Starting a new job in Germany can be exciting and rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming and stressful, especially if you are unfamiliar with the local culture, customs and sometimes language. Here are 10 things to keep in mind when starting a new job in Germany:
Punctuality is important
Germans value punctuality and expect employees to arrive on time for work and meetings. It is a good idea to plan ahead and allow for extra time to get to work, especially if you are not familiar with the local transportation system.
Business attire in Germany tends to be more formal than in some other countries. It is a good idea to dress conservatively and professionally, especially on your first few days on the job. Remember what they say, first impression is the last impression!
Learn about local customs and traditions
Familiarizing yourself with local customs and traditions can help you feel more comfortable and integrated in your new job. For example, you should know the protocol for greeting coworkers, such as shaking hands or kissing on the cheek. Here are few things you should know about the German working culture!
Be prepared to work hard
Germans are known for their work ethic, and it is expected that employees will work efficiently and effectively. It is a good idea to be proactive and take initiative in your new job, and to be willing to put in extra effort when necessary.
German companies often have a hierarchical structure, and it is important to show respect to your superiors and follow the chain of command. You should also be mindful of your coworkers’ titles and use them when addressing or referring to them.
Communicate clearly and concisely
Germans value clear and concise communication, and it is important to be direct and to the point in your interactions with coworkers and superiors. Avoid using slang or colloquial language, and be sure to use proper grammar and vocabulary.
Germans are entitled to a minimum of 30 minutes of break time for every six hours of work, and it is common to take longer breaks for lunch or coffee. It is important to take breaks and rest, as this can help you stay energized and productive. And the break time which is compulsory everywhere is not paid. So better take it instead of working for free.
Get to know your coworkers
Building relationships with your coworkers can help you feel more connected and integrated in your new job. It is a good idea to make an effort to get to know your coworkers and to participate in team-building activities or social events.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If you are struggling with a task or have questions about your job, it is important to ask for help. Your coworkers and superiors will likely be happy to assist you and provide guidance.
Staying organized can help you stay on top of your work and avoid feeling overwhelmed. It is a good idea to create a system for keeping track of your tasks and deadlines, and to stay on top of your emails and other communication.
Overall, starting a new job in Germany can be a rewarding and enriching experience, and by keeping these tips in mind, you can set yourself up for success and feel more confident and comfortable in your new role.
If you’re a new international employee in Germany and do not speak German yet, you can book a local to assist you with language-support tasks like in-person appointments, phone calls and paperwork.