Being a Freelance UX Designer is great but finding projects can be daunting. In this article, I share some helpful links as well as tips and tricks to get your next gig – especially in or around Munich.
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 big corporations, who usually 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 are some recruitment agencies that place freelance designers in projects.
A specialized team from Munich, who know the design scene very well and maintain close personal contact with clients and contractors.
One of the big recruiting players in Germany focused on IT and engineering. It’s worth taking a look at their project portal for freelancers.
International recruiting agency for IT talent.
International company with offices all over Germany and a recruitment agency for many large corporations.
Recruiting agency for the US, UK, and Germany with an office in Munich.
A 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.
Consulting and recruiting company with an office in Munich.
Global recruiting agency with a focus on tech jobs and an office in Munich. On their website, you can browse their current contract UX jobs in Germany.
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.
A small design agency that focuses on working together with mothers on a part-time basis.
Freelance network in Berlin with a pool of designers, developers, and consultants.
Small innovation consulting agency from Munich with a large network of “expert players” to configure the perfect team for each project
Besides the professional social networks LinkedIn and Xing, there are online platforms that focus specifically on connecting companies and freelancers. For example, Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancermap, Bettertalkto, UX Remote Talent, and Freelance.de. 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 research on how other UX freelancers market themselves and what their daily rate is.
If you don’t want to look at (and sign up to) every platform, you can also try searching for “Freelance UX” on the Google Job Search. The results will include jobs from some of the mentioned platforms and other websites.
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.
Europe-wide platform to find freelance jobs.
Matching based on detailed skill profiles with the help of AI.
Online platform to connect freelancers with companies in the industry.
Long-established recruitment agency for the design scene, mostly for permanent jobs.
Fratch calls itself “the New Work Operating System” and helps freelancers find suitable projects and companies.
9am does not only aggregate jobs from various sources but also offers basic CRM functionality, helpful ressources, and a (Slack) community.
Cold Acquisition & Networking
There are over 450 companies in Munich, that 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 proactive UX 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 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 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.
Slack Communities for designers are a nice way to network with other designers, developers and creators all around the world. They often have a #jobs and/or #freelancer channels, where you can look for your next gig.
When you have successfully acquired a project, take a look at my post on how much to charge as a UX freelancer.