Berlin, Kreuzberg. Image taken from: happyjourney.co.uk
I’ve been in Berlin long enough to explore most of the search engines and now I am able to tell which are worth spending your time on. I ignore Craigslist in 99 cases out 100. I found my 1st job there, which lasted only 2 months, and never ever found anything decent again. Most of the time you do not even get a reply, because of the extreme expat overload.
After 2,5 years my search expanded up to 10-15 pages, which I will happily share with you. While to find a regular, 40h arts/culture related job with a contract in Berlin is almost impossible (especially if you’re just like me B2, or around that level); I still managed to get some really nice projects. And I am talking here about the jobs where you come with a certain level of professionalism and competence, I’d like to leave behind jobs like waitressing and bar tending; those you find just by popping in every bar/cafe you like and leaving your CV.
My first advice, use LinkedIn! Especially if you’re an IT specialist/ business expert/graduate.
http://www.thelocal.de/ (for English speakers)
http://www.jobisjob.de/ (a mix of jobs)
http://venturevillage.eu/jobs/ (tech jobs)
http://www.onstartupjobs.com/?job_listing_region=berlin (jobs at startups, a great a list!)
http://marsjobs.net// (jobs at startups)
http://itsinberlin.com/jobs-in-berlin-startups/ (jobs at startups)
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/279887/1000jobs.html (jobs at startups)
http://www.designmadeingermany.de/jobs/ (a mix of creative jobs)
http://www.gruenderluft.de/ (a mix of jobs)
http://jobs.meinestadt.de/berlin/ (a mix of jobs)
http://somewhere.com/ (create your work portfolio and let the employers find you! At first I found this as a really great alternative to all the boring online application websites; they would connect you to all sort of interesting employers; which ask you random, but work related questions online, and depending on your answers could schedule an interview or just add you to their archive of “good candidates”. I was extremely excited about this, because I’ve probably filled in at least a thousand work applications and wrote a bit less than that cover letters in my life; and here you did not need ANY of this. Oh, what a relief! And the most importantly I got job interviews!
Later they have changed their policy, to exactly what I said above “create your work portfolio and let the employers find you” – does not work. The workers of Somewhere try really hard to show their interest in you, yet NO real employers approach you. But I keep on returning to this page time to time, in case there is a good change. They’re young and growing, and they will see themselves eventually what really works for the job seekers, as employers won’t come to you, it’s THEIR time, you have to come to THEM.
http://www.creative-city-berlin.de/en/ (A very useful source for any creative in Berlin, bookmark this and check regularly. Not only they have art/culture related job positions, but as well as they help you with your own projects and fund raising)
http://www.dasauge.de/ (Another extremely good website for the creatives)
http://www.creativeset.net/ (a mix of creative jobs)
http://www.designerdock.de/ (highly professional design jobs)
http://www.12designer.com/en/about.html ( a mix of design jobs)
http://www.xing.com (German LinkedIn, they like it!)
http://www.gruenderszene.de/ (a mix of jobs, one of my favorite search engines)
http://www.berliner-jobmarkt.de/Search (good for the young people, offers a lot of internships)
http://www.kreativjob.com/ (speaks for itself)
http://www.jobsinberlin.eu/ (a mix of jobs)
http://www.crew-united.com/ (everything film related)
http://artconnectberlin.com (art jobs, internships, events and more)
I’ve done tons of free work in Berlin: photography, editing/reviews, PR etc. That gives you new experience, accreditation to the best festivals or concerts in Berlin, yet does not pay your rent. If you want to get paid, forget about any film festivals or even events like Transmediale. I was offered to be a runner for Warner Brothers, who had 2 day shooting in Berlin. My task would be – responsible for thousands euro worth equipment (ARRI) and serve the director, making sure he’s all happy in his chair, he can see the preview of the shot material and his coffee is always warm. 12h at least on a set each day, for €55,- ! When I pulled off, they were, to put it mildly, very disappointed. They would say later via e-mail, that with such attitude I will not get far in the film industry. Oh, what a shame, now I don’t have Warner Brothers on my CV, and I did not get €55. Besides, they called IT an INTERNSHIP, and never mentioned THE name of the company until I saw them in person. Two weeks later I’d be an extra in a student film, drinking beer in a bar, that’s all I had to do. 2h of shooting – €20. Found via Crew-United.
Speaking of extras, if you want to be an extra, and you’re desperate for money, register at:
http://agentur-filmgesichter.de/ – they really send e-mails with offers. But be ready for 10h sitting and waiting and be in front of the camera for an hour max. Bring a book. You get free food and they also pay €55 (sometimes a bit more), but at least you’re not doing anything highly responsible; and it’s barely a job, if you read for 9h, it’s just boring to death, but I’ve done it. There are many more websites which look for extras, but I never really got any calls from them. Just make sure you do free photos in their photo studio; and then you’re in the active list.
The problem of Berlin – there are too many freelancers. Not that they want to be independent, they’re forced to, because the company would not sign a contract. And you end up paying your health insurance yourself, with up to €600/m and you have no pension scheme, or do you? Very cheeky. But even if you do some freelance work, make sure you sign some sort of freelance contract; otherwise you might not get paid.
Transmediale – the largest digital art festival in Europe, exploits theirs interns for €135/m.