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

1,064 posts in this topic

 

I know this is an older thread, but I still felt the need to respond.

goody.

 

 

I am still looking for an "English speaking" job in this city that matches my qualifications and experience.

why? Especially in light of this:

 

 

I am married to a German and have been living in Berlin for nearly 5 years.

If you are married to a German and have made Germany your home, why don't you get a leg up on your competition and actually, oh, learn the language? It is very difficult to understand someone going to a foreign country, then complaining (or even just "noticing" or "commenting upon") that there are not enough jobs in their specific field in their specific language. I don't want to accuse you of having a false sense of entitlement, because I don't know you personally, but the way you've put that across here sounds as if you're somehow, almost, surprised, that in Germany, specialized English-speaking jobs might be hard to come by.

 

 

The market is simply swamped with English speaking expats all attempting to live the "dream" life in this cheap and sometimes charming city.

The city is full of hipsters who are bored with their home countries but will eventually move back, because they are unwilling to attempt to integrate e.g. not learning the language well enough to be competitive in their respective fields; never really thinking of it as home, etc.

 

*cough*

 

 

If it wasn´t for some serious personal circumstances, I would most likely move to another place.

Lots of people are in that situation. The ones who lead the most fulfilling lives are probably those who do as much as they can to achieve their goals here, rather than dreaming about how much more opportunity they'd have had in their homelands.

 

 

Also ... try not to drive up the prices if at all possible :-)! If you have savings, or family here that can help you, or can qualify to live on the dole, maybe Berlin can become "home" for you as it has for so many others.Finally, allow me to apologize for some of the folks who post rather often on TT. Not all of us are like them ... as I hope this post revealed.Cheers

 

1. How can one person not drive up prices? What are you on about?

2. Yes, yes, more people should come here and live on the dole. What are you on about?

3. Who are you expecting to impress by claiming, if I may paraphrase, not to be like the rest of the pessimistic assholes on this board?

4. What are you on about?

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Ya know, there's only 3 million people here in the capital of the most prosperous country on the continent. How hard can it really be?

 

The problem as explained to me by a ceo: It's too easy to fail in Berlin. Give a half-assed try, fail, and hang around because it's easy and cheap, and just being here makes one hip and cool even if one is doing nothing. Berlin deserves better.

 

As the COL rises the cruft will be increasingly driven away, and the poor but talented will become wealthier.

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@dessa dangerous:

 

Your post and its tone seems to illustrate that you match your profile very well. It´s good to be consistent.

 

If you must know I have attempted to learn the language, but have greatly struggled. I still try though and although I know enough to get around, I don´t know enough to compete in the German workplace ... not yet at least ... but I can still try.

 

In terms of your other comments, if you´d like to PM me, or even meet for coffee sometime, I would be glad to share with you my plight which has led me to be a bit pessimistic regarding my personal experience in Berlin. Until that time ... peace out.

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what the... do I want to have coffee with you? Why on earth would you want to have coffee with a pessimistic, naysaying jerk like me?

 

I don't "must know" anything about you. You dragged up a year-old topic and, out of the blue, completely unsolicited, decided to grace us with the fruits of your wisdom and experience. Now you're upset that you've been misunderstood. ferchristsake.

 

I'll pass on the coffee this time, for your sake. No thanks.

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@dessa dangerous:

 

Thanks for the compassion and understanding -- even on a topic that is a year old. Have a great evening :rolleyes: !

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5 years is a long time not to succeed in learning a language if you have really been trying. Have you been taking courses? I suggest you stop speaking English completely. Then it will happen faster.

 

My best German teachers have been the parents of my friends because they don't speak a word of English. When I am talking to them and don't know a word, I just have to improvise. It is funny how a word somebody tells you after you spent 5 minutes trying to explain what you mean will stick in your mind a lot better than a word you are told after you quickly switch over to English.

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@LeonG:

 

Yeah ... it is a long time, but I personally struggle with German big time. I have taken several classes at good institutes and even have a B1 certificate, but that´s only a piece of paper. I actually perform at probably an A1 or A2 level realistically. I guess I simply have to try more. Thanks for the learning tips. I have tried to speak only German with my wife, but the task has proven to be somewhat difficult since -- once again -- my level is quite low and her level of English is near perfect I think. Anyway ... no excuses here ... just attempting to explain my personal situation. Thanks again.

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Speaking English with your wife is the problem then. When you speak English to the person you talk to the most, how is your German going to get any better? Just stop. Talk to her in German from now on or at least always on weekdays or something. At first your communication may be stone age but you will learn quickly.

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I suspect your wife's English proficiency is part of the problem. But convince her to speak German only with you for several months at least, because it looks like it might be your only option at this point. Watch the German news. Watch German action shows on TV (but nothing dubbed; that'll just piss you off).

