Moving to Frankfurt Germany

Hello Expats members,

My name is Elisha Hogue, and I am currently living in Chicago IL. My fiancé lives in Frankfurt and I am joining her soon. I do have some concerns in regards to finding work there. I am currently a Project coordinator in the telecommunication industry, and I am trying to find out how to obtain a job there without speaking german. I have applied to many positions there but always get denied. I have a bachelor degree with a concentration of project management, and in the process of obtaining my CAPM certification.

Is there any advice on how to find employment there without being speaking german ?

You have to disadvantages compared to other applicants:
- You are non-EU-citizen.
- And you don't speak German.
Thus you need some major advantages that more than compensates for this in the eyes of an employer. Just being certified project manager is not enough - they are a dime a dozen. Focus on areas where you have unique skills that the employer needs, but cannot find among Europeans.
And at the same time: Start learning German. Even though a beginners' class will not give you the communication skills you need fo working in Germany, it certainly shows the goodwill a potential employer might value.
Good luck!

Thank you very much for the information. It is most certainly helpful!

Like Beppi mentioned, the better your German, the better your chances. I would think that the big players in the telecommunication field will be your best options and this is a pretty limited number. There are also websites for job offerings in Germany. None are exclusively for English speaking positions but they will always mention if this is a possibility for a specific job. Otherwise, contact your targeted employers and try to pin them down as to if they ever have openings that fit to your skill set and language limitations. If you have already been rejected by the obvious candidates then you will either have to learn German to a professional level or get creative in your search and see if there aren’t other jobs you could do where English only is sufficient. There are areas of high tech, IT and advance science both in academia or research where this is possible. Maybe it would mean getting a further degree?

Anyway, the German employment office known as the Bundesagentur für Arbeit or Arbeitsamt should be able to give you advice once you have legal residency. Their website has an English version and even gives tips for people before they arrive.

I just posted this on another thread yesterday, so I will give the thread rather than repeating the link. … 57#4488582

Thank you for your guidance. I will have to do more research and expand my search looking for work. Your knowledge helped me understand that it is not easy to find work in Germany especially without knowing German.

Ehogue23 :

Thank you for your guidance. I will have to do more research and expand my search looking for work. Your knowledge helped me understand that it is not easy to find work in Germany especially without knowing German.

No it's not. Plenty of highly educated foreigners end up in Germany and get stuck stocking shelves in supermarkets, cleaning floors, doing gardening work etc.; crappy work for crappy pay. English language jobs are mostly in niche markets. Not that being a native English speaker is bad - as long as you also speak good German and maybe a few other languages...  I sometimes feel as if I might be too discouraging in my advice but we get a lot of people here with illusions of easy money for little effort, or people with good intentions and the will to work hard but lacking the skill set to find a good job. Most are simply never going to get a work visa anyway.

Marrying a German (assuming your fiancé is German?) will overcome that hurdle but one usually still needs to get a A1 or better German language certificate and not have a record of any serious crime. And assuming you arrive without work, your wife will have to earn enough and have a large enough accommodation for both of you.

If you are not familiar with all of the requirements you will face then I suggest you look at the English version of the German immigration authority (BAMF) website.

I most certainly understand. Sometimes the truth is the best for moving forward in life instead of false hope. That is why I really appreciate your knowledge and level of expertise in this. Yes my fiance is German and she's there now trying to connect me with some companies and people. I am also putting in a lot of effort but to be honest it is frustrating, and i am being patient with the process. The responses I have gotten from employers was that I don't fit for the position simply because I don't speak fluent german, and sometimes I think at what point my level of german someday may be good for employment opportunities. I speak English and Hebrew, I thought that would be okay. I even included in my CV that I am committed to learning german. To be honest the best way for me to learn german is by being and evolving in the culture, and I simply can not do that in Chicago. Too many english speakers. hahaha

Nope, Hebrew is not a big asset unless you happen to connect with some company associated with Israel. But being bilingual usually means that people can learn an additional language since their thinking is not limited to particular syntax. I think you will just have to go all out in your efforts; and like I said the Arbeitamt is the place to get help. But one’s ability to learn Germy varies wildly. In theory one can be at B1 level in 18 months or so which might just be enough for many jobs. But in reality many people fail to progress so fast unless they are super talented at learning a language and willing to put in a lot of time.  Learning German is the US is obviously difficult, one needs to be disciplined and perhaps to find a group where German speakers get together.

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