a lot will have changed since then, so I'm excited to see what's new.

I'm officially starting October 1st, from which time on I'll be having two jobs: one at Paragin, and one at Yandex. Although I'll be a programmer on both jobs, I'll work on very different things (educational software at Paragin, and a news aggregator at Yandex), in very different environments too: for Paragin I'll come to the office half-daily (that's a part-time job after all too ;), whereas for Yandex I only see my team in Moscow every four months or so; I usually work distantly.

Then I also quickly learned that having two jobs involves a bit more than working for one employer on Monday/Tuesday, and another on Wednesday/Thursday: there's a whole slew of caveats involved:
  1. I have two work laptops, two monitors, etc. :P
  2. Because of the progressive tax system in the Netherlands, the taxes you pay over salary A, plus the taxes you pay over salary B, are lower than the taxes you should be paying over salary A+B. I therefore have to request one employer deduct a lot more income tax than they otherwise would, or I would end up owing thousands of euros in income tax at the end of the year;
  3. The number of vacation days I have differs between both companies, and so does the way I can spend them;
  4. At Yandex I follow Russian holidays, which is easier for the team in Moscow, but at Paragin I follow Dutch holidays. These obviously don't coincide much (except New Year's none do), so on any public holiday (Dutch or Russian) I still have to work half a day. Well, sort of. It's complicated :)
These are only the ones I've noticed so far, there'll undoubtedly be something else. And even though it seemed a bit odd and confusing at first, having two jobs does involve quite some juggling, I suddenly find myself in a very diverse environment. I'm sure I'll be able to prosper in both, for years to come :)