Finding ANY jobs in Berlin: Tips for non-German speakers

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Good point about the lack of jobs even for native Berliners. Two German friends of mine, both graphic designers with years of experience, have been looking for work for over a year. Another who works in even management has been taking short-term gigs for years now and has yet to find anything permanent or even steady. Another who does construction and renovation travels to different locations in Germany to work on projects as he hasn't been able to find anything here in Berlin.

 

There was a story on Berliner Fenster in the U-Bahn today about how one in five Berlin residents are receiving financial assistance from the government.

 

I wouldn't discourage anyone from moving here and trying to make themselves a life, but they should be aware of the current situation so that they can make an informed decision.

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Avoiding the politics that seem to have overtaken this post I thought I'd share my experience of job hunting in Berlin. Each person with different skills will likely have different experiences.

 

My detail:

Age 30

Industry: Information Technology

Current title: IT Support Manager

Experience: 10 years

 

I've found that there is lots of IT jobs advertised however, you have little chance of getting one of them without good German. You do get the occasional job advertised where the main language spoken is English so there is hope but you are certainly up against it. I'm currently working for an English company so don't get to spend anywhere near as much time in Berlin as I'd like. The reason for this is that my German is not good enough...something that I need to work on.

 

None IT jobs in Berlin with no German:

I've only applied for a couple and was offered one. The role was in sales for an advertising/directory company in Berlin targeting the UK and US market. I have little experience in sales and what I do have is from a very long time ago. It's not impossible to get a job with no German.

 

In summary and without any hostility I'd come to Berlin with either a job lined up or with enough savings to see you through 6 months or so. That's not me saying "stay away Berlin is mine etc" but it is my experience and perception of job hunting in Berlin.

 

Berlin is a wicked place, good luck and Happy Christmas :)

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Creative/Media is generally extremely hard and competitive, it also wipes out older people fast to give room for new (and cheap) blood, even more so in Berlin where the market is really reaching a saturation point.

IT/engineering is an entirely different beast. My engineer friends in Berlin all have jobs, if those jobs are the best they can have with their qualification is another question. With degrees in engineering I would imagine it would be hard to be unemployed anywhere in technology-driven Germany, they may even get much better offers down here in the South however, even with little knowledge of the German language. In fact, in several German classes i've attended there have always been a good number of English speakers working by SIEMENS or all sorts of Tochterfirma of industrial giants. They tell me that in the workplace they only need to speak English and it seems it's not uncommon here in Munich.

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Dear Town towner's,

 

In a place such as this you have to do the work your self. I admire the adventure spirit as it is me too... I can say go for myslef, as that is my intension to move to Berlin but not to just see how it goes. If a person is self reliant, motivated, and well it make sense to have a support group of friends or family, then go for it.

 

I looked at the laws, the social life, took a look for myself on a small vacation to visit a dear friend and I have to say I fell in love with Berlin, as well with a wonderful friend. So if you are German or have real experience please share in the seriousness in which Germans are known for. I could use as much help and info as possible and was hoping this forum would have a bit more. BUT I like the humor, that is funny how 3 month wonders and dreams go!

 

We all have dreams and when we apply ourselves to them I have noticed life tends to meet us half way... Appreciation and kindest thanks to anyone who has more real info to share on this: moving in with a friend near Tegal, funds limited (divorce) but resources and cost of living fairly low for me, want to do the work myself, have application for residency permit. **Should I wait until I get there to file for residency permit once I have that and a better base Auf Deutsch, what is the real likely hood of work permits** Also I many skills in home repair, building, general over all handy little builder I am...

 

Lots of great luck...

Spiritual Surfer

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There's a jobs section on the homepage for English speakers...I don't understand why this question is asked so much on here.

 

Also try Craigslist.

 

Tbh I've found quite a few Sales/Customer service positions from these two in Berlin. That's really the only type of work available because English is the international language.

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I can say go for myslef, as that is my intension to move to Berlin but not to just see how it goes. If a person is self reliant, motivated, and well it make sense to have a support group of friends or family, then go for it.

 

With neither skills that are in demand nor substanial savings? :blink:

 

 

We all have dreams and when we apply ourselves to them I have noticed life tends to meet us half way...

