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Jobs & Business in Germany

We all know the stereotypes about Germans and their work ethic. And how it supposedly comes at the price of nearly complete humorlessness. While surely every stereotype is rooted in reality to some extent, memorizing stereotypes should not be your only preparation for Germany’s business world.

If you are not in the lucky, almost privileged position to have been referred to Germany by your employer in your home country, there is much work to do. Finding a job in Germany from abroad takes quite a bit of preparation. Getting a good overview of the general state of the German job market and the options it offers for expats should always be the first thing to tackle after you have made your decision of becoming an expat in Germany. You should also find out where best to look for employment – not only geographically, but also in regard to resources. Different job portals and newspaper ads cater to different audiences, and you might waste your time if you do not pick the right medium from the start.

Applications

If you have found a job you’d like to apply for, you are ready to make your first foray into German business culture, a step you might find easy to deal with, confusing, or overwhelming, depending on your level of preparation and the business practices in your country of origin. German employers and their HR departments can be very particular when it comes to applications – our article on the topic should get you up to speed. One advice that seems to always help when preparing expats for the German business world: when in doubt, go for the more formal option. This will not only help you with your applications.

German Business Culture

German business etiquette is also rather formal, given you are not employed with a young startup company or in the IT industry; the atmosphere there is rather casual by design. Any environment with rather strict rules and rituals is obviously a breeding ground for social and professional faux pas. This includes everyday communication at the workplace, table manners and etiquette at business lunches, and even socializing with colleagues. However, with a little guidance in the form of our article on German business culture, close observation of your coworkers and their behavior, and adopting your findings to your own routine, you should be doing just fine in a matter of days within starting your job in Germany, if not sooner.

InterNations Expat Magazine