Updated: Oct 29, 2020
As per popular statics website, Statista, there have been about 377,584 deaths across the globe due to the Covid19 pandemic. The total number of cases, from the same website, stand at about 6.3 Million worldwide. This is an average of ~6% mortality rate globally.
Now, you might be wondering why am I mentioning Covid19 when you want to know if this the right time for you to move to Germany. Well, as of this moment, your career and life is being affected by the pandemic that is happening across the world.
Covid19 has severely impacted certain industries like tourism - aviation, hotels and restaurants and online booking portals (think Booking, Airbnb, Skyscanner, Oyo etc). The pandemic has made sure that its not one single country which has been impacted, but all. Though the scale of impact might differ across the countries, the economic impact is global. This is the downside of having an economic order, where the supplying/producer countries are dependent on demands from other countries for their product and services.
This is where it becomes relevant for Germany. Germany has been very lucky and fortunate in managing the Covid19 pandemic. With less than 8,700 deaths as of today (as per Statista), the life impact has been unfortunate, but minimal. In parallel, the German population began the self lock down measures quiet early, in some cases even before the government's official declaration. This quick reaction helped saved countless lives and prevent the spread of the disease.
If you are considering Germany as a career and future destination, this is important for you to know. I have been working from home since early March,2020. Only in the last couple of weeks, some businesses are beginning to open. None of them at 100% level, mind you.
Germany is the 4th largest economy in the world. A significant portion of the German GDP is made up of the German products and services being exported to the global customers. A lot of those business customers are located in countries where the impact of Covid19 has been severe : USA, China, UK, France, Italy etc. Except for China, all the these biggest trading partners are still struggling with after effects of Covid19.
Useful read: What is Kurzarbeit or short time work in Germany?
The biggest categories of exports for Germany are cars, vehicle parts, medical equipments and aviation equipment. Apart from the medical sectors, all of the others have been significantly affected. Owing to this, there has been and will be a general slowdown in the German economy.
Coming to you: so, what should you do if you were considering Germany for your next career move.
Well, not all is gloom and doom. In the past 2 months, I personally know 3 people who got job offers and joined already. Another student, who had 2 job interviews for different profiles. So, there are pockets of economy which are sustaining, if not thriving in the current environment.
Some of the key industries that are interesting in these times are:
Supply chain service providers,
Virtual office services provider,
Startups focusing on sustainability,
Health tech and wellness tech companies,
The current crises has exposed existing industries to business risk. The core strength of the German economy, automotive - will need to not only withstand this challenge, but also emerge more relevant and robust in the face of changing customer demands.
As for your career plans, know what you are getting into. Based on your:
consider realistically if it makes sense to still consider Germany - both for education and jobs. if you were considering taking a JSV (Job seeker visa) to move to Germany, be brutally honest in your assessment. With all the financial and professional risks, what is your probability of getting a job in Germany.
A person who I know and got a job recently, is in Germany on a dependent visa with her husband. She has an IT profile & about 9 years of experience. Similarly, all the foreign students who are graduating this year or did last year, will be in the job market, with local education which you lack.
As of now, no one knows how long the impact of Covid19 will last. I have attended webinars of finance leaders across the world recently. All of them are focused on preserving the cash within their companies. The general consensus is anything from 12-18 months for recovery to start. The following vague terms are floating around to signify what a recovery will look like :
L shaped, or
At the end of the day, the whole world is guessing and laying it by the ear. The best option for you is to stay put, don't take risks when you are not aware of the odds. Once the government support starts to reduce and the companies start getting back to reality, my guess is that there will be an oversupply of the job seekers in the market. This only means more competition for you as a foreigner job seeker.
The final decision, however, is your's.
It always helps to have a mentor, who has worked and lived in Germany for some of the best brands. For personal consultation with Arun Mahajan, book a time with him.