How to hunt for translation jobs in Germany

Looking for a job as a translator in Germany? Don’t want to actually have to leave the house to do so (or you’re not actually in Germany and can’t go wandering round the town you’re in looking for people to talk to)? Then read on and all shall be revealed…

I’m going to assume you’ve already checked out the usual sources (employment agency website, monster, jobsrapido etc.). If you haven’t done that bit get on it now then come back. We shall wait.

Next, get thee to Google and type in the word “Übersetzer” (translator) followed by the name of the town you want to work in. The first thing that appears is a list of Google maps results. Click on the bit where it offers you more Google maps results. Now right click on the first translation agency and open it in a new tab (if you don’t do this you’ll have to keep clicking the back button later and it will all get very annoying). This takes you to yet another Google maps page, this time for the individual translation agency. There should also be a website address on this page. Click there. It should open in a new tab (or possibly a new window if you’re using Internet Explorer. I don’t know, for I am not). You may now close the Google maps page for that agency.

Check the website for a link that says something like “jobs”, “careers” or “employment”. This is where you will find the jobs they currently have available. 90% of them will tell you they’re “always on the look out for new freelancers” – fine if you want to be a freelancer, not so good if you want an actual job. If the page actually lists opportunities at the company bookmark it for later reference. And if you can’t find a careers link try clicking on “contact” instead – sometimes it’s hidden there. If you don’t find anything the page can be closed. Likewise if they only want freelancers.

Repeat the above for the next translation agency on the list. And the next one. And the one after that. Try to pay some attention to where the map is taking you though – remember, the lower down the list you get the further away from the original town the agency will be.

When you find yourself clicking on the name of what you think is going to be a translation agency (after all, you did type “translator” into the searchy bit) but which actually turns out to be a private investigators, then realise it’s almost midnight and you’ve been searching for 2 hours it’s probably time to call it a day.

Now you can revisit all the pages you bookmarked and start sending out your CV.

And that, my friends, is what I did with myself last night. Apart from the bit where I send out my CV… for that I have to wait until Jan checks it and sends it back to me.
At least nobody can say I’m not trying to find a job!

9 thoughts on “How to hunt for translation jobs in Germany

  1. I’m so sorry you lost your job, Bev. Especially as you just got your new place an are still setting it up, and planning a holiday, the timing is dreadful. I am sure you will find a great job soon. I will be keeping my fingers crossed that you do.

  2. Thanks Ali.
    I know, the timing is the worst. I haven’t even finished buying furniture for my flat yet and now there’s a chance I may have to leave it (if the employment agency decides it’s too big for me to be entitled to the benefits). AND because I’ve only paid unemployment insurance for 10 months I’m only entitled to subsistence allowance instead of proper unemployment benefits. If I could have worked for just two more months I’d have been a thousand times better off!

  3. Its soooo boring doing the job searching thing.. At least you are being pro-active.

    In the current financial climate we are experiencing at the moment, you find more and more companies only or mostly hiring freelancers.
    It seems trying to find permanent work is getting harder and harder.
    Keep on keeping on bevchen, something will come up.

    Good luck.

  4. PPlongstocking – there are very few things I hate more than searching for jobs. In fact, the only one that springs to mind right now is going for interviews… which is unfortunately also part of the whole job hunting thing. But if I don’t manage to find a job there’s a possibility that I may lose my flat… hence the pro-activeness.

  5. As I understand it, outside of big European institutions, there are very few in-house translation jobs. The vast majority of translation is done freelance. I’m a qualified translator and have looked for in-house work in order to gain experience so that I can eventually go freelance, but the jobs just don’t seem to exist.

    Could you get any job to keep you going and do freelance on the side until you can be a full-time freelance and be your own boss?

  6. incoherent – thanks. I hope so too 🙂

    anxious – thanks for your comment. You’re right about the lack of in-house jobs, and right now it’s even worse. I was working at a translation agency and am hoping to do that again, but as you pointed out most places only want freelancers. The freelance thing may be a possibility once I’ve figured out what I need to do (step one is getting a tax number apparantly…)

    Whatever job I get needs to be full time, otherwise I may have trouble with health insurance. So things like part time cleaning jobs or shelf stacking are out.

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