Coronavirus And Job Market in Germany – What Can Job Seekers and Career Changers Do?

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The coronavirus pandemic has affected the world as we know it, and numerous industries and businesses are suffering (or, in some cases, gaining) from its powerful impact. Due to strict measures taken by governments across the globe, most companies are asking their employees to work from home. However, what about those who cannot do their jobs at home?

The job market in Germany

Looking at the job market composition during the COVID-19 pandemic, we can identify three main groups of people:

1. Who are looking for a job right now

This refers to people who were either already job seekers before the pandemic, or who have been laid off due to the pandemic.

2. Who will need a job in the near future

This refers to people who will lose a job because of pandemic and potential economic recession in the near future.

3. Who are looking for a career change

This refers to people who are currently staying at a job, but have been thinking about a career change, before or after the arrival of the pandemic.

If you are employed, your industry is not heavily affected by the crisis, and you’re happy at work, then relax. Wash your hands and stay in your home office. However, if you are in one of the above categories, read on.

Depending on which of these categories you fall under, your job search or career development strategy may vary. Let’s discuss each of the groups in more detail. 


Current job seekers

If you are a job seeker at the moment, a lot will depend on your industry. Obviously, there are sectors that are more heavily affected than others. Mainly, these are industries that depend on people going out or that require people to be present at a location; activities that cannot be replaced by virtual sessions. These include:

  • Tourism (travel, hotels, airlines, train and bus services, guides)
  • Leisure (sports, concerts and theatres, bars and restaurants, spas and beauty salons)
  • Manufacturing (may vary)

If this is the case for you, think of ways in which you can modify or adapt your business / job to the current situation, or other ways in which you can use your skills. Here are some tips on what you can do when faced with such a situation:

  • One possible solution is to start conducting online courses such as “how to master Adobe Photoshop” or “Learning German”.
  • You can also try to reinvent your business, for example, delivering food to your customers, providing them with new recipes online, or even DIY courses.
  • Watch out for any help the government might provide for you or your type of business.
  • Is there another industry that demands your hard / soft skills? If you are an engineer, then it is very probable that your knowledge is needed in other sectors. Or if you are a salesperson, think of what kind of value you could bring to other types of businesses. What transferable skills do you have?

However, if you are unable to, or simply don’t want to modify your business, there are two main options for you:

  1. Look for a job in another sector with your current skills
  2. Take a break and develop or expand on your qualifications

If you choose the first option, think of the industries that are still hiring. 


High-tech giants (Microsoft, Google, Salesforce, etc.)

They are accustomed to working remotely and may be running business as usual.

High-tech companies specialising in remote work (Zoom, Slack, Asana, Trello, etc.)

Since the majority of companies are bringing their business online when applicable and possible, these vendors need new workers urgently, to help meet the increased demand. 

Online learning companies

Data shows that people are using their time in quarantine to learn new skills. Therefore, there will be an increase in the number of people using distance learning platforms. Increased business demand means an increased need for new hires.

Digital entertainment (movies, games)

Schools and offices are closed, which means that demand for entertainment has increased, since the easiest choice for many is to watch a movie or play a game. Companies like Netflix are therefore still hiring. 


The healthcare sector is always under pressure to hire new talent. Today, this is especially true, as it never was before. Doctors, nurses and other medical staff are desperately needed in hospitals. Data specialists, researchers, scientists, and communications experts are also of utmost importance.

Pharmacies and medical technology

Pharmacies and medical technology companies are still hiring people to cover the current demand in the market.


If physical shopping is no longer possible, people will resort to online shopping. E-commerce companies are experiencing a boom in sales.

Photo of Woman Lying on Bed While Using Laptop

Future job seekers

One way to deal with uncertainty about the future is to think ahead. The crisis will be over one day, and the world will become normal again. However, a large number of people will have lost their jobs or businesses. This means there will be a lot of competition out there. The best thing you can do is BE PREPARED.

Analyse where your industry is going and what skills will be needed

Right now, we can say that jobs that deal with data (analytics, data science and so on) will be needed more so than before. Furthermore, since a variety of businesses are now going online, specialists who have expertise in digitalisation and e-commerce will rock the market.

Improve yourself

Finally, this is the time to learn. And learn extensively. A lot of institutions provide their online courses either free of charge, or with extensive discounts. Use this time to develop the skills that you will be capable of selling later.

