The fact that Berlin is a very popular city is mentioned on this blog often enough. Many people visit the city at least once a year because they love the atmosphere and the vibe. But for some people (like me) just visiting Berlin is not enough and they want to live and work in the capital of Germany. These people move here and become a full-time Berliner. Of course this is a great decision, but finding work in Berlin is not always easy. In this article we will provide people who are looking for a job in Berlin with some tips.
Moving to Germany
As you might know I was born in the Netherlands. In the summer of 2015 more than hundred thousand Dutch people were registered in Berlin (source). This might sound like a relative small number but we are only talking about Dutch people here. People from all over the world move to Berlin and that is why it is such a multicultural and interesting city. When you decide to move to Berlin it will be important that you find a job here as well.
What to keep in mind
Germany is a great country to live. It is one of the strongest countries in the European Union and Berlin has so much to offer. But there are also interesting differences between Germany and other European Countries. Below you can find a few interesting facts about working in Germany or Berlin:
Germany is known as a country where there is always a certain degree of authority in companies. Obviously it depends a lot on the branch but especially if you work with older people it might be smart to show some respect in the beginning. Just be patient and wait till the older colleagues take a first step into a more personal approach.
Darf ich Sie duzen?. This question is directly related to the advice above. In the German language there are two ways to address people: The more formal way would be „Sie“ and you can use „du“ if you are addressing someone on a more personal level. Normally you use the latter when you talk to younger people. In some circles it will be best to start with „Sie“ and than wait till an older person offers you „du“.
Because Berlin is such a popular city, it is not very hard for companies to find qualified employees. Besides that Berlin is not far from the Polish border so many companies can get reasonably cheap workers from Poland as well. These two, plus a few other factors, cause the fact that the salaries in Berlin are not as high as in some other European Countries (Netherlands, Belgium, UK, Scandinavia). This is always good to know because you might not be hired if you ask for too much money during your job interview. Personally I took an internship and worked my way up to a better position, unforunately this is quite common these days.
Speak English or German?
Hast du mein Kartoffel gesehen? Before you visit a company for a job intereview it might be wise to get more information about the language expectations. Not all Germans speak English as well as Dutch or Scandinavian people and you do not want to have a lot of misunderstandings during your job interview. If they expect you to speak German you could participate in a short course to show you are at least trying to learn the language.
It all depends on the generation
The previous points might sound a bit strict but lucky enough it all depends on the generation. If you will be working with younger people most of the points will not cause big problems. Especially jobs in branches like Online Marketing, Call-Centers and creative jobs will normally not be that problematic. Beisdes that Berlin is different from the rest of Germany as well: This city is definitely more open and laidback as many others.
Searching for a job in Berlin
Now you know a bit more about what you might expect when you start working in Germany. But before you even can experience with which generation you will be working you have to find a job first. Personally I would respond on many different vacancies to increase the change of finding something. Having a job interview is not always fun but normally you learn a thing or two and you will see some German companies from the inside.
Here are some ways to find a job in Berlin:
There are many websites on the internet which can help you in your hunt for a suitable job in Berlin. Most of them look and function the same but some are a bit more user-friendly if you ask me. Personally I found many interesting positions at Jozoo. But you can also check the websites of large companies directly, normally they have plenty of jobs to offer.
Also Facebook is a great source for finding jobs in Berlin. It is probably best if you sign up in groups like English Jobs in Berlin. This group has over 15000 members and they all help each other finding a job. Besides that you can also decide to post something on your personal wall and hope one of your friends can help you out.
But there are plenty other methods to find a job in Berlin: If you believe your appearance can work in your advantage you can just step into certain (smaller) offices/bars/restaurants and ask. Some might react a bit surprised but most will probably appreciate your straight forward approach. Besides that you can also use the newspaper and check the vacancies over there. But all in all I personally like the internet the most because you have thousands of vacancies just a few mouse-clicks away.
Finding a job in Berlin is not always easy and there are a few things you should keep in mind when you start applying. As mentioned it might be smart to adjust your expectations and start with a traineeship or junior-position and then prove yourself. Make sure your CV looks great and smiling always works during job interviews.
If you have any additional questions about working in Berlin you are welcome to leave a comment