Meet our temporary worker Mirosław Błaszczak, production worker at Somnis Bedding.
Somnis Bedding in Lokeren designs and manufactures quality sleeping comforts. We spoke with Miroslaw who has been working at this family business for 10 years. Which jobs he did and how he enjoys life in Belgium, you can read in this article!
Hi Mirosław, how did you end up in Belgium ten years ago?
Before working in Belgium, I worked for four years in England, near Sheffield. My goal was to learn good English. But the island is far from Poland, and that started to weigh. And they also drive on the left there 😊. I returned to Poland, and started looking for a job. Unfortunately, after a few months of searching, I realized I had to do things differently. In England, I had become accustomed to certain earnings. I adjusted my strategy. When I heard that in Belgium there were good earnings as well as good working conditions, I set my sights on this country.
What job were you looking for?
I am a machine and equipment engineer by training. I worked in Poland for 20 years. I sent my resume for positions as a technician and mechanic to several companies and agencies. A recruiter from Link2Europe contacted me. We talked via Skype and I sent the necessary documents. After about a month, the decision was made and I could come to Belgium.
How was your arrival in Belgium?
I got a good cup of coffee first! Then we talked further in the office and I signed the documents. I also met the colleague with whom I was going to live. We were given a car. On the second day we went to the company with Igor Van Assche and there I met my foreman. Everything was well organized and without stress.
How were your first working days at your new company?
The first day we were late for work! We got lost. Fortunately, there was great understanding. I started at the maintenance and repair of the multiple needle quilting machines. In retrospect, that turned out not to be a good job for me. Link2Europe then helped me to quickly change jobs within the same company. Together with a girl from Bulgaria, I started at the production of mattresses. After she left, I took over her duties and started managing a six-person team.
Did Link2Europe also help you with your administrative obligations?
Link2Europe helped me open a bank account and health insurance. They provided an apartment two kilometers from my workplace. In addition, they supported me in registering with the municipality and arranged my family benefits. That help was fantastic; I had thought I would have to do more myself.
What language do you usually use in the workplace at Somnis Bedding?
When I started, I didn't speak a word of Dutch. My English was good and all instructions were given in English so I understood the health and safety rules well. In the meantime, I learned a little Dutch. I took a semester of Dutch for foreigners and studied on weekends. In the company there are people working from all over the world. Everyone speaks English here!
Working with Link2Europe, how does it work?
I can answer this positively! Contacting them is easy. They pay correctly, and on time! And they help me with various things, including things that are not work related.
And living in Belgium, how does that feel after all these years?
I feel fine here. In my free time, I enjoy local events. I go to rock concerts and festivals like Graspop Metal. I have already discovered a lot of places. I love Bruges. I have also visited many Belgian museums, because I am interested in painting. In the vacations, my family comes to visit me and then we travel together. I feel European and I could, I think, live anywhere. My passion is traveling and getting to know new cultures, talking to people and getting to know them. I am a humanist with passion 😊.
Many thanks for this chat Mirosław and we wish you much success!