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Working in Austria: Ten German words you need to know when looking for a job

German is not always the most intuitive language in the world, and looking for a job can leave you lost in a sea of unfamiliar vocabulary. So here’s a chance to brush up on some of the words you’ll need most when you go job-hunting in Austria.

Working in Austria: Ten German words you need to know when looking for a job
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Stellenbörse

This is where your job hunt may begin, a space – usually online – where companies and employers can advertise their current openings.

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about finding a job in Austria

Stellenbörse translates as “job exchange”, and is also known as a Jobbörse  or a Stellenmarkt.

From independent websites to exchanges attached to the major newspapers, there are dozens of Stellenbörsen out there. The best one, of course, is The Local’s very own, which gives you a brilliant overview of all the best English language jobs going in Austria.

Vollzeit/Teilzeit

One of these two words is likely to be on most of the job postings you look at. Teilzeit means part-time, while Vollzeit…well, you can probably work it out.

Fachkräfte

Fachkräfte are always in demand, and many companies will post opportunities for Facharbeiter. This means that they are after a specialist.

A Fachkraft is somebody who is highly qualified in a specific field, so if you are looking to learn on the job, these positions are probably not for you.

Azubi (Auszubildende/r)

One of our favourite German words, an Azubi is a trainee or an apprentice, and an Ausbildung, in job market terms, is a traineeship.

Unlike an intern or Praktikant, an Azubi is usually somebody who is doing a formal education with a view to entering a specific occupation.

Working in Vienna: How to find a job in the Austrian capital

Fest Angestellte and freie Mitarbeiter

A Stelle is a position or job, and someone who is angestellt is employed. A common turn of phrase is to differentiate between a fest angestellte Person, who is a salaried employer, and a freier Mitarbeiter, who is someone doing freelance work.

Lebenslauf

Once you’ve trawled through the Stellenbörse and picked out a job which suits you, there are certain things that you will need for any application. One of them is your Lebenslauf.

Your Lebenslauf is your CV – in fact, it’s an almost direct translation of the Latin phrase curriculum vitae. Your qualifications, language and IT skills, experience and references should all be in there. CVs are also often dated and signed in Austria.

READ MORE: Six things you should know about creating a cover letter and résumé

Bewerbungsbrief

Another key thing to include in any application is your Bewerbungsbrief, or cover letter.

As in the English speaking world, this should be no more than a page of writing, describing your motivation and suitability for the job.

Striking the balance between formality and flair can be difficult in German. If in doubt, the tried and tested “Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren” and “Mit freundlichen Grüßen” are always safe bets, but depending on the job you are applying for, you might want to spice it up a bit by sending your Grüße either “nach Hamburg” or “aus Berlin”.

Arbeitszeugnis

Along with your Lebenslauf and Bewerbungsbrief, most employers will want a reference or two, so make sure you include an Arbeitszeugnis.

Just as they are elsewhere in the world, these should be written by a former employer or someone similar. You would normally attach them to your CV.

Vorstellungsgespräch

If your written application is enough to impress your potential employer, you will be invited to a Vorstellungsgespräch.

Though it sounds nicer in German (the literal translation is “introductory conversation”), this is a job interview, plain and simple.

READ MORE: These eight words show just how different German and Austrian Deutsch can be

As with the CV, the law forbids interviewers from asking you questions about your private life, sexual orientation, marital status and religion. There should also be at least two people interviewing you.

Probezeit

Congratulations! You’ve impressed with your Lebenslauf and Bewerbungsgespräch, got through the Vorstellungsgespräch, and now you have been offered an Anstellung!

In most employment contracts, you will at first be put on a probation period or Probezeit. During this time, your employer is technically allowed to dismiss you with just two weeks notice. Under German employment law, the period should last no longer than six months.

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Can British people in Austria claim the winter fuel payment from the UK?

It’s no secret that winter is set to be expensive with rising energy costs. But some British people in Austria might be able to access financial support through the UK benefits system.

Can British people in Austria claim the winter fuel payment from the UK?

In the UK, there are various benefits available to help eligible people through the cold winter months – one of which is the winter fuel payment.

And, as the rising cost of living in Austria takes a chunk out of household budgets, some British people are wondering if they can still claim this benefit while living in Austria.

To find out, we took a closer look at the rules for claiming the winter fuel payment from the UK while overseas.

FOR MEMBERS: What are the rules about turning on the heating in the workplace in Austria?

What is the UK’s winter fuel payment?

The winter fuel payment is a tax-free payment to help older people with heating costs during the cold winter months.

Eligible people are those born on or before 25th September 1956 who were living in the UK during the qualifying week (starting the third Monday in September).

How much people receive depends on their age and whether anyone else in the household is also eligible, but the amount is usually between £100 and £300.

Those living in a care home or nursing home only qualify for the benefit if they are already receiving pension credit, income-based job seekers allowance or employment and support allowance.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: What will happen to Austria’s property market in 2023?

I’m a UK national living in Austria. Can I claim the winter fuel payment?

As with most issues related to bureaucracy, the answer to the question above is: it depends.

Official guidance from the UK government states that you may be able to claim the winter fuel benefit from abroad if you are at least 68 years of age, live in Switzerland or an EEA country, have a genuine link to the UK (such as family) and you’re covered by the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

Additionally, having previously claimed the winter fuel payment in the UK before moving abroad is not a requirement.

So, in theory, some British people living in Austria will be able to claim this benefit from the UK, as long as they were already in Austria by 31st December 2020.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: How does the Austrian pension system work?

However, only those that lived and worked in the UK for most of their life can claim the winter fuel payment, according to the online checker on the UK government website. 

This means if you moved to Austria for retirement and you meet the other criteria, then you probably will be eligible. But if you lived and worked in Austria for most of your adult life, maybe not.

How to claim the winter fuel payment?

To make a claim for this benefit for the first time, you will need to call the Winter Fuel Payment hotline on +44 (0)191 218 7777. The phone lines are open from Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm (UK time).

Alternatively, you can apply by post by filling in the IPCF091 form.

To apply for the winter fuel payment, you will need to provide your National Insurance number and bank details. The authorities will also ask for a copy of the Article 50 Card to prove that you were living in Austria by 31st December 2020.

Find out more about the application process at the UK government website.

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