 

The important thing is that you ask your wife to correct your mistakes, and that you repeat it the right way. I promise you that at some point, sooner or later, your mental blocks will dissolve and you'll just get it. All you need to do is swallow your pride, preferably together with copious amounts of alcohol.

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relationaltruth, maybe I missed it but you didn't mention what sort of qualifications and work experience you have. If we know that we may be able to suggest a potential niche for you.

 

Normally I would advise a male with a relatively basic level of German to contact Leiharbeitsfirmen because there is a much smaller pool of people willing to do moderately physical work on a night shift, but I don't know if that applies to Berlin as well as it does to Munich.

 

It also seems to me that your wife should be assisting you on your job search- doesn't she have contacts?

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Normally I would advise a male with a relatively basic level of German to contact Leiharbeitsfirmen because there is a much smaller pool of people willing to do moderately physical work on a night shift, but I don't know if that applies to Berlin as well as it does to Munich.

 

I'm not sure either, however, an easy way for him to find out would be by asking the companies directly at the job fair in Berlin today. I have found that representatives at fairs are much more likely to give an honest assessment (and you can sometimes just gauge their opinion by looking at their facial expressions).

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I suspect your wife's English proficiency is part of the problem. But convince her to speak German only with you for several months at least, because it looks like it might be your only option at this point. Watch the German news. Watch German action shows on TV (but nothing dubbed; that'll just piss you off).

 

The important thing is that you ask your wife to correct your mistakes, and that you repeat it the right way. I promise you that at some point, sooner or later, your mental blocks dissolve and you'll just get it. All you need to do is swallow your pride, preferably together with copious amounts of alcohol.

 

Just like relational truth I have struggled with learning the language. I've taken many German courses over the last 14 years and I'm still not proficient in the language.

 

My husband speaks fluent German and is fluent in three other languages. Although he's helped me some with my German, I can't and don't rely on him to teach me a lot about the language. From time to time he'll tell me different things about the language that's helpful.

 

When we're watching German T.V. or if we are out and about he will help with me with words I don't understand. Or if I have a letter that needs to be translated he'll help me or if I ask him what a German word means he'll tell me.

 

At home we speak only English. But occasionally I'll speak some German for his amusement.

 

Fortunately, my work here doesn't require me to be fluent in the language.

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I'm not sure either, however, an easy way for him to find out would be by asking the companies directly at the job fair in Berlin today. I have found that representatives at fairs are much more likely to give an honest assessment (and you can sometimes just gauge their opinion by looking at their facial exp​ressions).

 

Excellent tip. Since you have a background in economics I am pretty sure you recognized the supply/demand aspect of my suggestion.

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I am pretty sure you recognized the supply/demand aspect of my suggestion.

 

Yes, however, I am not too sure if regular economic theory applies in Berlin (wages don't really seem to be sticky and yet despite high unemployment, workers keep moving here :blink: .) If it were possible to find some accurate data, the labour market in Berlin would be a fascinating research topic.

 

Seriously, I think that the demand for unskilled labour in Berlin is much lower than in Munich because we don't have much in the way of industry and unemployment is already high. With Munich at pretty much full employment, I don't think that employers can afford to be that picky there. However, I regularly see ads for blue collar jobs in Berlin paying only about 6.20€/hr, but requiring "gute Deutschkenntnisse".

 

On the other hand, the supply of labour, especially workers who can't speak much (or very often any) German, sometimes seems to be bordering infinite.

 

@RelationalTruth

 

JobsAG are looking for native English speakers to work in call centres. The pay is only about 7.50€/hr, but for some of the positions German is not required.

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Good points, engelchen, but even with the paucity of industry, it still seems to me that there should be a significant logistics sector in Berlin, one where trucks have to be loaded up at night so the drivers can be dispatched early in the morning for local deliveries. My guess is that a significant number of people who move to Berlin without job prospects wouldn't be caught dead doing such unglamorous work, which is paid more for a night shift, IIRC, and some of them probably don't have visas that allow them to work for any employer. There has to be some work for which the supply of labor isn't infinite because of the working hours and people getting dirty or having to lift things as part of the job. Anything at least moderately physical already reduces the supply of unskilled labor, and, if needed, a top-up via Hartz IV would be available to relational truth.

 

I did warehouse work as a teenager- it's not that bad.

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I did manpower work although not in Berlin but if you were to look at zag.de and locate Berlin, you always find some openings there. I suppose Berlin falls under the old east so the tariff for most of the manpower agencies would be going up to 7.01€ an hour on November 1st. In the west it is 7.79 and about to go up to 7.89. Night shift pays 25% extra.

 

It is not a lot of money but enough to live off if you are single, otherwise you can top up with H4. I think you are right though that a lot of people wont be caught dead doing that. You still need basic German though.

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