6 Reasons to Learn German Before Starting your Job Search
Most of us know this story. A friend (or friend of a friend) has got an amazing job offer in Germany for interesting tasks with a great package and benefits – exactly the kind of job you are looking for. And the best thing: He doesn’t even need to speak German! And so, the question arises: “Do I really have to know German to find a job? Like, really-really?”
Let us start by saying: We understand. With its complex grammatical rules, excessively long words and unfamiliar pronunciation, the German language can be tricky at times – although probably not as tricky as you may think. Nonetheless, there are plenty of reasons why learning German is worth the trouble when job hunting in Germany:
1. You are eligible for more job opportunities
For many jobs, effective communication is of key importance. Imagine you’re a business analyst and can’t understand the requirements of the client properly. Or you are supposed to manage a team, but can’t make them understand what exactly you expect from them. The number of jobs that don’t require candidates to speak German is limited. However, the more you improve your language skills, the more job openings you will be considered for.
2. Employers appreciate German applications
In Germany, a rule of thumb is that you should submit an application in the language of the job posting. Considering that the majority of vacancies is advertised in German, submitting only an English application reduces your chances of making it through the screening phase. It might seem that getting your application documents professionally translated might be the solution, but be warned – at some point of the interview process you will typically be asked to demonstrate your actual German skills.
3. German is the common working language
While it is true that on average, Germans have a high proficiency in English, the working language of most companies is still German. This means that you will have to manage all meetings, reporting and official communication in German. But even for MNCs, where English may be accepted as the working language, don’t rely on your colleagues to speak English. Where it easier to convey things in German, they may easily – even unknowingly – switch back to their native tongue.
4. Everything around you will be German
German is the only official language of Germany. This means that on your arrival in Germany, you are taking a deep-dive into a foreign language. May it be while grocery shopping, navigating through new places or dealing with authorities, everything will be in German. In many cases, you start to get a feel for this while signing your employment contract – only few companies provide English translations for international employees. Not knowing German can cause severe disorientation. Aside from this, all official documents like rental agreements, insurance papers and tax returns are also all in German!
5. You’ll settle more quickly
Everyone knows the saying “Home is where your heart is”. But where is our heart? With the people we connect with and cherish. Thus, the faster you are able to build friendships, the faster you will feel at home in your new environment. Learning a language is also learning the culture of the country, which could be quite different from your own. Learning the culture helps you understand the people and will ease your integration in the society. Germans generally take time to open up and build friendships, but they are also very appreciating about even the smallest attempt of speaking their language. So whip out that German vocab and make some friends!
6. German boosts your career chances in general
Who says that speaking German is only useful when going to Germany? There are more than xxx German companies operating in India. But even many non-German companies in India are looking for professionals with good foreign language skills. Especially candidates who possess both technical expertise and advanced language skills are strongly in demand and well paid. German being one of the top 5 sought after languages in India, you can expect plenty of career opportunities, even if you change your mind about going to Germany. That being said, only having language expertise isn’t enough. The right professional background and skillset are equally important to successfully make a career in Germany.
So what you are you waiting for? Find your nearest language school and start learning some Deutsch (make sure to ensure it’s a quality institute though). Los geht’s!