Frankfurt and Expats – Two sides of the same Coin

Frankfurt and Expats – Two sides of the same Coin
[Foto Frankfurt Skyline: © /]

How can an expat enroll into the Frankfurt job market?
How can the Frankfurt start up Ecosystem benefit from the increasing number of expats looking for jobs?
First things first, I´m an expat living in Frankfurt for barely six years. I had the chance to work for three German companies so far, but while I´m writing I´m unemployed and looking for a job to start ASAP.
Why I´m I writing this? No, it´s not to promote me and get the attention on my CV. Indeed, I want to share my experience with other expats and actually inspire and motivate others towards job search. It´s not easy but it´s possible. Indeed, most of the companies I spoke with, are open and willing to incorporate Expats.
There are multiple open processes out there, looking for French, Italian, Swedish, Chinese speakers…
Directly to the point, if you are an expat looking for a Job in Frankfurt the first thing that will define your future is GERMAN SKILLS. If you speak German – you will easily find a job. There are multiple job offers and surely you will find one matching your profile. But I guess that´s the minority of the cases.
If you don’t speak German – you have two options: Either you learn it and the problem is solved, Or you will need to make your USP (unique selling propositions) stand out. Both can be tough and time-consuming but eventually, you will succeed. I chose the second path and that´s where I want to focus this article.

How can you as an expat stand out from all the GERMAN speakers?

I will mention some areas:
– knowledge of other markets;
– knowledge of other people;
– knowledge of other networks;
– knowledge of other cultures;
– knowledge of other specific issues ( political, legal, operational, etc);
– knowledge of other languages;
– the combination of other soft skills;
Where do I believe that those factors can be more effective? Guess what? Inside Start-ups – that´s why we are writing here.

Why can expats make a difference at Startups?

They will help the company to grow. They will help the projects to conquer new markets.
And most important, the impact of an expat is going to be much higher and measurable than other additional staff members, since in most cases is new business.
You may say that´s exactly the same at a random big corporation, but in fact, NO. A big corporation already has offices worldwide, covering the markets directly.
You may say that´s the same with any given worker, but in fact, if you want to conquer the Finish market, you better get a Finish person to your team.
My bits of advice to any expat landing in Frankfurt and looking for a job are:

  • study the market – discover potential companies where your USP would make sense;
  • research a lot – LinkedIn, Xing, job portals, directories of companies, associations, universities;
  • read the local news – search for the regional best practices – companies growing – companies planning to hire or expand, etc…(for example, here)
  • network (on-line) – either with peers from the companies you want to work or with peers from your nationality;
  • go to local events (off-line) of your industry – Meetups, Get-togethers, seminars,etc..
  • be part of associations – like Internations;
  • learn German =)
  • adapt to market reality but always trust yourself and your USP;

To conclude, I guess it´s public that the number of expats in Frankfurt is increasing and that the tendency it´s to keep increasing, with movements like BREXIT.
This is one side of the coin.
On the other side of the coin, the start-ups.
The number of start-ups is also increasing, as well as foundings, the coworking spaces, etc…
I guess the signals are positive for both sides so in general, the opportunities are great ahead.
The overall evolution of the ecosystem will be a cycle, the speed of the transformation will obviously depend on multiple factors, but taking the example of Berlin, it will be soon.
Being in Frankfurt is a great advantage both for Expats and the Start-ups!
P.S: From my side, I´m happy to post here some expat roles that I´m aware of, as well as to introduce people to my network – so fell free to stay in touch.
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