Finding ANY jobs in Berlin

Tips on getting work as a non-German speaker

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stanford
There are jobs in Moscow, you just have to look for them and get lucky. ...... websites list quiet a lot of jobs. Also, Moscow isn't that poor. If it is, then why do I see so many well dressed people there and nice cars there every time I visit central and KitiaGorog. The last time I was in Moscow, KitiaGorog seemed little different from London. So there MUST be jobs out there.
Excuse my play on your comments MattRoberts - I chose Moscow but we could pick a city in Iraq if you wish!!!

Overall the comment is about as smart as saying there were jobs in the great Depression - given that unemployment reached approx 15% (I would guess) in the UK and approx 20% in the USA. Meaning: 80% to 85% of people had jobs!!!

No one is saying there are NO jobs (nor rich people) but the unemployment levels are a lot higher than many other places in Germany (and social deprivation) and that it is different to the London/UK in that much economic and cultural power is spread between a number of cities: Frankfurt (Banking), Munich (Automobiles and Insurance), Hamburg (Publishing), Koln (TV) etc.

In addition, not speaking the language also reduces the number of jobs that will be open for you........

Stanford... a Moscow fan (but not sure how to spell the area KitiaGorog!)

Just a random google:

city econoimic and development ranking

Berlin 64th Place, Manchester 35th Place!!! Frankfurt, Hamburg, Stuggart all within the top 31. Not sure why Dublin is so low in this ranking... maybe the credit crunch......
MattRoberts
What about this recent survey, though, which ranks Berlin as now being RICHER overall than London. So there ARE opportunities in Berlin, but yes I agree the good jobs are likely to be pretty specialist and your German will have to be pretty good unless you want some godawful 400 Euro a month job.

http://www.citymayors.com/economics/richest_cities.html
paulbb
I know I'm going to get negitives for this, but fuck it.

I gave three friends the contact details of the survey company I work for, one's been hired and one has an interview next week. Dunno about the third. (They're not hiring any more - sorry!)

Someone else just started working on a building site in Magdeburg Strasse, or whatever it's called. He also got it through networking.

If you think there are no jobs, you're either not trying hard enough, already have one, or just plain pessimistic.
stanford
USB conducted its standardized Prices and Earnings survey in 73 international cities in March 2009. The data was collected by several independent observers in each city. In all, more than 30,000 data points were included in the analysis. All amounts were converted into a single currency to ensure that the surveyed prices and earnings could be compared. To compensate for daily exchange rate fluctuations, we used the average exchange rate over the data collection period. An international price comparison needs a common, standard basket of goods and services. As in past studies, the basket of goods and services was based on Western European consumer preferences. Living costs were calculated based on a survey of 154 items in total. They include 122 products and services that are used directly to calculate the reference basket. Apartment rents were classified as high-, mid- and low-priced.
It was my fault for listing in the first place one of these type of ranking tables but in the end one has to be careful of what you are measuring on average: mean, mode or medium. Also does this survey weight for the levels of unemployment? I will leave other to decide if it is a true reflection or not.

Exchange rates always cause problems with international comparisons. For example two years ago the UK would scored higher in international income rankings in terms of average GDP figures but now the pound has tanked it will fall down the rankings. Does this really matter if some one works in London, pays their rent in London and earns a high salary in London? Overall, the weak pound will only matter in terms of their holidays and how much it has sparked internal inflation. That is to say, their domestic purchasing parity will not change much especially if there is no or little change to domestic inflation.

Surely, the point to be made is that London dominates economic and cultural life in the UK in a way that Berlin does not do in Germany....despite it's alternative and hip imagine...

But anyhow this is all mute point as people move cities of personal circumstances not STATS.

Stanford...not in London!
hillelmoses
WELL YOU CAN DO WHAT MY FRIEND DID. SHE HAD NO JOB IN BERLIN FOR OVER A YEAR (WAS LIVING THERE WITH HER SAVINGS AND TAKING GERMAN CLASSES). WHAT SHE DID AT THE END OF THAT YEAR (SINCE SHE HAS TWO BACHELOR DEGREES AND ONE MASTERS DEGREE) IS TO APPLY FOR A PHD PROGRAM AT A UNIVERSITY. THEY ACCEPTED HER SO NOW SHE WILL BE ABLE TO WORK 20 HOURS A WEEK, (FULL-TIME IN THE SUMMER) PAY VERY LITTLE FOR HEALTH INSURANCE AND SINCE COMPANIES DON'T HAVE TO PAY AS MUCH FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS IN TERMS OF TAXES, ETC., HER PROSPECTS ARE GOOD AS FINDING A JOB. IN ADDITION SHE IS WORKING ON GETTING EXTRA FINANCIAL BACKING FORM FOUNDATIONS, ETC., TO HAVE EXTRA INCOME DURING HER PHD WORK. IN 3 OR 4 YEARS AFTER SHE KNOWS A LOT OF PEOPLE, HAS A PHD AND SPEAKS FLUENT AND CORRECT GERMAN SHE SHOULD HAVE NO PROBLEM TO GET A PERMANENT JOB IN BERLIN AND STAY HERE. SO MY ADVICE IS: ENTER A UNIVERSITY OR TRAINING PROGRAM AT WHATEVER LEVEL YOU CAN, MAKE LOTS OF FRIENDS AND LEARN GERMAN!
StephS
Uh, I hate to tell you this, but gettng a PhD is not exactly a guarantee for getting a job, in Berlin or any other city...And getting the first job post PhD usually means being willing to move - anywhere.
HAL9000
Oh don't worry about over the hill el moses he knows less than I do and his imaginary friends, voices in his head and virtual delusions are well known.

