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The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Whether you want a working holiday or are seeking employment to fund your expat lifestyle there are a few things that you’ll need to know before starting your Spanish job hunt.
Being able to speak the language is the first thing you’ll need to do to be able to get your foot in the door, although you might find a multilingual company that will employ you without you knowing Spanish.
Here is a rough guide to being a successful job hunter in Spain:
What are my employment options?
The easiest way to get a job in Spain is to already have a position secured before you emigrate. Professional qualifications or specialist skills will help to stand out on the international job market and mean you’re more likely to be offered a position.
However, if you don’t have these advantages other options include becoming self-employed or using the internet to allow you to live in Spain but still operate your business in your country of origin.
Another option is to teach English to Spanish nationals. The Franco dictatorship meant that English was not commonly taught and so it isn’t as widely spoken as you might expect. Teaching may not be your dream career but it offers an interesting way to earn money whilst you’re hunting for something else.
Will I need any qualifications?
You’ll need to make sure that any academic or professional qualifications you hold are recognised in Spain. To do this you’ll need to get in touch with the Ministry for Sport, Education, and Culture and ask them to provide you with a certificate of ‘homologation’.
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Bear in mind that this may take up to 18 months so you’ll need to plan ahead before you start to apply for jobs.
If you have a medical or architectural qualification then you can get your certificate fast tracked by contacting the National Academic Recognition Information Centre.
Where can I find work?
Once you’re in Spain then your local National Employment Institute will have details of local, and sometimes national positions. If you hold a residence card (which you should) you’ll have access to an employment counsellor, and their website offers practical advice on employment, self-employment, and starting your own business. Although you’ll have to have a working understanding of the language as the website is purely in Spanish.
What else do I need to know?
When you’re applying for jobs in Spain it’s worth doing a follow-up phone call as Spanish companies are notoriously bad for not contacting candidates to discuss their decisions.
Also remember that if you get offered an interview that formal dress is expected and you should be honest about your level of Spanish to avoid any misunderstandings. If you lie about your level of fluency you’ll be found out pretty quickly.
Finding work in Spain can be tough, but it could change your life and is definitely well worth the effort. So keep calm and find that job!
By Rob Rudd
Rob Rudd holds a British passport but spent his gap year before university working in Germany and has also spent some time working in Australia. He is interested in the hoops and hurdles that need to be jumped through and over, in order to get a job abroad.