Finding a job in Berlin

Finding a job in Berlin is definitely not one of the easiest things to do. Berlin, more than most other cities in Germany, has a lack of jobs in the industrial sector. This is due to its recent history, when the city was still divided. All western companies started to move to the south of Germany, where there were many qualified workers and political stability. Eastern companies were not run by economic standards, which put them behind in productivity.

In recent years, big German companies like Deutsche Bahn, Siemens and Daimler (Mercedes) started to open up branches and headquarters in the city, which brought in some highly qualified jobs but not enough to help bring down unemployment figures to a western German standard. The majority of jobs in Berlin nowadays are in the tourism or service sections.

Looking for jobs in Berlin

So when looking for a job in Berlin, whether just to get some extra cash to finance your studies or to hang out in the city for a while, be prepared to spend some time searching and picking from lots of badly paid jobs. However, the bright side is that Berlin is a young and modern capital, and you will not need to speak any German at all to work in one of the many restaurants, bars or hostels around town.

If you are looking for a qualified job that not only pays your rent but also leaves you with some money at the end of each month, then you will have a much harder time finding something. Due to the recent history mentioned above, Berlin lacks in well paid jobs, unless you are working for the German or any other foreign government.

Xing – business network

Ever heard of the expression ‘Vitamin B’? ‘Vitamin B’ stands ‘Vitamin Beziehung’ which means that connections are the most important thing in business. Almost half of all jobs are given to people with a direct connection to the company/ person responsible for the hiring process. Therefore it is very important to be on Xing, the biggest business network in Germany. Make sure to create an account from start and keep your Xing profile up to date. Many times Germans only use Xing and not Linkedin.

Startup jobs Berlin

Berlin recently became the European hub for start ups. Many well known internet companies, like Groupon (Citydeal), Ebay (Germany), Zalando, and Brands for Friends have started out as small companies and have grown to become major brands, with hundreds of employees in their Berlin headquarters.

The main reasons for start ups being based in Berlin are its relatively cheap costs of living, and the great amount of international people who are looking for jobs and are willing to work for low wages.

So if you have just recently moved to Berlin and are looking for a job in Berlin, your best chance will be either working in the tourism and service sector, or in one of the countless start ups based in Berlin.

Most of the start ups advertise their jobs online on their webpage, or on websites about start ups like Gruenderszene and Deutsche-Startups. You will also find many job fairs and conventions about topics such as online marketing and programming. Just keep your eyes open and you will find the right job for you.

Finding jobs Online

The most convenient way to find a job in Berlin is definitely to check out the most known job websites, like Monster.de and Stepstone.de. On these websites you will be able to find all kinds of jobs in and around Berlin.

Another bonus is that they are easy to navigate and you can filter for the jobs you are really interested in and qualified for. Instead of looking for companies and visiting each individual website looking for jobs, you can simply go to job portals like Monster and Stepstone, and search for the type of job you are looking for, or carry out a search based on the skills you have, e.g. ‘english teacher’ or ‘part time assistant’.

These websites will then bring up search results from hundreds of companies, making your research much quicker and easier. All you have to do is read through the results and pick out the jobs you are interested in finding out more about.

Jobs for EU citizens

If you are from the European Union, you are allowed to work in Berlin without any formal permission. For people without an European passport, the situation is slightly more complicated.

The best thing to do is check out the regulations for your country on your respective government’s website. Generally, the rule is that you need to find a job in Berlin that no German/European citizen is able to carry out better than you.

Then you can apply for a working visa, which is linked to this job specifically. That means that when you want to change jobs, you might need to apply for a visa again.