Top Tips for getting an expat job in Spain

As someone planning to move to Spain, you are likely looking to find work. Unfortunately Spain has been in the news lately for its poor economic performance. Currently unemployment is high at over 20%, and the country’s economic future is far from certain.

The difficulties

The first thing you should know is that finding a job in Spain is very difficult. High paid skilled work is extremely hard to find. The most common work is found in the tourist industries. Even these types of jobs are difficult to get due to the fierce amount of competition from both the native population and other Expats.

You are at an immediate disadvantage if you are looking for work and currently reside outside of the country due to the language barrier. It is a good idea to learn as much of the language as possible if you want to succeed career wise. You may also have to lower your career expectations when looking for work in Spain due to the few jobs available and the average wage. Due to the high number of illegal immigrants arriving from North Africa and Eastern Europe competition between them and the Spanish locals for low paid and menial jobs is also very fierce.

Another difficulty is that most jobs in Spain are given due to nepotism as jobs are often given to family members and close friends.

The most common jobs on offer for expats in Spain are; bar jobs, construction jobs, and tourism, sales and catering.

Pay and conditions

If you are used to earning a certain wage in Britain, be prepared to take a hit to your earnings. In Spain the average wage is less than what you find at home. If you are lucky to find a job in Spain similar to the job you had in Britain expect to earn a fair bit less and although the cost of living in Spain is lower than the UK it isn’t much cheaper.

You may also find yourself working for longer hours. The typical Spanish job starts at 8 or 9am with a two hour siesta at midday before resuming work until 8pm or 9pm.

Workers in Spain have the right to paid time off in the following cases: Marriage (15 days off), Birth or death of family members (two days off), moving (one day off) Medical appointments for expectant mothers during work hours.

Workers also have the right to at least 30 calendar days of paid vacation per year.

Many Brits are shocked by the long days when they arrive in Spain expecting a more relaxed lifestyle, resulting in many of them returning home to Britain. Be prepared for this and if you still want to emigrate then it shouldn’t be a problem.

Top tips for finding work

Here are some tips to help you find a job in Spain:

1. Be prepared to work for a lot less than you’re used to back home. Wages and job perks are less in Spain.

2. If you’re skilled, consider starting up your own business or consider working from home via the internet.

3. Have some money in savings. Finding a job may prove difficult so have some cash in reserve.

4. Jobs for English speakers are limited, so prepare to work any job available.

5. Learn the language, this cannot be stressed enough. If you can learn a good amount of Spanish before you move than you will have an advantage over the Expat competition.

The Expat Hub
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