When Berlin Calls – Joseph Stiernon, Senior Enterprise Consultant
Joseph Stiernon moved from Paris, France to Berlin in 2010. Here is what he had to say about the city and working for startups.
“For me, Berlin is something apart in Germany. The city is like a magnet. I think it has something to do with the fact that a lot of foreigners have come to Berlin in the past 25 years. And all the new economy that is developing in Berlin: Tech industry, startups, informatics industry. They are creating job openings for foreigners.
All these new companies, are from the beginning, focusing on international expansion. There are a lot of job offers for people who master a foreign language and could bring some market insight about their home country.
Startups react quickly to market demand and market expectations… That is what interests me – having a reactive, challenging environment where you can adapt the strategy of your company to the needs of your clients right now. You have to adapt; it only works with flat hierarchies and constantly improving your products.
In this way, you are connecting to the company somehow, because your well-being as a worker is depending on the company’s success. You are kind of working for the growth but kind of working for yourself, like a small entrepreneur inside a company.
If you want to make a career in Berlin, you have to learn German, even if this means you need take evening courses. You need to make German friends.
You can live in Berlin in a closed environment, have only French friends, speak only French, use a little bit of English in your job and party on the weekend… But those people leave Berlin after two or three years, because at some point they say, ‘I didn’t manage to get a boost in my career.’
If you don’t speak German you will never get a job in management. Language is critical.”