 

Really? I've always wanted to be about 15 cm taller. Somehow positive thinking just hasn't helped...

 

 

have application for residency permit. **Should I wait until I get there to file for residency permit once I have that and a better base Auf Deutsch, what is the real likely hood of work permits** Also I many skills in home repair, building, general over all handy little builder I am...

 

First there are enough unemployed construction workers in Berlin. Second, with neither a work permit nor recognised German qualifications, you pretty much have no chance of finding work. Third, even on the off chance you find a position you have no chance of receiving a work permit (unless of course you get married). You might want to start by reading the wiki for more info before you plan your trip.

 

Note to Mods: This is not visa advice, this is a reality check :rolleyes:

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Being a designer in Berlin is like one big joke. It's like trying to find someone with black hair in China.

 

Good one. I'm a graphic designer and have never had a hard time finding work until I moved here. Still, given enough time, patience, savings, and resourcefulness, there is the possibility of making a living here. I've weathered most of the "just arrived" work difficulties and now have a decent amount of work and even more in the future. It's not impossible, just not easy.

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I never came here with a glint in my eye and the belief that Berlin was a cool place to be. I'm a cynic.

I was stupid enough to listen to the Germans around me and believe them when they said it would be no problem in getting work here.

But I never believed that it would be THIS tough to find work.

I'm applying for jobs I am easily overqualified for and find myself getting no replies at all. I think my CV must suck extremely badly to get ignored as much as I do.

 

I also have 3 years ESL teaching which I thought I could fall back on. Fat chance of that being any use in this city.

I could have 10 years ESL experience and shit educational DVDs and it wouldn't help me get work here.

Currently I work weekends in a private school who pay me very well (by teaching standards at least) and it's just enough to keep me in food.

But I'm tired of being unemployed with zero hope of ever getting a stable 9-5 job. I'm giving this place a few more months and then I'm probably going to leave.

I wanted to give this a go for the sake of my girlfriend, but there are limits to how long I can stay unemployed.

Exactly!! You hit the nail on the head!! :blink::huh: Im no expert nor a bitter person and i wont rant today... all im going to say is what i have said in the past... If you dont have a job skillset the 10,000 other People (Hans, Yavonne, and every bloody other idiot that just MUST live in Berlin.. nowhere else, just Berlin!) do not have, or is deemed a 'National Shortage' for example, nurses, engineers, old person helper, etc..and your German proficiency is not very good, then your options are pretty low at this point in time...

 

Berlins unemployment rate is somewhere in the neighborhood of 13% and you have an army of professional Harz IV (that come from all over Germany like a magnet to Berlin) so yes... i see your point and it is Damn hard sometimes being here....and there are truly limits to how long a person can feel useless....

 

 

I'm applying for jobs I am easily overqualified for and find myself getting no replies at all. I think my CV must suck extremely badly to get ignored as much as I do.

 

Its not you its just the reality of how it is here... supply and demand, too many people looking for work, and not enough jobs to go round..

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Its not you its just the reality of how it is here... supply and demand, too many people looking for work, and not enough jobs to go round..

 

Indeed. It's an employers market these days and they can ask for whatever they want and find it.

They could ask for a IT specialist who can do PHP, HTML and juggle flaming torches whilst riding a unicycle and they'd still get 1000 applicants.

 

My girlfriend is coming around to the idea that Berlin is not the great place she thought it would be.

Her mother languages are German and Russian, but she's also fluent in Chinese and English (obviously). But lets face it, 1/4 of people living in Berlin are Russian speakers from the ex-soviet states, so her language skills are pretty worthless.

 

She did attempt at getting into a few Chinese companies here, but lets just politely say that Chinese business is much different from western business. She had an internship at a Chinese company here in Berlin which didn't have a single paid employee. They ONLY hired interns for 6 months at a time and then got rid of them. All the profits went to the Chinese boss.

A pretty good scheme actually...

