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Any Poles who have lived and worked in Germany recently?

21 Jul 2013 #1
Hello world

Just wondering if anyone would care to share their experiences living and working in Germany and offer some tips or advice.

I am Polish-Australian and planning to visit Poland in a couple of weeks. Part of my trip will be sorting out my Polish citizenship application through my lawyer in Krakow and visiting Germany to explore the job market and hopefully make a few contacts.

I have over 10 years experience working in telecommunications in various positions but most recently I was contracted to an IT company working in the financial division uncovering and resolving revenue and cost leakage issues. I do not have any formal qualifications.

I am currently in the process of setting up my Linked-in profile and my HR consultant friend tailoring my resume so it looks professional. In my spare time I am teaching myself German but still have a long way to go. I have a good friend in Austria who helps me a lot.

Apart from my work credentials, I will be relying on my ingenuity to market myself as well as my personality, attitude and charm to impress my prospective employer.

If I fail to land a job or the process proves too difficult then I can always return to Sydney and re-evaluate my options.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to your responses :)


Zibi - | 336
21 Jul 2013 #2
One thing that transpires from your post is: you are scared. But willing to face the unknown at the same time. You will do just fine if you have the skills and have friendly attitude. Smile does wonders!
OP Louis75
21 Jul 2013 #3

Thank you very much for your response and for boosting my optimism just a little bit more. I will give it my best shot :)

Cheers Zibi.
Wroclaw Boy
21 Jul 2013 #4
Its a shame that we are forced to such lengths in the pursuit of money to live.

This may help Louis, maybe they have something similar for Oz citizens:
Monitor 14 | 1,817
22 Jul 2013 #5
Its a shame that we are forced to such lengths in the pursuit of money to live.

I don't think that she's moving because of money. From my knowledge Australia is doing great right now, and she will not be offered in Germany better salary because Australian salaries are higher than German and in Germany it's very useful to know their language.

As for tips. I live in Munich and from personal experience and what I've heard/ read in the richest German cities.
it's quite normal that it's harder to find apartment than job. (provided that you don't want to pay 50% higher rent than average - no exaggeration here).

Because your interest are finances then your possibilities are restricted to international companies which use English at work only. I know people working in finances without perfect German knowledge, but it's not an average, so If you don't want do land in some ****** job, then maybe rethink if Germany is good place to work. Or maybe don't imply that you must find a job there and treat your job hunting time there as vacation, from which you can always come back.

Other tips:
- In Germany is more popular than - have accounts in both.
- Berlin is NOT the richest city and it's NOT the easiest place to find a job
- of course it has sense to learn the language, but for employer average knowledge will equal no knowledge of German.
- you write that "I do not have any formal qualifications." so try gathering some papers which could prove your experience

good luck
OP Louis75
23 Jul 2013 #6
Excellent advice and tips Monitor, much appreciated.

By the way, I am a guy.

Thanks again.
Wlodzimierz 4 | 539
23 Jul 2013 #7
I'd like to second Monitor's salient observation in point three; a foreigner's merely average knowledge of German equals no knowledge. While this is essentially the polar opposite of, say the US, where even knowing the barest basics (with an impenetrable accent to boot!) will get one by, Germans are typically impressed only by expert technical expertise in a specific field, plus the prerequisite language skills needed to explain it. If all the foreigner knows is how to say "hello", "thank you", "Where's the railway station?", the German partner will probably just as well use English:-)

Monitor, a follow-up comment. Does the German government yet require foreign employees and/or students within the Federal Republic to pass a "language exam" (Spracheigungspruefung) in order to be allowed to work as well as complete higher education in that country? I thought I read once that it was going to be (or indeed already was) mandatory.

Please clarify:-)
Monitor 14 | 1,817
23 Jul 2013 #8
By the way, I am a guy.

Sorry, I will know now :)

Does the German government yet require foreign employees and/or students within the Federal Republic to pass a "language exam"

No they don't. How would that comply with freedom of movement in the EU?
Wroclaw Boy
23 Jul 2013 #9
Why are you moving Louis?
OP Louis75
23 Jul 2013 #10
Hi WB,

There are a few reasons but the main ones are change of scene, to be close to my relatives, improve my language skills, explore business opportunities (mainly Poland but will keep an open mind) and to do a lot more skiing.

