As an American, one of the challenges you are likely to face when you find yourself in Germany is securing a befitting job. This is usually because most of the top recruiters in Germany typically prefer someone with an EU passport. It can even get more complicated if you do not understand basic German. However, we would like you to know that getting a job in Germany as an American is very possible. In fact, it is something you can achieve within days of landing in Deutschland. And to help you in achieving this, we have come up with some essential tips we think you should follow:
Learn German: Your German proficiency is typically one of the major criteria most recruiters look for in foreigners’ applications. You are required to at least be able to write and speak the German language up to the business level. Thankfully, learning the German language has become less complex these days. With apps like Duolingo, Memrise, Babbel and much more, you can become proficient in German within a very short period from the comfort of your home. Fortunately, you do not have to spend a dime to make use of some of these apps. Preferably, you can enroll at one of the Goethe-Institut tutorial centers around you.
- Be highly skilled: Are you an expert in your field? Or are you certain you have extensive practical knowledge? If yes, then we assure you that you will easily get a job in Germany. The truth is Germany cherishes highly skilled workers a lot. In fact, the country provides a separate type of work visa known as the EU Blue card for certain categories of skilled workers such as IT specialists, Scientists, Medical professionals, Engineers, Architects, etc. This special type of work visa will allow you to qualify for permanent residency within a very short time. Thus, we advise you to upgrade your skills if you are serious about securing a job in Germany.
- Check if your current company has an office in Germany: Before you decide to take that move to Germany, make sure that you check if your current company has an office in Germany. If yes, you should research on the requirements needed to secure an internal transfer to the Germany office. Qualifying for the transfer will save you the stress of searching for jobs when you reach Germany. However, it is pertinent that you take note of the type of contract your current firm offers when it comes to such transfers. This can vary from a fixed (1-3 years) contract to a flexible contract (based on your preference).
- Get connected: It is vital that you try to network with individuals living in Germany, even before you make your trip. If possible, ensure that these people work in the same field as yours. A lot of foreigners were able to secure their desired jobs even before they arrive at the country through networking. Apart from the jobs, your new friends can also help you in settling down once you land. LinkedIn can come handy in this regard.
- Start the job hunting from America: Your job hunting should ideally begin immediately you decide to make the trip to Germany. You can subscribe to job portals like Monster, StepStone, Kununu, Xing, Jobborse, etc. To improve your application success, you can inform the interviewers that you are prepared to foot your travel and relocation bills, should in case they find you worthy of a job offer.
- Get a visa: It is not compulsory that you get a visa before you can come to Germany. All you are required to do is apply for a residence permit from your local Alien’s Authority. This permit will also serve as the work permit. Your application will be typically reviewed within one to three months. However, to secure the residence permit, you are required to meet certain requirements for employment in Germany. You can choose to either apply before you travel or after you arrive in the country.
IN A NUTSHELL
How successful your job hunt will be when you get to Germany, will be basically up to you. However, to evaluate your chances, you should contact the German Embassy nearest to you. They should be able to tell you if you are eligible to work in Germany and how easily you can find a job.