Germany is a popular expat destination, offering an attractive labour market with one of the lowest unemployment rates in the EU. Most job openings arise in the South of Germany in Baden Württemberg and Bavaria, as well as in the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan area – namely in Stuttgart, Munich, Frankfurt and Hamburg.
What is it like to work in Germany?
Most work contracts are based on 40 hours per week while some companies may even reduce to 35 hours weeks. On average the Germans work 41,4 hours a week.
In Germany you are eligible to at least 24 days of holiday per year. However, many companies offer 30 days of leave.
Income tax up to 45% seems rather high compared to other European countries but the relation between salaries and living costs tends to be more favourable. Germany is known for its great social security, namely very good health insurance, child support and unemployment insurance.
On average, full time salaries are around 32,000 EUR yearly (gross).
EU-EEA citizens can easily find information about employment in Germany through their national employment agencies or through European employment bodies, like EURES, for instance.
Non-European Union nationals
To obtain a work permit in Germany it is highly advised to get a work contract or a valid job offer from abroad. It is particularly difficult to find a job in Germany from abroad due to complex procedures. For more information about job offers in Germany, visit websites such as that of the chamber of commerce of your home country established in Germany.
Finding a job in Germany
Finding a job in Germany starts with online research, as in most European countries. However, make sure to prepare your CV following the local requirements and consider translating your resume and cover letter into German. Some employers may prefer a complete application folder (Bewerbungsmappe).
Submit your CV on job search portals or contact online recruiting agencies. Consider sending unsolicited applications (Initiativbewerbung), use specialized press, local agencies and professional networks.
Punctuality is very important and business meetings mostly start on time. Similarly, the dress cose is often important and can be rather conservative, though some companies go for a casual Friday.
A strong hierarchy, structure and rules mark work life. This may result in slow decision processes on the way to finding a solution, but it also avoids uncertainty.
It is important to focus on your task. The completion of projects tends to be detail oriented and accuracy may be favoured over speed.
Stick to direct and rather formal communication, addressing Mr. (Herr) or Mrs. (Frau). Short and firm handshakes are the most typical greeting, and you should maintain eye contact. Relationships or friendships at work are less important, as Germans tend to separate private life from business and don’t talk much about their private life during business hours.
The Local www.thelocal.de
Linked In www.linkedin.com
American chamber of commerce in Germany www.amcham.de
British Chamber of commerce in Germany www.bccg.de