As StephS says PhD's are two a penny these days. I've seen people in call centers with PhD's. I've met people with PhD's who couldn't boil an egg or hold down a informative conversation for two minutes.

Which University are you doing your PhD in Moses or are you still in the wilderness?

Perhaps it's neither HERE nor there...

Perhaps this an option for you as well

http://www.toytowngermany.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=153481
Conquistador
I wouldn't be too sanguine about her employment opportunities in Germany with a PhD in History:

I have a friend who is currently in Berlin learning German. She has the equivalent of a Bachelor's degree in Education from a former Soviet country which was for the purpose of being an English teacher in a secondary school level. After graduating she taught English at her college. She later on immigrated to the United States where she got two further degrees. One was a Bachelor's degree in History and the other one was a Master's degree in History. Considering the shortage of teachers in Berlin and in Germany and her being an American citizen what can she do to break into the public school system in Berlin considering that her German is still not good?
JeffZ
YES BUT MUST BE TRUE AND VERY VERY VERY IMPORTANT OR HE WOULDN'T HAVE WRITTEN IT IN ALL CAPS.
horseshoe7
CAPS aside, I found hillelmoses' post actually quite good.

If I could sum it up - everyone's different, so you can't always relate statistics to you, because you are unique. Odds are against you is all one can say, but hey maybe you're clever, easy-going, attractive, charming, and experienced. Then screw the stats and do what you do best - trust your instincts and confidence.

I think if you were an Arts major, the odds are stacked against you, big time. If you are a scientist / software developer, your chances are indeed very good, though as a Canadian your big problem is getting the appropriate visa.

Getting work as a student here is much easier than if you weren't one; many cafes prefer to hire students because it's cheaper for them, for example, or there are many jobs associated with universities for students, so that they can learn as they go / support the cost of studying. So, if you are looking to experience Berlin, beef up your resume in times of financial downturn by continuing education, and be able to afford all that, I would say Berlin is one of the best German cities in which to be a student. You have to live frugally, no doubt about that, but with 600,000 students in berlin and 20% unemployment, so is everyone else, so you don't often feel left out. If you are reading this post and feel inclined to argue it, please only from people who've lived and experienced Berlin. I don't understand how naysayers in Munich or Darmstadt or wherever feel like their posts carry any weight if they've not lived here.
blue78
I don't understand how naysayers in Munich or Darmstadt or wherever feel like their posts carry any weight if they've not lived here.
my point exactly... we live here... Munich or Darmstadt could be a totally different planet in terms of problems or unemployment numbers than Berlin, its a totally different situation boots on the ground ya know in this city.. plus a berlin winter setting in also... Brrrr worst time to be doing anything except finding a cosy pub and having a warm drink while you shiver and watch all the grey... (Berliners you know what i mean..) and to think im at this very moment looking at the first snowfall of the year here... and early too!

Cheers
Keefy
Another tactic is to have a skill or skills which mean you can (more or less) live wherever you want to. In my case it's travel and tourism (guiding and tour-managing), so if I'm accompanying a group tour anywhere in German-speaking Europe, it doesn't actually matter very much where I live. Speaking good German helps - the better tour-operators are more likely to give work to those who speak the language of the country in which they're guiding.

The fact that I'm also a qualified Berlin guide means that I can do more assignments in my home city - a huge bonus. But that also required investing time, money and effort in a training course (in German, of course). In addition, I am a qualified, registered "Blue Badge" local guide for the West Country in the UK, which made being accepted for the training course in Berlin that much more likely.

Researching the pluses and minuses, looking at the finances and planning my move from the UK took a year, and I couldn't have done it without lots of previous experience in the profession, nor without plenty of cash in the bank to cushion me as I built up work and contacts. Even so, it still took me more than a year to acclimatise to living here - sometimes a real emotional roller-coaster. I cannot imagine how I would have coped without German - nor, for that matter how I would have coped without the help of my German friends here.

I'd definitely caution against thinking: "Oh, great! I can come to Berlin and be a guide! Simple!" because if you do that, you might well finish up slogging your guts out on the street for some shyster who will gladly exploit you from here to Kingdom Come - there are several threads on here already about the poor bastards in red T-shirts who don't get paid for the tours they do. Other devious operators exist, too.

