We have been back home in Munich for about 6 months now. I have to admit that I did not start looking for a permanent job right away. First you need to get all your papers updated and aligned, in order to even start presenting yourself in the most correct and professional way. And yes, this is hard work! My CV had to be “adjusted” according to the German standards. The last time I sent out a German application was about 10 years ago. Meanwhile I have learned how a Danish application and CV should look like. So I took the Danish version and used this as my foundation, and then I translated everything into German. I upgraded the layout and after many, many hours of work I sent it to a few German friends for feedback and corrections. There is quite a few differences between Germany and Denmark! Not exactly big ones. They are rather “refined” and it is really about the tiny (but important) details. Like exact dates/years and exact locations of your previous employers. I corrected all this and after many more hours, and a software update where the entire format got lost, I was ready to send out applications. Actual job-hunt! “Munich, I am ready to go to work!” But is Munich ready for me?
When we decided to stay on a permanent basis in Munich, I was fairly positive and convinced that I would succeed in finding a suitable position for me. Right from the very beginning I lowered my expectations, as our priorities have changed during our journey. Needless to say I like a job where it is fun to get up in the morning and go to work. But I did not have the big career expectations! However, I do know myself quite well. And I used to be very career driven. But not at any price!
I started out slow and easy. In Denmark I learned that most jobs are found through your own network. So already before we even left on our journey, I started to “maintain” the network of people that I had neglected for quite some time, while living in Denmark. In Denmark most people use LinkedIn and I do have more contacts there than on Xing, which in my opinion is more of a German platform rather than an international/global platform. Hence I upgraded myself to a premium membership, in order to use all the extra functionalities available to premium members on Xing. Little by little I got in contact with former colleagues and partners. On top of that, I used the platform to market our website threeonthego.com. This way more people became aware of me and my profile. And thus some rather interesting connections were built.
So, what is the result of my job-hunt? Well, I did get an interesting job. Exactly the combination of events (my previous background) and social media (my new passion) that I have been searching for. I have used my network extensively and thus I got invitations to job interviews and I got hints and tips for my further search. On top of that I have also sent out “normal” applications, after seeing some ads, but this was not really a success.
By now I can gather why this method did not get me any interviews. It may have to do with the fact that I do not have any written testimonials and certificates from my time in Denmark, because this is no longer common practice there. But right now it is just a waste of time thinking about this. At least I think so...! I just enjoy being back on the “German market” and to see what and where this will bring me! A new journey has begun!
5 tips when looking for a job in Germany:
- Buy a premium membership on a professional platform like Xing or LinkedIn.
- Complete your profile completely. Do not forget a recent photo!
- Look for groups matching your professional background, future wishes and even private interests.
- Be active in order to be visible!
- Attend events, public speeches etc in order to do active, face to face networking.
If someone has been looking at your profile, do send them a friendly note asking them what caught their interest. You never know what might come out of just that...