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Looking for a job as a Graphic Designer. Help!

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Hello there. 

I've been trying for a year, non-stop, to find a job as a graphic designer, but no luck.

I've been looking all over Germany, wherever there is an open position, I apply.  Most of them don't require German and they offer free classes.

I live in Macedonia currently, and I need a visa for the right to work. But that's obtained easily now, especially for professionals like me, with 6 years of experience, and a Bachelor's degree.

I always submit a CV, Cover Letter, and my portfolio. 

 

What don't I know, or am I not doing right? 

 

Please help! 

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23 minutes ago, mirush said:

I've been trying for a year, non-stop, to find a job as a graphic designer, but no luck.

 

Quote

What don't I know, or am I not doing right? 

 

What you don't know is probably that there is a surplus of graphic designers in Germany and most German employers prefer to employ graphic designers for dumping wages rather than sponsor work permits for foreigners at professional rates. 

 

You might want to read a few of @limu's old posts (British graphic designer who was trying to make ends meet in Berlin) .

 

 

 

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58 minutes ago, engelchen said:

 

What you don't know is probably that there is a surplus of graphic designers in Germany and most German employers prefer to employ graphic designers for dumping wages rather than sponsor work permits for foreigners at professional rates. 

 

You might want to read a few of @limu's old posts (British graphic designer who was trying to make ends meet in Berlin) .

 

 

I have had many interviews, with some of them I've gotten till the last phase, and then I get turned down. I even had a job offer back in September, but for some reason they ghosted me, and never sent me the contract.  I am ready to go onsite if necessary, and I don't mind covering the costs. 

I have also been applying for UI/UX, and it's the same response. 

Do you think if  I come to Germany and look for a job there, I'll have better chances?

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I think engelchen has already given you some very important information regarding your prospects, but if you want to persist you should give the employer dates for when you'll be in their city for an interview.

 

it doesn't matter if you are willing to cover the travel costs for an interview or not if they don't know that.  Slam dunk is if you will already be in town (from their perspective) so just try that and see what happens.  If you can manage to stay here while you search all the better.  

 

but to be clear:  it doesn't sound like your prospects are good given the industry and surplus of workers.

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Thanks for your responses. 

 

I had better hopes before this. I have friends that work in Berlin, and their experience has been positive. 

There is a job seeking visa that I want to apply for, and come there to look for a job, but I'm afraid I'd be spending my entire savings, to come there, and not find a job.

 

 

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31 minutes ago, mirush said:

Thanks for your responses. 

 

I had better hopes before this. I have friends that work in Berlin, and their experience has been positive.

 

And did you ever ask them how they got their jobs? And what they earn? From an external point of view, salaries may sound good, but given the costs in large German cities, this quickly becomes relative. What Engelchen says is true (as usual): graphic designers are not in short supply in Germany, salaries and especially starting salaries are very low. 

 

In UI/UX it looks a bit better, but your statement that most employers do not require German seems rather unlikely to me. I know a number of agencies and the working language is German throughout. And most agencies work for the German/German speaking market and German/German speaking clients or they adapt international campaigns for the German/German speaking market. 

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3 minutes ago, someonesdaughter said:

 

And did you ever ask them how they got their jobs? And what they earn? From an external point of view, salaries may sound good, but given the costs in large German cities, 

In UI/UX it looks a bit better, but your statement that most employers do not require German seems rather unlikely to me. I know a number of agencies and the working language is German throughout. And most agencies work for the German/German speaking market and German/German speaking clients or they adapt international campaigns for the German/German speaking market. 

 

They applied online, just like I'm doing. And one of them gets 3500 euros gross per month, which is not bad. 

 

When I say most companies don't require German, I mean that there are companies that advertise their jobs in English, and their employees are international, so the language of the company is English. A graphic designer can be employed in almost every company, it doesn't have to be an agency, and they don't have direct contact with the clients. 

 

But I guess, if I happen to come toe to toe with a German speaking, graphic designer, who eligible to work in Germany, of course I'm going to be turned down.

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Regarding the idea that UX design is a better bet: it could be, in theory, but given that an important aspect of the role is to conduct user experience tests and interviews, it's a bit difficult without excellent German skills. I only know one UX designer here who managed without German and it's only because there were plenty of German speakers on his team to gather the user feedback.

 

ie don't count on it.

 

ETA: as I suggested you don't need to be staying in Germany to swing something. I conducted my job search from the US by periodically planning trips for a week or two at a time. I'd then send batches of applications saying, among other things, "I'll be in your city during these dates and would like to arrange an interview at that time". My positive response rate increased quite a bit after that. For you, traveling from Macedonia, hell, I'd guess you could avoid even booking your travel til you were certain it would be worthwhile with a few confirmed interviews.

 

You don't need to "live" here while you search, just tell them when you're available to meet. At least start with that before you sink too much cash into the venture.

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Graphic Designers are way too limited in the scope of what they can do for a potential employer to Import somebody from eastern europe. Now offset Printers are in huge demand. So if you can show stellar Adobe and Printing skills you may have a Chance.

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On 24/12/2019, 11:12:13, mirush said:

I have also been applying for UI/UX, and it's the same response.

 

Its hard to hire good UX people in Berlin right now.  Logically that should mean its easy to find work. but I dont know for sure thats true.

 

On 24/12/2019, 11:12:13, mirush said:

Do you think if  I come to Germany and look for a job there, I'll have better chances?

 

Yes, undoubtedly.  Many applications get binned if they are from overseas, especially if they are uncertain of your language skills (english as well as german) and think you need them to pay relocation.  

 

On 24/12/2019, 13:25:54, mirush said:

There is a job seeking visa that I want to apply for, and come there to look for a job, but I'm afraid I'd be spending my entire savings, to come there, and not find a job.

