Going continental: not only breakfast-wise this could be a refreshing alternative.
Whilst the British job market is still somewhat under the weather, the German economy has picked up pace rather quickly, after the recession, and employers are facing difficulties in filling all the positions needed for a further fertilization of the flourishing marketplace.
There is a high requirement in engineering, for IT people, mathematicians, physicists, in micro- and nano-technology, in fact all things high-tech.
Those who have experienced business in Germany through company contacts, a temporary posting or an internship will confirm that there is a very welcoming attitude towards speakers of English and that centuries of exchanging literature, music, Royals and, in later decades, film, TV and footballers have brought the cultures closer together than any historic idiot could have imagined.
In the past, quite a number of Britons made their first contact with Germany through a posting within the British Forces and many have chosen to stay and set up a career and family life on the other side of the Channel.
This decision used to be facilitated by a rather good level of support that they received in the transition.
However, this link is not everybody’s cup of tea, and about to be discontinued, anyway.
So, is there help for people who would like to venture on the German job market?
For a start, you can find lots of useful tips, also in English, under http://www.goethe.de/uun/ogf/lid/sad/deindex.htm
More in-depth information, from a British viewpoint, seems to be harder to find.
A very good anthology has recently been published in French http://www.lextenso-editions.fr/ouvrages/document/230628 *, by Barbara Pasquier, a journalist, living between France and Germany herself.
She calls it a “toolbox” and in fact, that is what it is: Readers will find
- information on the specific requirements when settling in Germany, typical stumbling blocks such as residency or medical insurance etc.
- conditions that are specific to individual industries or status, i.e. posting or local contract, internship, self-employed, dependants
- job seeking and job centres, application culture
- business culture
- flat or house hunting
- information for families, crèche, kindergarten, school
- tax, bank, utilities, car/driving licence, insurance, marriage, divorce and other unforeseen circumstances and what to do if you want to leave the country again…
- and, highly recommended, a dictionary of useful terms and expressions that you might need in everyday life, in contact with authorities and employers.
A very handy toolbox it is indeed, and probably one that the English speaking market could do with as well.
Auf Wiedersehen, pets
*The book is also available here (at a slightly lower price): http://www.amazon.co.uk/Travailler-vivre-Allemagne-expatri%C3%A9s-frontaliers/dp/2297003021/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1298384587&sr=8-1