Looking for employment after you’ve just graduated can be a stressful process. Unlimited job applications and interviews characterize the days of post-graduation, and you never know when you’re going to land your big break.
However, once you do, it’s only uphill from there, especially if you’re in Germany. With one of the best job markets in the world, focusing your efforts on working in Germany could result in several benefits, including retirement insurance and a greater work-life balance.
Apart from this, Germany offers plenty of sick benefits too. So, if you feel your performance will get impacted due to various small health setbacks, then you’ll be glad to know that taking sick leave for minor ailments isn’t an issue in the country.
Before you start your first job, though, there are certain things you should be aware of. Here are five essential tips you should know before working in Germany after graduating.
You’ll need health insurance
If you’ve studied or lived in Germany all your life, the chances are that you already know health insurance is mandatory for every resident in the country. Having a German health insurance will be extremely beneficial since the country has one of the best healthcare systems in all of Europe.
You can either opt for public or private health insurance, with both systems having their own sets of advantages and disadvantages. While most Germans have public health insurance, you should decide based on your level of income and occupation.
Get ready to be punctual
If you struggle to get to places on time, you’ll need to fix your habit. Being late isn’t viewed very positively since Germans are known to be punctual in their private and professional lives both, and would definitely expect you to do the same.
If, suppose, you’re getting late, you should call and inform your colleagues in advance. By making it a habit to reach meetings 5 to 10 minutes in advance, you’ll ensure you’re not offending anyone with your tardiness.
Be strictly professional
Germans like having a fine line between their personal and professional lives. The office is dedicated to working, and small talk isn’t encouraged. You should be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get down to work during your office hours.
By focusing on work itself and not getting distracted by other activities during the day, Germany tends to be one of the most productive countries globally and, due to this, works 1.5 hours less than the workers in the UK.
This is why it’s a good idea to avoid personal talk with your colleagues since they’ll prefer to maximize their productivity at the office instead. On the other hand, Germans are known to be polite people so you can always reach out to someone if you need help regarding work or for a private matter.
Presentation is key
While this goes without saying everywhere, it’s especially applicable in Germany. People tend to dress simply in Germany and prefer opting for a conservative and understated dressing style with no bright colors, heavy makeup, or eccentric accessories.
While these rules may vary from company to company, you’re definitely safer wearing a combination of dark and light (typically a dark-colored jacket or suit). It’s safe to say that Germans focus on how you present yourself. You should refrain from dressing too casually, even if you’re going to the grocery store.
Additionally, you should always greet people with a polite smile or nod and shake their hand at the beginning and end of meetings. Even if you have to leave a meeting early, you should ensure you’re shaking hands before doing so. While German etiquette is unique, it’s easy to get used to.
Get used to a formal workplace
It’s typical for Germans to address each other formally, even if you’ve worked with someone for a decade. It can get tricky determining whether you’re required to address someone formally or not, especially if you’re a foreigner. Apart from this, people love their titles, and if, suppose, someone is a lawyer, you’re expected to address them as such.
However, these rules are a little more flexible in non-German multinational companies and the tech and design industries than working in the public sector or small to medium-sized companies. The hierarchy is expected to become flatter in the future as younger Germans who’ve spent time abroad enter the workforce.
Be ready to work early in the morning
Germans tend to start their days earlier than in other countries; in fact, the school system starts at 9 am. Most people are used to being up and about early and getting a lot done earlier during the day.
In fact, it won’t even be considered unusual if you reach your office as early as 6:30 in the morning. A huge plus point is that if you’re a morning person and come that early, it’s entirely acceptable for you to leave around 3 pm.
If you’re not from Germany, working in the country will undoubtedly be a fulfilling experience. The German culture doesn’t necessarily have its ups and down; it simply has its quirks just like any other country you would work in.
Regardless of how these aspects of German culture may be different, there’s a reason why the country is consistently ranked as one of the best countries to work in. There’s a certain charm associated with working amongst the German and, once you get used to eccentricities, you’re definitely going to appreciate it more!