Lauren Kelly

Behavioural Director @ BehaviourStudio Joined over 5 years ago

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  • Posted to Who here lives in Berlin?, Jan 11, 2016

    Hi Carl, I've been living in Berlin nearly 2 years (originally from Shef) so though I'd chime in.

    If you've got remote work, that's awesome. Getting a freelance job here is a bit harder than in the UK as the wider industry isn't so big (eg print, advertising, product design firms) - if you are in the tech side of life. Ie UX, UI, visual designer, web, coder etc. Then there is a really good tech scene around Kreuzberg and Mitte and they are always looking for good designers. Every person I seem to meet is working in a startup or is linked to something tech.

    Some hidden costs you have to think about it mandatory health insurance. For a freelancer this is slightly higher as you can't get state health insurance, so have to go private. I've got friends who's insurance costs them around 80 euro a month (super basic cover, eg no dental or hospital cover) whilst mine costs around 400 as I have a more comprehensive coverage with dental, womens coverage, hospital cover etc. All is tax deductible.

    The design scene is slightly different to in the UK. The German's don't seem to network as easily/ rigorously as we do in the UK. Not so many business cards get handed around. That said, there are some really good tech/design meet ups and a great buzz around the big co-working hubs. Most of the people I've met / my friends in the design scene are expats, Americans, Portuguese, Brits. All the startups office's I've been in have international teams and speak English as their base language, so you can still sling a few contracts if you don't speak German.

    Some co-working spaces to check out include Betahaus and Tante Renate Betahaus is more tech and Tante Renate more creative. When I originally arrived in Berlin I moved into a smaller studio with 11 other creatives and it really propels you into an existing network. I've recommend that over the bigger co-working spaces where its more of a temporary crowd. But that's just me :) Most advertise spare desks on craigslist under 'buro' or on sites like spare desk .net.

    If you have the urge to move to Berlin, DO IT. It is such a unique and fun city - especially in the summer months.

    Best, Lauren

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