A couple of recent mentoring sessions ended with mentees asking how to find a job in Berlin, particularly asking about English-speaking opportunities. While I could share my own experience of moving here from Dubai, I asked fellow mentors from the Mentoring Club: Büşra Coşkuner (Product Consultant), Fani Bahar (Product @ VMWare Pivotal Labs), Pavlo Voznenko (CTO, Instamotion) & Rahul Jain (Principal EM, Omio). for some tips. And like great mentors, they were kind to share their expertise.
1. Reflect on why you want to move 🪞
No one leaves home without a reason, but it’s important to articulate your own. While it’s mostly one of career advancement, quality of life, or cultural curiosity, your individual priorities might differ. Not only does reflection help decide, it also helps trade off – as most moves require.
💡 Tip #1 Evaluate objectively: Identify and rank your criteria from what matter most to what you can let go. Don’t let gut decide.
Rahul suggests probing into reasons, evaluating the decision objectively and noting fundamental differences between locations. EU is less capitalist (more socialist) than the US, implying lower disposable income, but great public health care. The US is ahead in tech, offers more opportunities, lesser bureaucracy and doesn’t need a new language.
My journey: I moved for quality of life and to experience a new culture, which I traded off with tax-free income, luxury and proximity from home. No regrets. I evaluated my priorities using this decision framework (spreadsheet linked).
2. Short list countries & cities to live in 🌍
Selecting cities needs way more than looking at a map. You have to understand the supply-demand for roles you’re seeking, immigration barriers (language, visa, residency) and cost of living.
As Pavlo pointed, moving with a partner broadens your options. That way, the one whose role has higher demand can pioneer, while the other can bridge barriers and eventually land a job. He also notes the option of studying in Germany, which promotes internship as a means of entry.
Continue reading 5 tips: how to find a job in Germany, Europe, or any foreign country 🇺🇸🇦🇺🇸🇬
💡 Tip #2 Reach out: to your network — friends, family, professional contacts or a mentor — with clear context and questions. Don’t confuse them with asking help finding you a job.