Stamatis Tsolakidis is a self-trained Web Developer, water polo enthusiast and aspiring Youtube content creator from Greece. Originally a Statistics major, Stamatis fell out of love with Math and fell in love with coding (and a Lithuanian girl) instead. He’s been in Lithuania for over a year now, working for Genius Sports – an international company handling sports data.
What brought to you Lithuania?
In Greece, Lithuania is kind of unknown. If you’re a basketball fan, sure, you probably know some basketball players, but not much more. They also imagine it a pretty chilly place, being that up north. That was how I thought about it before, at least.
As luck would have it, though, I met a girl from Lithuania and came to visit the country in 2017 for the first time. Then we lived together in Greece for a while, but after doing some research and learning of career opportunities here, we decided to move.
Is Lithuania exactly like you expected it to be?
It’s better than I expected, actually. Even on my first visit, I had a very positive impression of the country. What surprised was that the culture of Lithuania has some striking similarities with the Greek culture. For example, what I like a lot is that the ties with family and friends here are quite similar to how they are in Greece – I see that people maintain a very strong connection with their families. Lithuanians are generally warm and I feel welcome here.
Do you have any tips for people who’d like to move to Lithuania and land a job here?
The first thing is – don’t be intimidated by the language. People here speak English, so I didn’t have any issues with that. Also, try to make yourself visible on some hiring platform, as companies here are very active online, more so than in other countries. When communicating with a company, try to be very clear that you know where Lithuania is and that you know what you’re doing, because some people might not believe it. And then, probably visit the country for a bit – that can also work as motivation, as it did in my case!
Has anything changed for you work-wise because of the quarantine?
Well, we are an IT company that is quite spread out, so in a sense, we were already used to working remotely. The transition process was very smooth and we haven’t yet faced any significant problems. We switched to a fully remote regime a day or two before the measures were officially announced and within days everyone was working normally. My home environment is very quiet because I don’t have any kids, just two dogs, so I quite enjoy it.
Do you have a list of things you’d like to do after quarantine measures are lifted?
First thing I’d like to do is simply go for a long walk somewhere out in a forest or park. I’d also definitely go get some coffee in a nice coffee place. That’s one of the things I’ve missed, because coming from Greece, we just love having our coffee outside. I’d go somewhere in the Old Town of Vilnius, which is where I take all my guests.