Wlodzimierz 4 | 539
24 Jul 2013 #11
Thought I'd read some years back that Germany was one of the countries within the EU that wanted to mandate language competency in the German language as bare minimum prerequisite for employment as well as study in the FRG.

I see I was mistaken:-)

As it is, do YOU as a German national believe that such a test/exam would necessarily "limit" freedom of movement within the EU? If so, how then? I'm merely curious! Thanks

Frankly, if there isn't in fact such a language test as the type I described, I bloody well think there should be! We in the US let every Tom, Dick and Harry over our borders.Maybe we should do as Canada has been doing for years; give each new applicant for immigration an IQ as well as a national language test. This would certainly weed out the mentally feeble along with the just plain unqualified.

Not that there's anything wrong with being mentally feeble. Yet, shouldn't first crack at accommodation through job search etc. be given to the mentally able first? Furthermore, if there's no language standard, there's no communication standard either:-)
TheOther 6 | 3,664
26 Jul 2013 #12
...Germany was one of the countries within the EU that wanted to mandate language competency in the German language as bare minimum prerequisite for employment as well as study

Not for employment, but for admission to many German universities:

"At many German universities and further-education institutions, foreign applicants with a Goethe-Zertifikat C1 are exempted from the language entrance test." uage-level-a1-a2-b1-b2-c1-and-c2-mean.html
Wlodzimierz 4 | 539
26 Jul 2013 #13
Hmmm,... interesting.
Honestly had no idea. Guess I'll have to do my level best to remain more au courant:-)
Monitor 14 | 1,817
26 Jul 2013 #14
Not for employment, but for admission to many German universities

And it doesn't apply to courses taught in English.
26 Jul 2013 #15
It's like that in any country, including in the US since foreigners are tested in local language before enrolling in a school. Of course, German is not demanded in order to work in Germany, I know plenty of Poles (for instance) working there and not knowing more than 5 words in German. Stop believing all the crap found on the net....
Wlodzimierz 4 | 539
26 Jul 2013 #16
And that, Polforeigner, is a mistake of the German government! If we require English, albeit ANY kind of English, in order to live and work here in the US, why then shouldn't the Federal government of Germany do the same for Geman, their national and native tongue?? How can one survive in another country without knowing how to communicate in the target language? Expecting Germans to automatically switch to broken English is as presumptuous as expecting all Brits or Yanks in their respective countries to automatically switch to "highschool" German, as an example! It's nice to know more than one language, yet oughtn't the guest accommodate the host??

Think we all know the answer to that silly question!
Monitor 14 | 1,817
26 Jul 2013 #17
In Europe is not so simple like in America which has just 1 language - the most popular language in the world. So every country should decide between quality and quantity. Meaning another requirements = less immigrants. And Germany needs immigrants, because it has one of the oldest population in the world. And even that they have one of the highest percentage of immigrants in the world since 40 years number of people living there is 80 millions.

And Germans require minimum knowledge of the language from Asylum seekers. They get for free 600 x 45min course where they should learn German at B1 level. If they fail, then they repeat. That's requirement for getting some permit to stay I think. They also provide free reading/writing courses for people from Afghanistan for example.
Wlodzimierz 4 | 539
26 Jul 2013 #18
"And Germans require a minimum knowledge of the language from asylum seekers.."

Well, let's be thankful for small favors, shall we! Indeed they damned well should, shouldn't they. In the end, that's seems to me the very least the latter can do for the German state allowing them to come to, work/live and stay in Germany:-)

When visiting Germany last during the end of the '90's, beginning of the millenium, I encountered in Berlin numerous Turkish-owned-and-run establishments (usually tailor shops) whose personnel spoke little to NO German whatsoever. I found this both irritating as well as frustrating. Was I supposed to address them in Turkish, considering none of them even understood English??

Imagine then the vaunting frustrations of the average German citizen feeling like a stranger in their own country!

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