Phuong Linh Got A Job

Hello Chris, Hope you do still remember me 馃檪 Just want to let you know that I got a job offer! You are right, we (foreigners) just don鈥檛 know the correct way to approach German employers, but we are not inferior to any German applicants! Thank you, Chris, for your useful tips!

Phuong Linh

Would you like to get advice for your career in Germany? Would you benefit if I introduce you to managers in my network (that you consider useful contacts)? Please book a consultation here.

My new book “How To Win Jobs & Influence Germans” is a step by step guide into the German jobmarket. It is available at Amazon.

Better Than McDonalds

“Good evening Chris. The freelancer idea all came together. Pending one more interview, I have a 6mo contract in Essen. 馃憤
Last week a former coaching client called me. In the US he was a top notch IT professional with management experience. Got calls from headhunters all the time.
Overconfident he ignored my advice at the time and moved to Germany right away. A year later he reached out to me, because he didn’t know what to do anymore. All his savings were gone and so was his self esteem.
Rejection after rejection after rejection by HR in Germany. He was so desperate – when we talked he had already applied for a job at Mc Donalds. (Apparently you have to fill out 18 pages of documents for the privilege to serve hamburgers.)
We spoke for 30 minutes and I adviced him to change his game. “Don’t apply for jobs – offer your services as a freelancer.”
This morning, seven days later, I woke up to the message below.
“Good evening Chris. The freelancer idea all came together. Pending one more interview, I have a 6mo contract in Essen. 馃憤
He will work for six months. His fee is 750 EUR per day. Compare that to Mc Donalds.
The same professional. The same skills. The actual managers will pay huge sums for his services, the HR manager will reject him.
What does this say about professionalism in HR?

I am glad for your success C.A.

Context Matters

The same professional. The same skills. The same list of achievements. No chance as an employee, highly paid as a freelancer. I have seen this theme play out over and over again. Expatriates are “unusual” candidates and that scares clueless HR managers. Offering your services as a freelancer gives you an opportunity to talk directly to the people who do the actual work in a company. Even better: The power balance is even. Two professionals discuss a real world problem. As a jobseeker you are always in the weaker position.

If you can’t get past HR, try to position yourself differently. With HR you are “too old”, “too foreign” and you “don’t know German”. As a freelancer you are “experienced”. You have”deep knowledge of the local market”. And “of course we talk English. We are professionals, after all.”

Expats Career Podcast #17: LIVE!

Most Expats dream to “get in”. Lydia Kr眉ger wanted to get out.

She had the top job at the big corporation. But she chose to do meaningful work, to make a life as well as a living.

We will talk with Lydia about business culture in German corporations and the pros and cons of freelance work.

If you came to Germany for a better life, instead of just a job: This podcast is just for you.

Join us LIVE on Monday 23. October 2017!

So why is Germany discriminating people so much?!

Hello dear Reader,

I want to share a message from someone in D眉sseldorf with you. A person who wrote to me because she is a stranger in Germany, highly professional and deeply frustrated:

“So why is Germany discriminating people so much?! I know for a fact in technology & design & advertising age discrimination is MASSIVE! Like I wrote – after being killer CD for 14 years in NYC advertising world & getting over 37 international awards – I rather be unemployed 聽in Germany for these reasons.

I sent few CVs out but they never got back to me so now my masters done with honors & fantastic skills and experiences are just going to hell, but I don’t want to be discriminated 聽by Germans for my age or looks. I think they don’t even employ anywhere people above 40 anyways in D眉sseldorf:(

Diane” (Name changed)

I get messages like these every day. Maybe you felt similar at some point in your jobhunt? Then please read my reply to Diane. I hope it will help her – and help you Chris.

Dear Diane,

I could write a book about the mindset of German HR and how it holds us back. As a matter of fact, I did:

At the same time: There are also assumptions on the side of the jobseeker that are not helpful. You have a lot of achievements and you are right to be proud. But in your text I was missing one information: What exactly has the employer to gain from hiring you?

I have been running my own business for more than 25 years. A really good employer will judge you by one criteria only: “How does hiring her help me achieve my goals?”

You talk about your education and the recognition you got as a professional. But none of that answers the question: “How exactly will you solve my biggest problem?”

If you want to break into the German jobmarket, this is my tip:Listen.

Ask your friends what is going on in their companies. Ask them what they are struggling with the most. Then offer them a solution. That’s your way into the German jobmarket, Diane.

Never try to interest an employer in you. Instead be interested in solving the employers biggest problem.

What if you don’t know enough people in German companies? Use the help of someone who does. I will be happy to introduce you to managers in my network: Please feel free to book a coaching session

I wish you success.

Chris Pyak
Managing Director
Immigrant Spirit GmbH

PS:聽You don’t get job interviews? Read my new book “How To Win Jobs & Influence Germans“.

How To Convince A German Employer To Hire You Before You Speak German

My company interviewed me about an important issue for expatriates: How do you convince a German employer to hire you before you speak German? Few expats take the time to consider this simple truth: To hire you in English will cause a lot of work, unrest and possibly conflict for a German employer. How to convince him to hire you? Read on.

PS: If you apply for job after job, but you never get job interviews – my new book “How To Win Jobs & Influence Germans” offers solutions and step by step advice.