Freelancing as a UX designer is great and Munich has a vibrant UX design scene. However, getting started as a freelancer, and finding your first projects can be a bit daunting. In this article, you’ll find some helpful links as well as tips and tricks to get your next freelance gig.
One easy way to find work is to get in touch with a recruitment service provider. They will save your profile in their database and contact you as soon as they have a suitable request. This is a good way to work for bigger companies, which often don’t hire freelancers directly. The recruitment agency will take care of most of the paperwork and serve as a middleman between you and the client. They earn money by charging the client a higher daily rate than what they pay the freelancer. Here’s a list of recruitment agencies, who refer freelancers to companies and have an office in Munich.
Small team from Munich, who know the local design scene very well and maintain close personal contact with clients and contractors. They also run the “Moodboard” podcast, in which they often interview designers from Munich.
One of the big recuriting players in Germany, focused on IT and engineering.
International recruiting agency for IT talent.
International company with offices all over Germany and recruitment agency for many large corporations.
Recruiting agency for the US, UK and Germany with an office in Munich.
Local recruiting specialist from Munich with a focus on tech and design.
International recruiting agency focused on young professionals with an office in Munich.
International recruiting agency operating in the fields of IoT and Broadcast Technology with an office in Munich.
Freelance Networks & Agencies
Freelance networks are hybrid organizations that blur the lines between design and recruitment agencies. They either provide jobs for individuals (similar to a recruitment agency) or assemble cross-functional teams to work on a client project from start to finish (similar to an IT company or design agency). In any case, they have an extended network of specialists from all kinds of disciplines. There is a growing number of freelance networks with ties to Munich:
European innovation consulting and recruitment company with an office in Munich. They also run an online community called Together by Tech” .
Product studio with a small core team and an extended network of tech and design specialists.
Small design agency that focuses on working together with mothers on a part-time basis.
Freelance network in Munich and Berlin with a large pool of designers, developers and consultants.
Small freelance network from Munich.
Besides LinkedIn and Xing there are online platforms that focus specifically on connecting companies and freelancers such as Fiverr and Upwork. Sometimes the matching process of these platforms is manual, sometimes aided by algorithms. In most cases, you can set up a profile and also view existing projects and requests. It’s also interesting to use those websites to do some “market research” on how other freelancers market themselves and what their daily rate is. Of course, online platforms are not bound to a specific location but some of them nevertheless have an office in or around Munich:
One of the biggest platforms in Europe with a very slick website and various additional services for freelancers such as the Malt Academy.
Recruitment service provider focused on IT, engineering and finance.
Platform focused on connecting companies and designers with the help of AI.
Europe-wide platform to find freelance jobs.
Matching based on detailed skill profiles with the help of AI.
Cold Acquisition & Networking
There are well over 360 companies in Munich, who design and develop digital products. They come in all shapes and sizes from small startups to international corporations. Many of them have an internal UX design team but often there is more work than they can handle. As a pro-active freelancer, you can pick the companies that interest you the most and approach them directly. This is a bit cumbersome and might not lead to a project directly but it doesn’t hurt to put yourself on their radar. Who knows, maybe they will have a job opportunity in the future and will remember you? You can use the interactive map of UX companies in Munich to get an overview and look for interesting firms.
Another great way to get to know people and look for jobs is to become part of the local UX design community. There are plenty of groups, meetups, and events in Munich that revolve around topics related to user experience design. Going there and meeting people is always a good idea. If you’re up for it, you can even give a talk at a meetup and share your knowledge. My blog post on the UX Community in Munich can help you get started.