Turning Weakness Into Strength

Weakness is often, to mangle a perfectly good cliche, in the eye of a beholder.

People move to Germany for lots of reasons.  Following a loved one who has had a transfer, caring for family, learning experience, new adventures and so on.  It can be a dream come true.   Eventually, though, most of us have to get back to that reality of making a living.  It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that because your German skills and knowledge of German business culture is not fully up to speed that you are at a disadvantage.

 

Take it from me:  this can be an advantage just as easily.   I am a computer guy and while my German is ok now, it was not when I first came over.  Since then, I have made a point of focusing on clients in North America.  I make the time difference (9 – 6 hours depending on location) a key point of my usefulness rather than a drawback.  For my last two full time jobs I targeted US based companies that were fairly small but had need of overnight support.

It was not exactly easy or fast, but after a few months I did manage to land these jobs.  Even better, I set myself up as a company here in Germany, so while I am fully employed by those respective US companies they pay me as a contractor/consultant.  This makes bookkeeping on their side much easier and makes me even more attractive as an employee.  It does make me more vulnerable to job loss, but you have make a sacrifice somewhere.

These days lots of companies are virtual companies (or partially virtual) and do not really care where you are.  I have noticed that in the last four months that the jobs on the different telecommuting/virtual job forums have really picked up in terms of quality and quantity.   If you are looking for a job for income or perhaps simply because you want the fulfillment that comes with a job, these forums are a great place to look.

They tend to specialize in writing/editing but there is usually a smaller selection of jobs from other fields as well.  Here are a few to get you started in the right direction:

Typical disclaimer:  Use these services at your own risk, there are no guarantees.

Just remember, your location and timezone is a strength when you take the time to find the right job.