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[adminmerge][/adminmerge]

Hullo All,

 

As a newbie here just coming to grips with the whole layout of the place I first of all guess I should apologise if this topic has been done to death and is tedious and 'old hat'. So please go easy on me if I've just stuck this in completely the wrong place! (I'll learn)

 

So basically I thought that this would be a good place to put my feelers out and make some connections and hopefully get some advice from those older and wiser who know the ropes here in Berlin better than I.

 

I'm a 21 year old English Lit graduate, originally from Scotland. I've been living in Berlin since June where I've been working in series of dreadful mini-jobs from cleaning hotels to bar work and eventually working in a 'British' restaurant. Unfortunately I now find myself sans employment and I'm at a bit of a loose end. As wonderful as my sofa bed in p'berg is I'd rather not be scraping by on pfand money.

 

I've fallen in love with the place and returning home is just not an option, it seems there are no benefits available to me (understandable)and I realise I'm hindered by my lack of fluent German, but without a job I can't pay for classes and if I have a job I'm too busy for classes. Vicious cycle, but I can get by.

 

Anyway I ramble! If there's any advice you guys could give or if someone could point me in a direction I'm just not seeing I'd be very grateful indeed!

 

M. ;)

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I've fallen in love with the place and returning home is just not an option, it seems there are no benefits available to me (understandable)and I realise I'm hindered by my lack of fluent German, but without a job I can't pay for classes and if I have a job I'm too busy for classes. Vicious cycle, but I can get by.

It is one thing to fall in love with a city.. but if you cannot support yourself financially there, is that city a realistic option?... how about Frankfurt, or the Ruhr, or Münich, or Nürenburg, etc... think about it ;)

 

cheers..

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Hmmm... how about finding work elsewhere, save some money and then return to finish the studies while living off the savings? Because as Blue78 said, not leaving may NOT be an option if you're broke and there's no work.

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Have you considered going to grad school here? I think there are some good programs, but you would have to have been a stellar undergrad with high marks and good references, writing samples, etc. I would recommend this option to anyone like you with a humanities degree, otherwise maybe you can find a way to study German and enroll yourself a master's degree program for business or something where the classes are in English. Almost anywhere these days in the developed/first world an English Lit BA isn't going to get you much beyond those jobs you describe.

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They could ask for a IT specialist who can do PHP, HTML and juggle flaming torches whilst riding a unicycle and they'd still get 1000 applicants.

That's not the experience my employer is having. Getting good PHP programmers is particularly difficult at the moment in Berlin.

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Well, I think it also relates to who ends up in Berlin... I used to be a pretty good PHP programmer before I became an academic in Chinese history :P

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I also have 3 years ESL teaching which I thought I could fall back on. Fat chance of that being any use in this city.

I could have 10 years ESL experience and shit educational DVDs and it wouldn't help me get work here.

Currently I work weekends in a private school who pay me very well (by teaching standards at least) and it's just enough to keep me in food.

 

Is this at Inlingua because they have freelance opportunities I think?

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[adminmerge][/adminmerge]

Hello everyone.

My name is Daniel.I am 21 years old and currently finishing my third year of army service in Israel.

My girlfriend is German and she lives in Berlin but now she is volunteering in Israel. After i finish my service I want to come to Berlin and live with her.

I would be really happy if you give me some advise on how to stay and settle in Berlin. We dont really think of marrige now.

I would like to know what are the chances of finding any job in Berlin for an immigrant even if its shit shoveling job! ( ive read the forum and i know they arent big). Im ready to do all kind of work at the beggining. Because of long army service i dont got any qualification yet except for light truck driving license.

i can speak prettly fluent Russian,English and Hebrew.

My German is catching up pretty fast too.

I would really like to start studying in Germany later on.

 

I would appreciate any kind of help :)

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I would like to know what are the chances of finding any job in Berlin for an immigrant even if its shit shoveling job! ( ive read the forum and i know they arent big). Im ready to do all kind of work at the beggining. Because of long army service i dont got any qualification yet except for light truck driving license.

 

Read the entire thread with which your post has been merged and then also use the search function to find a few more. Without any qualifications your chances of finding a job are low and without a valid work permit they drop to pretty much zero.

 

If you have the funds (approximately 630 Euros/month) and meet the entry requirements, you can apply for a study permit (see the wiki for more info).

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