Woman Using Laptop

Career changers

What if you are working at a secure job, but have been thinking about a career change? Is now the right moment to go about such a change?

Think of the strategies described above. The answer to the question of whether or not you should change your job now depends heavily on the industry and the role you have / want to obtain. Nowadays, it is crucial not to make any “occasional” decisions.

Think strategically and look at the market. Visiting a career coach or recruitment agency can be helpful in this case. The situation we are in now is unprecedented, and nobody can say with certainty what will happen next. However, investing into your own development is always a good idea.  

Final piece of advice

Companies are still hiring, but the process may take longer. Instead of an in-person interview, you will probably meet online. What does this mean for you?

  1. Know the value you bring and be prepared to back it up with numbers and evidence.
  2. Make sure your application documents (CV, cover letter, LinkedIn profile) are polished and you deliver your value proposition clearly.
  3. Make sure you are well prepared for the interview (do your research well).

Full Article from I am expat:
By Evgeniya Akulova

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Working in Germany – The Number of Fixed Term Contracts Has Risen Sharply + Why Is That?

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1.8 million people work in Germany with an unfairly limited contract. The number has more than tripled since 2001.

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More and more people in Germany work with a contract that is for a non-substantive period. This is shown by an evaluation of the Economic and Social Sciences Institute (WSI) of the Hans Böckler Foundation. Accordingly, the number of such jobs rose by more than 200,000 from 2017 to 2018 alone.

Between 2001 and 2018, the number more than tripled – from 550,000 to 1.8 million people, it is said. In the same period, the proportion of these jobs in all employment relationships rose from 1.7 to 4.8 percent. According to the evaluation, a total of 3.2 million jobs were limited in Germany in 2018, almost twice as many as in 2001.


For the report, data from the company panel of the Institute for Labor Market and Vocational Research and figures from the Federal Employment Agency were evaluated.

“Temporary employment is a problem for the mostly young people affected, because they are often associated with income poverty, restrictions on social participation and starting a family,” said the WSI researchers.

Especially in times of the coronavirus pandemic, it will be particularly difficult for workers with fixed-term contracts: “Since we are likely to have problems in the labor market in the coming time, temporary workers will be particularly hard hit,” said a WSI data manager With. They would be the first to be fired in times of crisis.

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How To Get A Job In Germany As Foreigner Against Idealistic Requirements

How to get a job in Germany if you don't fit all the criteria
Photo: Depositphotos/Vadymvdrobot

You do not also have to be nervous or anxious if you don’t fit the criteria for a job. Many people become dissuaded from applying for a job because they don’t meet all of the requirements. One question that I get asked regularly. How do I know if I can apply for a job, if I do not fit all required conditions?

There are two ways to decide if a job offer fits you.


1.It’s just Idealistic Requirements

First, realize that most job descriptions belong into the fantasy aisle of the book store. HR will list all imaginable skills for the “perfect” candidate. But nothing in our world is perfect. If the HR department did a good job, the skills and requirements are in declining order of importance.

If you meet more than a half of the requirements, Feel free to apply.

But be aware, The actual job requirements might be quite different from what you have read in the job description.

A while back I got a mail from one of my coaching clients: She sent me the link to a company that offered jobs in English. There were about 20 positions, from accounting to software development to sales. Every single job description was exactly the same…


2.Are you able to perform the job?

The second way. Ask yourself honestly.

If I get hired, can I actually perform this job and deliver the results expected?

Photo: Depositphotos/VitalikRadko

One engineer told me the story of his first job in Germany. In the interview process he said “yes” every single time when the employer asked him if he knew a software or had worked with a tool.

He got the job, but on his first day at work it became immediately obvious that he couldn’t use any of the software mentioned. His colleagues made him cook coffee and copy documents.

Embarrassed, he quit after one week, and since then has been completely upfront about his skills and knowledge. (He has a very successful career in Germany now.)


So, the question you should answer yourself is: How will I actually perform my duties, even if I work in a German language environment, but speak only English?

Saying “I will figure it out” is nice attitude, but won’t convince a German manager. You will need to actually be able to explain this in detail. Step by step. If you can do that: Apply for the job! (No matter if it’s in English or German.)

As a matter of fact: Smart people will always find a way to overcome the language challenge. You use Google Translate, ask your colleagues or hire an intern who will translate for you during the first months.

And shouldn’t that be the real objective for an employer? To hire smart people who find solutions?

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