I am on an extended visit to Europe from Canada. While here I'm spending a portion of my time seeing whether there are job opportunities in Munich. I have 23 years of experience building software professionally, 18 of which have been as a self-employed software consultant. My skill-set is most certainly in demand in Canada, America, Singapore, and Hong Kong. But in Munich the messages I often get are:
1. You need reference letters for every bit of work you've ever had since you started working.
2. Unless you have lengthy periods of employment with large companies, you'll never get a job here.
As for #1, I don't know any person over 30 in North America who sought & got such letters beyond the early days of their career. Furthermore, I don't know of ANY entrepreneur/consultant in North America who would ever ask a client for such a letter.
If #2 is true then all folks like me better not waste any time looking in Germany.
I would love to get feedback from expats in Munich about your thoughts on these things!