Career guidance and job search

Although it may not be particularly difficult to find just any  job  or work, it is probably not enough to satisfy you in the long run. However, finding a  profession  or job that is just right is difficult only at first glance. Even if you were already trained or worked in a particular  profession  in your country of origin, you will most likely be faced with the following question: Will I be able to continue working in this field in Germany, and is this actually something I want?

What are my talents and skills – where are my interests?

Taking the time for some personal inventorying will help you achieve a better understanding of your actual career aspirations. For this career inventorying, you should consider everything from your special talents to your professional skills, from your work experience to what you love to do best, from your strengths and weaknesses all the way to what is valuable and important to you.
Based on this inventorying, you will create your "personal profile" which will help you to find the   profession  that is just right for you, and ultimately the perfect job in that profession.

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Do I meet all the requirements?

Have you already decided on a career goal or do you already know your career goal? This is the point to decide whether or not it makes sense to directly apply for a job. Maybe you first need to train for that particular profession, or you are still lacking certain professional skills, or you first need to get your professional qualification certificates recognized.

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Where can I find work?

You should use different paths to find out about job vacancies: The best way to find work is to establish and cultivate contacts and relations with others. Make a special effort to tell everyone you know that you are looking for a job, and be sure to also mention the field you are interested in. Talk to your family, friends and neighbors, and even to other mothers you meet through your children's kindergarten or school. May some of these people have heard about a vacancy or know someone else who might be able to help you. This is also a way to establish new contacts at the same time. Employers' job offers can be found on the internet, via the employment agency, or in newspapers. Take the time to thoroughly read these job offerings. Try to figure out beforehand what a particular employer wants, and whether or not you will be able to meet these requirements.

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How do I apply for a job?

Utilizing every single path in your job search will most certainly yield a large number of job offerings. For an application  to be successful, it pays to figure out beforehand which job offerings best dovetail with your personal profile rather than blindly applying for every job. Applications can be submitted in writing, by e-mail, by telephone, or personally. Job offers usually also contain instructions on how to submit your application.
In any case you will need application documents. In Germany, application documents are expected to include the following:
•    a cover letter for your application,
•    your  curriculum vitae  in tabular format,
•    a current photograph, and
•    copies of your most important school certificates or diplomas (school-leaving qualification or degree, professional training certificate, letters of reference by former employers).

Please put all of these documents in a folder. Special folders for applications are available from stationery shops, etc. A good set of application documents will improve your chances of getting a job. Allow others to help you when writing your application documents.

An employer who finds your application documents interesting will most likely invite you to come for a job interview. You should come well prepared to a job interview. Most employers will ask questions about your  curriculum vitae  and may inquire about specific details. Naturally, you will also be talking about the prospective job. You should be well informed about the skills which are important for that particular job. Often you will be asked during an interview why you consider yourself well qualified for that particular job. However, the interview situation also allows you to ask questions of your prospective employer, e.g. about the precise tasks and Responsibilities of a particular job, about working hours, colleagues, or remuneration.

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What are the work opportunities available?

Germany offers a variety of different possibilities for pursuing gainful employment in the various different professions.The most prevalent form of work is gainful employment subject to social security contributions. In that case you will be in an official employment relationship with an employer. A special type of an official employment relationship is the so-called temporary employment. As a mini jobber or part-time/low-wage employee you are also in an official employment relationship with an employer, albeit with fewer work hours and without enjoying the benefits of social security insurance.You have the opportunity to acquire professional experience in an internship setting.However, you may also decide to become self-employed. This means that you are setting up your own company.

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