Finding a Job in Barcelona
It is almost a contradiction in terms in that Spain offers what can be a relaxing slow paces life in the sun and yet this relaxing can also be a stressful place if you are looking for work and struggling to find a job. There are many sides to Barcelona and certainly if you are on the right side of city, this is a wonderful place to live and can be everything you envisage it to be. For ex-pats moving to Spain and in particular Barca, what types of jobs can you find, what do you need to consider and what else do you need to know? Let us look at the situation below in more detail and try to provide some answers.
Type of Work
1. Taking a job with you - By far the best way of succeeding for work in Spain is to have a job in the UK which you can continue to do from Spain. This is becoming a common situation, particularly with the increasing use and speedy connections to the Internet. Many IT workers can now for example, get by with working and living in Spain and just returning to the UK once a month or so for meetings. Can you keep your job and transfer to home working from Spain? Jobs you do not expect could be done this way often can and if you are a valued employee. You might be pleasantly surprised by what is possible, if you get to the point where you make an offer to your employee. This has worked for many people I personally know and it worked for me and was how I started off in Barcelona.
2. Finding a job locally in Spain - Certainly this is possible although it is often far harder than ex-pats expect. Wages and conditions tend often to be poor and speaking Spanish is often needed (and maybe Catalan if you are in Barcelona). To improve your chances, try and start learning Spanish as soon as you can, even before you leave for Spain. Study as hard as possible because it will increase your job prospects and will also help your cultural enjoyment of the country. One of the best ways of learning Spanish and most effective I have found is via Rosetta Stone Spanish. Learn as much of the language as you can and you will greatly increase the opportunities that open up to you.
3. Open a business - This is in fact what a lot of ex-pats in Spain do, some very successfully and some not so. This is really your decision and the few pointers are to do as much research as possible into the business, the area you are moving to and the market. Make sure you create an extensive business plan and in for your finances, work out the costs and add on an extra 25% as you can be sure it'll cost at least that on top. Outsourcing elements of a business has now become quite easy such as if you need a secretary, writer or admin person for example, so you can avoid the issues of hiring people locally and being involved with the various employment laws and issues which can arise.
4. Teaching English - If you are only wishing to stay in Barcelona for one or two year's then teaching English as a foreign language, can be an excellent option. TEFL work does not pay that well but it can be rewarding and it still should help you cover your rent and other base costs. You can quite easily get by in Barcelona by teaching English and jobs of this type can be found on Dave's ESL Cafe (one of the most popular sites for finding teaching work).
5. Voluntary Work - If money is not such an issue for you in the short term, voluntary work is always worth considering and it means the chance to gain a better insight and experience of the local culture, than you might otherwise get. There are numerous opportunities to volunteer in Barcelona and these positions often last from 1 month through to one year and can involve working with animals, the elderly, children and many other groups.
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