What’s on this week? Germany’s passport is ranked the best in the world and Leipzig is rated as one of the best European cities to live in for its high quality of life. A list of Germany’s most valuable unicorns and perhaps, your future employers. Olaf Scholz got roasted hard by Politico. And a tour of Berlin’s most infamous phalluses. 🍆
We cover all this and more in our 14/01/2024 edition of The Berlin Life newsletter.
Sometimes, I’m going to overshare.
⭐ I’m in the fifth month of probation at work and received positive feedback this past week – meaning that I’ve passed probation. It’s a massive relief and I’m excited to keep going! If you want to know more about German probation periods, read our guide.
⭐ I was curious to look up the LinkedIn profile of a German executive recently and unbelievably, I was able to find out way more about her than I should. While I uncovered that she was exceptionally well qualified, I was also able to find out her date of birth and other personal information. Some past executive write-ups about her featured that information! I also received some CVs lately with people writing their marital status and the number of children they have. Please, please, please don’t share this information with potential employers, let alone on the internet.
General Community News
News from The Berlin Life community.
⭐ I’m still spending all my free time working on my new offering, Career Boost Germany – an online learning portal where you can enroll in affordable mini-courses to learn about how to find work in Germany. I’ll keep you posted on my progress, but for now, you can get a sneak peek.
⭐ Last week, I asked for volunteers to help The Berlin Life Community with event management and community management. Thank you to everyone who indicated interest! You’re amazing. 💛 I’ll be in touch soon with the next steps.
⭐ Our next in-person meet-up is coming up really soon. So come on out for our next community mixer on Wednesday, January 24, 2024, @ 19:00. Everyone is welcome!
⭐ You can still catch last week’s newsletter: Bigger and Better in 2024: Introducing Career Boost Germany. If you’re new here, check out our archives.
Food For Thought
Interesting articles about the art of looking for work, humourous memes, or other useful gems floating around the web.
⭐ Berlin Tech Worker Coalition has some upcoming events that you might want to attend, including a social potluck and a training session on Foundations of Leadership in Democratic and Feminist organizations.
⭐ If you’re looking for a remote job, check out some of these job portals for opportunities:
2) Working Nomads
4) Remote OK
5) We Work Remotely
⭐ How many of Germany’s most valuable unicorns are profitable? – This is a solid list of German companies that are performing well and are a hint of places where you should be looking for jobs. 😉
⭐ Corporate Rebels has shared the ultimate time management cheat sheet, containing suggestions for how to manage your day. I’m a big fan of the Pomodoro technique, as well as Get Things Done.
News in Germany
All of the news in Germany.
⭐ German passport ranked most powerful in the world in Henley Index 2024 – This is one of the many reasons I plan to get German citizenship when dual citizenship goes into effect. 5 other countries tied with Germany for first place in the list – can you guess which ones?
⭐ Red Sea attacks halt Tesla production at German plant – The Berlin-based Tesla plant is one of the first companies to admit publicly that the Red Sea crisis is impacting their business.
⭐ Why are German farmers so angry? – DW provides a great overview of what’s been making German farmers come to Berlin for a series of disruptive protests. And before jumping on any soapbox to complain about the farmers, read – Fact check: Fakes about Germany farmers’ protests.
⭐ Berlin’s most exciting new food trends in 2024 – Think Balkan-styled fine dining, premium Japanese spirits, German cuisine, and more.
⭐ Meet the Germans: Prost! How Germans drink – A deep dive into German’s love for beer, drinking in public, and more. Prost! 🍻
⭐ Why are Germans hoarding billions of useless deutsche marks? – The curious story of how many deutsche marks are still out there and how slowly each year, Germans continue to cash them in for Euros.
⭐ Lauterbach renews push to scrap state funding for homoeopathic medicine – A move that couldn’t come soon enough. While I applaud Germany for never having an opioid epidemic like in the US, I would love to visit a German doctor and not be recommended an herbal tea.
