Where to find English-speaking jobs in Berlin?
February 25, 2011 8:38 PM   Subscribe

Help! Where should I look for work as an English-speaker in Berlin?

I'm Canadian and I just received my official youth mobility visa to work in Germany for one year! I'll be moving to there in May and I need to find a job!! English is my native language, and I speak fluent French, but my German language skills are minimal.

Teaching English is an obvious, but probably difficult route. I've got a good job lead for doing online ESL training, however I have no experience in this field and accept that it might not work out. I have a Bachelor's degree in an unrelated field. My job experience is mainly in web design and marketing, retail, and administration.

I'd appreciate any leads on companies that might hire English speakers in Berlin. So far, I know that eBay, Bombardier, and Nokia are potential places. Anywhere else that I could try to find work? Thanks in advance for your help!
posted by exquisite_deluxe to Work & Money (7 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I can't help you with specific companies, but you should definitely be looking on the ad boards. I would think you could find something in the web design or retail field.
Monster is the most obvious place to start.
After that, you can try The Local, Jobs in Berlin, Xpat Jobs and ELJ Europe. Most of these sites allow you to post your CV, and I highly recommend you do so. My experience (in France) is that companies really do look at them and get in touch if they're interested.

Odd and interesting things turn up on Craigslist.
You could also try Toytown, an English e-zine based in Germany. It's associated with The Local.
There are probably more ex-pat internet goodies out there if you Google around.

Enjoy Berlin, it's an amazing city.
posted by Paris Elk at 11:40 PM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Maybe French companies that do a lot of business in Germany need random office people?
posted by mdonley at 12:01 AM on February 26, 2011

You can add yourself to the jobs wanted page of Exberliner. Be aware that (a) good, if not fluent, English is not a rare skill in Berlin, many many Berliners speak it very well, and (b) unemployment in Berlin is much higher than the German average.
posted by londongeezer at 2:27 AM on February 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

The cost of living is low, but unemployment is high in Berlin, particularly among the English-speaking community. Learn German. You can get further than you think between now and May.
posted by caek at 2:31 AM on February 26, 2011

This isn't Berlin-specific, but don't forget
- au pair pages (in France a lot of au pairs are English speakers on one-year visas)
- hostels (yes) and hotels (maybe)
- Canadian joints; in Paris there is at least one Canadian bar, and certainly there are clubs for Canadian expats that may be able to help another Canadian get settled
- look at your University alumni lists for others living in Berlin or Germany, and seeing if they know anything available.

This is about LEGWORK and you have to do it. Tell people you have a date for availability. Start taking a German course so you can say in interviews that you are actively studying German.

Also, don't forget to consider locations outside of Berlin. There is a big, big country surrounding it, and you may get more in culture and language skills by being in a less cosmopolitan, trendy city.
posted by whatzit at 6:29 AM on February 26, 2011

A lot of people I know got jobs working in a bar or hostel when they first came here. Those are pretty much the only two industries that are booming in Berlin. Otherwise you can try to put out ads in the paper advertising yourself as an English teacher/tutor, which is what I did, and within a few weeks I had a couple of students.
posted by creasy boy at 1:32 PM on February 26, 2011

Try the university. I used to get a lot of work proof-reading academic papers and book manuscripts for professors when I lived in Germany. But it won't pay a living wage, so you'll need to combine it with something else. Making the initial contacts might help you get recommended for other things, though.
posted by lollusc at 6:04 PM on February 26, 2011

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