A question that I get asked a lot is “Can I find a job in Berlin without speaking German?”.
Indeed it’s a question that I asked myself many a time before moving here.
I firmly believe that learning German is an integral part to experiencing life here.
Being able to interact with and understand the world around you makes a world of difference.
I can however sympathise with those who speak little to no German.
I’ve worked with people who have recently arrived in Berlin or simply plan to move on to another country in the near future who needed an income.
Many would perhaps think of Berlin as a city crying out for workers, a power house of traditional and high tech industries.
Berlin however suffers from a high unemployment rate of 10.7% against a national average of 7.4% as of August 2015.
The truth is finding work is possible you do however have to be realistic in your expectations.
In my previous life I was self-employed, running a computer support company for 5 years.
I jumped into the job search open minded, I simply wanted an income so that I was’t reliant on my savings.
A casual online search lead me to a vacancy at a call centre tech support role and within two weeks of commencing my search I was employed.
The office language was English, our customers calling from the UK and even our keyboards being of a UK layout.
I have many non-German speaking friends here in Berlin many of which I met at work who have moved on to other English speaking jobs.
All of them however have been in the customer service or sales role.
The call centre gave me a steady income and introduced me to such eclectic and interesting colleagues who are now friends.
The big call centres tend to have a large staff turnover which can be viewed as good or bad.
Good because vacancies can be plentiful on the other hand bad because there’s a reason people are leaving.
Wages are generally low and the work mundane with high expectations for the compensation.
My tip if you land such a job is not to take it personally.
Use it as a foundation and as a motivation to learn German and develop you new life.
Berlin has an ever growing Start Up scene that can’t be ignored by English speaking job seekers.
Many offering alternative, interesting and hip ways in which to work.
A good friend of mine started working for a start up with a large investment behind it.
After an ever increasing recruitment drive the companies fortunes appeared to have changed as almost the whole UK market team was let go.
Whilst I don’t want to throw a downer on the Start Ups I believe that it’s important to remember that they can be volatile.
I needed to provide the following to my employers before I was able to sign my life away on paper:
1.) Registration document Anmeldung.
3.) Details of my German bank account.
4.) Proof of my health insurance coverage. This can be requested from your health insurance.
I will be expanding on finding work and how important it was for me in establishing a social life in Berlin.
I hope this brief post helps, please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions.