Berlin has so much to offer the digital job market, filled with culture, innovation and a budding startup scene. But London still remains the city that designers and ux-ers seem to flock to thanks to its diverse employment opportunities.
This October, Cogs launched our first international Cogs Crunch event, which focused on the differences between these two cities and the challenges and benefits of making the move from Berlin to London.
Here are the insights from the 3 fantastic speakers:
The differences in work/life culture
Paul Gibbins, a UX and Service Design Practitioner has spent time working in London and now in Berlin, discussed the differences of the work/life culture.
He explained there are noticeable differences between digital services in the two cities and feels Berlin is quite behind the times. There is a slower pace and a more ‘chilled’ working culture, compared to London’s hustle and bustle – so it depends what environment you thrive in.
Paul feels London offers a more diverse range of opportunities but this could possibly be due to volume of roles available/ people/ companies; as Berlin continues to grow – so will their job offerings.
The Logistics of working in London Vs Berlin
Alex Clark, has over 10 years’ experience as a Creative/UX/Design lead, he discussed the logistics of working in London vs Berlin. He said it was vital to find a recruitment consultancy, like Cogs, who have experience in the global freelance market, who can assist with invoices, setting up weekly payments, and even offer locations for accommodation closest to vibrant digital areas.
He stressed that if you are considering a move – do your research. Do not get seduced by money/ salary – the most important thing is finding the right project that will push you to get the most out of the experience.
Alex focused on the specific differences for UX and service designers in London compared to Berlin. In London you might find there are many more parts to the project life cycle – and people are needed at every checkpoint. Where as in Berlin, less people get involved at any one time, there are separate production timelines and teams. So again it depends on personal preference of working culture.
Freelancing in Berlin Vs London
Martin Jackson is a creative/ copywriter/ brand consultant and has worked as a freelancer in both London and Berlin. In his experience working in startups in Berlin (Soundcloud and Pantaflix), was different to Paul’s, as Martin has said that the pace of work in Berlin is relentless – indicative of wanting to push out the best products in the shortest amount of time.
The lack of diverse opportunities in Berlin was mentioned by fellow speakers, and Martin agreed and explained how he used this to his advantage. There are very few strategists, copywriters, or brand specialists in Berlin – this is where Martin made his niche in the companies he worked for. For budding talent wanting to venture into the Berlin market – find your niche offering.
Martin added that London is great for getting up to speed with specialisms in digital – so learn them in London, and then bring them over to Berlin where they are seen as gold dust! Martin worked for 10 years in London building up his skills and has been in Berlin for 3.
The event was a huge success with some unique and brilliant insights into the topics covered. If you want to explore job opportunities in Berlin or London check out our live UX and Creative roles or contact our teams today.
“I liked your session a lot, I took a lot of nice ideas out of it”
Mandy Meissner, UX-Service Designer, Freelance
“Very good organised, lots of friendly people. Thank you!”
Kerstin Gross, UX-Designer, Immobilienscout
“Cheers for the invite to the talk, by the way – very enjoyable meet-up.”
Martin Jackson, Speaker and brand consultant.