As another string to my bow, I'm an EFL teacher with relevant qualifications, and if the excrement were to hit the air-conditioning in the travel trade, I'd have something else to fall back on, even if it were just a few private lessons here and there to keep the wolf from the door.

So, the story here isn't: "Don't come to Berlin because there's no work." It's more about being clued-up, with a reasonably clear plan, with enough cash to cushion the blows that you might suffer so that the experience is a good one, not one of desperation. You'll have enough to do already without adding abject povery to the equation.

(The local Netto supermarket in Schöneberg does have a couple of job ads in the window, nevertheless - work as a shelf-filler or as a cleaner on a 325 € basis )
zxmzc14
long term unemployment is extremely destructive, unemployed Germans know this very well, and the immigrant populations here in berlin who have very little chance of integrating into the middle class work force are robbed of their self worth and status in society. its fine when you are just out of school and in your twenties to kinda hang out see a cool city with art, clubs, and fashion, but most americans I know here have trouble getting their careers out of first gear, and this is no fault of their own but rather due to entrenched chauvinism toward foreigners by German business community and management structures and bosses. At my last company where I worked at we English speakers, we got paid less, were understaffed, and required to work more hours than the german team located across the way. I have never in all my experiences dealt with such an outright, unconcealed, and blatant discrimination. After living in germany for some 13 years, ie since I was 24 years old, things have only gotten more complicated.

Here to be someone, one must speak, read and write perfect German, in order to have any kind of a chance, and even then it is questionable. . this perfect German thing, is something not all people can ever achieve in their life, we need to remember that in the united states we by and large forgive different accents and in some cases find them charming, this is in part due to the fact that we are a country of immigrants bound by Constitution and that we are mixed. In Germany we should not forget get that citizenship is based one one having German blood and the question of at what future point will the immigrants all be returned to their native homeland belongs the mainstream German political debate. In Germany and in Europe for the most part professionals must have PERFECT German skills, and society is very unforgiving in this matters. Here languages skills are used as a way refuse a large selection of the population any kind of normal employment and as such a middle class status in society. truthfully I like positive stories, and I wish I just heard them more often. . maybe there is something to do together that we can not do alone to help our situation, as low pay sector, or unemployed americans living here. .
dj_ch3mical
Wow this was depressing as fuck, lets all go throw ourselves off the fernsehturm!
dessa_dangerous
I'm not big on playing devil's advocate, but seriously a couple things have to be addressed here:

At my last company where I worked at we English speakers, we got paid less, were understaffed, and required to work more hours than the [insert majority group] team located across the way. I have never in all my experiences dealt with such an outright, unconcealed, and blatant discrimination.
Substitute "English speakers" for "Spanish speakers" or "women" and "Germany" with "the United States" and you will have little need to change the rest of the sentence.

Here to be someone, one must speak, read and write perfect German, in order to have any kind of a chance, and even then it is questionable.
How many Spanglish or Ebonics-speaking executives do you know of in the U.S.? In the States, if your English is not impeccable, you'd better own your own business or drive a cab. Otherwise you'll be doing dirty work at an hourly wage for the rest of your life. Fact.

this perfect German thing, is something not all people can ever achieve in their life, we need to remember that in the united states we by and large forgive different accents and in some cases find them charming, this is in part due to the fact that we are a country of immigrants bound by Constitution and that we are mixed.
Look, I probably love America as much as you do, and while I agree that we "forgive" accents, I disagree that a foreigner could skate by with English as poor as the German of some Americans who want to cry discrimination. In both places, companies aim to hire capable people. As for whether or not language proficiency is something that all people can achieve in their lives, be realistic--there are lots of jobs that not everyone is qualified for. If you want to advance beyond wage-labor in Germany you will have to speak German. That is not discrimination.

As for the stuff about the immigrants bound by Constitution... do you really believe that mess? We are some of the most bigoted, prejudicial people out there (behind the British and French of course )

In Germany and in Europe for the most part professionals must have PERFECT German skills, and society is very unforgiving in this matters.
In Germany and Europe for the most part professionals must have A UNIVERSITY DEGREE. Why should a company hire someone who spent 4+ years in university but didn't bother learning the language in which they wanted to work? Why not just hire someone with an equal level of education who doesn't have to be babysat and translated for every step of the way?

If a professional wants to seriously pursue his career in Germany he will put in the effort to learn German. In the event that he cannot learn German he had better either move to a country which speaks his native tongue, or resolve himself to constantly being overlooked for promotion.

This whole b.s. about people not being "able" to learn languages really reaches, by the way. Every person I ever met who claimed that they just "could not" learn German was the biggest, whiniest crybaby about it. Instead of burying themselves in German courses, books, CDs, newspapers, television, or finding tandem partners, or practicing with me when I offer, or seeking a German-speaking job, they prefer to waste valuable study time watching MTV and whinging about how they "cannot" and "will never" learn the language.

The situation would not be different in the U.S. and I can't imagine why you would actually believe that.
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