 

This is a significant risk.  I have met no end or people (mostly in PR or project management) who came to Berlin, burnt their savings then left.

 

On 24/12/2019, 14:15:09, mirush said:

When I say most companies don't require German, I mean that there are companies that advertise their jobs in English, and their employees are international, so the language of the company is English.

 

UX and design is intimately connected with customer contact and discussion.  German language skills may be more important than the adverts say.

 

On 24/12/2019, 14:15:09, mirush said:

one of them gets 3500 euros gross per month, which is not bad.

 

Its around the blue card minimum, if they earned less they wouldnt have got a work permit.  In fact for most people thats too low, €53600 pa is the minimum for most roles.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, zwiebelfisch said:

 

Its around the blue card minimum, if they earned less they wouldnt have got a work permit.  In fact for most people thats too low, €53600 pa is the minimum for most roles.

 

The OP "only" has a bachelors degree.  This would presumably require him to get a work permit.

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Just seconding what a lot of people have already posted.  For UI/UX you need language skills  For graphic design, you need a great portfolio.  If you aren't getting interest, then work on your portfolio.  Also being onsite helps a lot.  It shows you are serious. 

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Hey guys, thanks for all your responses, much appreciated! 

Even though I lost hope a bit, I persisted with the job applications and I succeeded! I got a job offer today for a Graphic Designer position in Berlin, and I'm thinking of accepting.

 

I'm moving to Berlin!!! :lol:

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7 hours ago, mirush said:

Hey guys, thanks for all your responses, much appreciated! 

Even though I lost hope a bit, I persisted with the job applications and I succeeded! I got a job offer today for a Graphic Designer position in Berlin, and I'm thinking of accepting.

 

I'm moving to Berlin!!! :lol:

Yeah! At last a success story.

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5 hours ago, slammer said:

Yeah! At last a success story.

The company is located in Kreuzberg, so I should look for an apartment in that area for a shorter commute. 

 

How expensive can I go on rent, with a 35.000 euros gross per year starting salary? I know it's not too much, but it's a start, and I can always look for something better in the meantime. 

I believe after tax, I'd have around 2000 euros in hand, and I would like to save 800-1000 euros every month. Realistically, is it possible to cover my costs, and save? 

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How long is a piece of string? You need to calculate your budget based on your own lifestyle and habits. I think it's tough to get a landlord to accept you if rent goes past 30 percent of netto but not sure what the trend is in Berlin

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59 minutes ago, mirush said:

The company is located in Kreuzberg, so I should look for an apartment in that area for a shorter commute. 

 

How expensive can I go on rent, with a 35.000 euros gross per year starting salary? I know it's not too much, but it's a start, and I can always look for something better in the meantime. 

I believe after tax, I'd have around 2000 euros in hand, and I would like to save 800-1000 euros every month. Realistically, is it possible to cover my costs, and save? 

 

Hi Mirush,

 

you can use an online calculator like this one :  https://www.brutto-netto-rechner.info/  to calculate approx how much netto you will get, based on what you said and assuming Class 3 in Tax, no church tax, no kid, age approx 26 you will be left with around 2188 per month netto.

 

You should look for a rent around 30% like Lisa said or less. Be careful of the following:

- The price usually mentioned is the cold rent (kaltmiete), you should calculate the extra costs (heating, gas, water etc) called Nebenkosten. They can vary a lot between apartments (type of heating, energy efficiency of the building etc etc)

- It is tough to get an apartment when you are new in Germany

- Prepare to give 1-2 rents deposit in advance, and more than 1 to the Makler (real estate agent) costs

 

The following link will display current listings of appartments above 30 sqm, up to 650 euro cold rent within 5KM of Kreuzberg center:

https://www.immobilienscout24.de/Suche/radius/wohnung-mieten?centerofsearchaddress=Berlin;;;1276003001034;;Kreuzberg%20(Kreuzberg)&price=-650.0&livingspace=30.0-&geocoordinates=52.49837;13.39598;5.0&enteredFrom=one_step_search

you can play around with the filters for more exact results

 

If you want to live in a WG (shared apartment) you can also check here :  https://www.wg-gesucht.de/wg-zimmer-in-Berlin.8.0.1.0.html

 

- Transportation. If you don't have a car, depending on where your work will be located, maybe the best option is a monthly ticket payable per month, check f.ex here :  https://sbahn.berlin/en/tickets/all-tickets/weekly-monthly-annual-tickets/vbb-umweltkarte-subscription-ticket/ . Check with your company if they offer them or you can get it discounted  from them (some companies do)

 

- You should do a haftpflichtversicherung (Liability insurance) when you settle, it's a minor amount per year, but will help you a lot. There are people here in the Forum who can help you with that (John G, Starshollow, f.ex)

 

How much you can save depends on the rest expenses: TV,Internet, Phone, Mobile, Entertainment and your Grocery expenses.

 

Good luck !

 

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How expensive can I go on rent, with a 35.000 euros gross per year starting salary? I know it's not too much, but it's a start, and I can always look for something better in the meantime. 

 

Does your prospective employer have experience hiring foreigners? You might want to first see whether or not you can receive a work permit for that salary.

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13 minutes ago, Alexnf said:

Prepare to give 1-2 rents deposit in advance, and more than 1 to the Makler (real estate agent) costs

 

?

 

Maklers are no longer allowed to charge tenants a fee, aside from very special circumstances. Standard kaution is three months cold rent for an unbefristet lease. Asking for any sort of deposit to be paid before the lease commences is suspect.

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Thx Lisa, i didn't know that about the Makler, I remember paying a lot but that is almost 10 years ago.

You are also correct about 3 months Kaution is the maximum and probably what they will ask for, but in some cases they can ask for less, for some reason  I remembered it was less in Berlin but I checked and I was wrong.

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