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How to find a job in the DACH region as a non-German speaker?

Though English is not the primary language of continental Europe, there are still many jobs abroad for English speakers. And yet, anyone looking for a career in DACH-region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) knows that finding a position that doesn't require German could be challenging.
How to find a job in the DACH region as a non-German speaker

Do you need German to work in Germany, Austria, or Switzerland?

Yes and no. 

The majority of native German speakers speak excellent English. Especially in diverse metropolitan cities such as Berlin or Vienna. So, technically, you wouldn’t have any trouble communicating by speaking English. 

While English might be the main language in many large corporations that hire international talent, most still require excellent written and spoken German in their job postings. Still, you can find a job without German.

How to find an English-speaking job in Europe 

When hunting for English-speaking jobs, strategy matters. Since only about 5% of positions do not require German, the competition is high. That’s why you need to maximize your chances.

There are many career platforms in DACH-region, but we recommend focusing on the ones which have the most potential:

  1. LinkedIn 
  2. wecanbeheroes.io
  3. Karriere.at
  4. Indeed
  5. Glassdoor

Also, don’t be afraid to check out career fairs and events if they are accessible to you. Networking with a personal touch will give you more opportunities of being noticed!

Companies that hire without German

Your occupation and the company type are two things that affect your chances of finding an English-speaking position.

Look for international companies and larger corporations, such as P&G and Deloitte, or startups. The key is knowing who the clients of the company are. 

“The corporate language highly depends on the market the company is serving. If a company targets customers outside German-speaking countries or English speakers (e.g., ex-pats), having an English-speaking international team is definitely an advantage,”

—says Tanja Sternbauer, co-founder of Female Factor. 

The same goes for the position you’re looking at. Imagine you are a developer, designer, or analyst. In that case, you’re not going to be facing clients; thus, it’s going to be easier to find a position for you.

But, if you do not belong to the IT crowd, all is not lost. Many startup companies are hiring English speakers. 

If client communication or content plays a key role in your work, German would be mandatory in most cases.

For example, marketing managers are often expected to create content and manage advertising campaigns, which makes German handy. So it would be easier to find an English-speaking marketing job in a startup that works globally rather than in a corporation that serves the local market.

Why do startups in Europe want English speakers?

There are many reasons to make English the main corporate language. But most of them are explained by one word — opportunities. Startups constantly hunt for the best talents, and limiting their candidate pool, unless necessary, will not help them grow faster. 

“Our hiring is globally oriented from the get-go. We had trouble finding employees from the local market, but having English as a company language helped attract remote and Vienna-based team members.” 

— says Vlad Gozman, Co-Founder, and CEO of involve.me.

In the end, many company founders are ex-pats themselves! So, English is just a natural choice.

Why should you join a startup as an English speaker?

Except for the language, there are a number of other reasons to look for startup company jobs: 

These are only a few we personally love. But there are more!

Now that you’re convinced, let’s get to our list of companies with jobs for English speakers in Germany and Austria.

Startup companies in Germany for English speakers

Affordable education, quality of life and a growing economy have been steadily attracting international talent, investors, and founders to Germany.

In Berlin alone, there are 500 new startups registered every year, with a close follow-up by Munich, the second startup hub in Germany. 

If you are looking for work in Germany for English speakers, be sure to check out these companies: 

If you want to browse more English-speaking jobs in Germany, check out startups here!

Startup companies in Austria for English speakers 

Besides the fantastic quality of life, Vienna has a growing startup scene. Though not yet as big as Berlin, it still gains more and more momentum with unicorns such as Bitpanda and Refurbed.

Do you already have Austria as the primary destination in mind? We also have a comprehensive guide on how to find a job in Vienna! 

Startup companies in Switzerland for English speakers 

Want to live next to the beautiful Alps and in one of the most economically robust cities in Europe? Check out some of the unique startups in the region like Nomoko or Spoud in cities like Zurich or Bern

Check out these startups which have an open positions for English speakers:

Find out more about the latest startup jobs in Switzerland at startupjobs.ch!

These are just some of the many more startups with English-speaking jobs in Vienna. 

Startup companies with remote jobs for non-German speakers

If you are looking for work-from-home jobs in Germany or Austria for English speakers, check out our curated list of remote jobs! To check out startup job openings in Switzerland, head over to Startup Jobs to discover new job opportunities.

Conclusion

Though looking for an international job is never easy, it’s by no means impossible. With a growing startup scene in the DACH region, more and more companies adopt English as their corporate language. Even larger corporations join the trend in an attempt not to miss out on new talent. So don’t let doubt stand in your way to getting your dream job!

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