⭐ International Harry Potter exhibition will come to Germany for the first time – I don’t know about you, but I’m excited about this! I saw an exhibition in Potsdam a few years back and still carry a Golden Snitch keychain that I bought as a souvenir.
⭐ Leipzig rated among top 10 best European cities for quality of life – This kinda has me wanting to move to Leipzig. 🙃
⭐ Politicians from Germany’s AfD met extremist group to discuss deportation ‘masterplan’ – It’s with a heavy heart that I share this piece, but I urge anyone and everyone to become aware of the far-right’s (racist AF plans) for migrants – which includes deporting people who have already have citizenship. It’s even refueled a debate about banning the AfD altogether.
⭐ Germany leaps to the defense of Israel at the International Court of Justice, rejects South Africa’s accusation of Gaza genocide – In another questionable move that has a lot of people really upset, Germany says they’ll go all out on defending Israel’s action at the ICJ.
⭐ Why Olaf Scholz is no Angela Merkel – Politico burns Scholz in a way that no person would ever want to be burned with quotes like this: “A Google search reveals that the leader of Germany is a man called Olaf Scholz, but so colorless and unimpressive a figure does he cut that you would be forgiven for not knowing “
⭐ How to save for your child’s future in Germany: Pensionfriend’s Kids ETF Savings Plan – Yeah, it’s an advertorial piece, but hopefully can inspire you about how to save for your children’s future.
⭐ Hard to beat: Berlin’s most famous penises – Let’s divert from the tough news above and take a light-hearted tour of Berlin’s most infamous phallic objects.
⭐ Dark Rooms Vertical: Boundary pushing art in an abandoned factory – I have tickets to attend this experience next weekend and I’m beyond excited.
⭐ Tourists to Berlin Can Now Visit 60 Museums For Free Every First Sunday of the Month, Government Decides – Yeah! The offer for locals is now extended to tourists. Tell all of your friends.
How We Can Help
Some of the good stuff offered by the Berlin Life.
⭐ Get connected with other like-minded professionals in our community by adding yourself to our LinkedIn Connect and Exchange list.
In yet another demonstration of how far Germany lags in technology, the Deutsche Bahn wants an employee with Windows 3.11 experience, an OS that was released in 1991! Germany is now the world’s third-biggest economy. A four-meter-long dead python was found in Berlin. Staff at Hamburg’s foreigner’s office took bribes to issue residence permits to people who didn’t meet the requirements. 💸
Germans are consuming less beer and will soon be paying more for meat. Your German citizenship application will be denied if you’re on social security benefits like unemployment. Berlin is having yet another election. Berlinale invited AfD members to some of their events and only disinvited them after getting publicly shamed.
New citizenship laws passed another administrative marker. Munich isn’t Germany’s most expensive city like you may think. Bavaria wants to be the “California of Europe”. Inflation fell to its lowest point since 2021. The AfD doesn’t only want to deport immigrants – they want Germany to “Dexit”.
Cheryl Howard, Founder @ The Berlin Life
Hi, I’m Cheryl. My mission is to help you move to Berlin and find work.
A Canadian in Berlin for 10+ years, I have the unique experience of moving to Berlin – not once, but twice. During my time in Berlin, I’ve had five different visas and worked as both a freelancer and a permanent employee for numerous Berlin companies. I even managed to find a new job during the pandemic and again in 2023, during Germany’s recession and massive layoffs in tech.
My day job has involved work as a hiring manager, overseeing the recruitment of countless people, as well as a team coach helping teams and individuals work better and find happiness in their careers. Through my side projects, I’ve also shared my personal experiences by publishing a series of helpful blog posts, creating a thriving community of job seekers, and hosting events to help people find work in Berlin. In 2021, I decided to put my coaching and recruiting talents to use by creating The Berlin Life, bringing my existing content and community together in one spot.
The combination of my personal and professional experience means I know exactly what it takes to move to Berlin and find work.