Surely I’m not the only one, at least in the Nordics, who is or has been dreaming about living in Spain. Not many people can afford to just pack their stuff and go, and for myself securing a job was the most important thing before even thinking about buying any flying tickets.
Apartments and other arrangements can be worried about later on, and very often the employer can help you with the apartment issue, or at least give some good tips for it.
Even the lack of language skills isn’t a problem, as long as you can speak English. Of course knowing Spanish makes the job searching process easier, but it’s not mandatory. I feel Spanish is quite an easy language to learn, so as long as you have motivation and you are active, you can learn at least the basics quite quickly once you have settled down in your new home country.
I have been living in Spain twice. The first time was in summer of 2007, when I left to Spain with my friend to do my internship for my studies. The original job was posted on the website of the Finnish job centre, but the telemarketing company in question ended up being a huge disappointment and a real slave camp (in its’ worst possible meaning).
So we left the company after two weeks, as recommended by our school’s international relations responsible. At the same time the company was added to a black list, so that no more interns would be sent to work there from our school.
The lesson of this experience was to do a little bit of searching before choosing the company for your internship, especially telemarketing companies can sometimes be a bit dodgy. But you can easily find the unpleasant experiences from discussion forums just by asking our dear friend Google.
Maybe you are wondering how this story ended, as we were two young girls stuck in Spain without a job. We decided to go from door to door asking different companies if anyone would like to have two office workers for 2,5 months absolutely free of charge.
We were lucky, and the very first company we visited agreed to have us as interns for the rest of the summer. Not many entrepreneurs would say no to such offer. The reason why we advertised ourselves as free workers is that we received benefits for our studies, and therefore we didn’t require any salary.
Student exchange and internships are the best ways for students to gather some experience of travelling and living abroad, and the most reliable destination can be found easily with the help of the school.
Since high school I’ve been regretting not having had an exchange year abroad. There are many reasons why I never did it, and thanks to some rough experiences, I’d like to advise every student under the age of 25 NOT to sacrifice any dreams because of a girlfriend or boyfriend!
If the relationship is meant to last, it will cope with a few months separation. If it doesn’t, it was never supposed to last.
In the worst case scenario you’ll end up having the same experience as I did: I left my dreams unfulfilled cause I wanted to stay close to my boyfriend. How did that work out? He cheated on me, caught in action, and left me. Such a waste, I stayed in Finland for absolutely nothing.
Luckily now I’m old and wise. During my current relationship, I’ve been living abroad twice. First one year in Spain and very recently half a year in Germany. I’m not saying maintaining a long distance relationship would be nice or easy, whether you are young or old, but it’s not impossible. Sure, we had our difficulties when I was living abroad, but here we are, still happily together.
First EURES Job support for young job seekers
Back to the topic: A young European, between ages 18 and 30, can receive financial support for job searching trip to Europe through Your first EURES Job program. Also other European unemployed job seekers can claim benefits for job searching in EU / EEA countries and Switzerland. You can find more information about the support here.
When I moved to Spain the second time, I was 27 years old. I had finished my studies a long time ago and had been working for several years. I searched for a job in Spain by myself, without claiming any benefits, and therefore I thought it might be useful to share a few tips I found extremely helpful during my job searching process.
Working in Spain can be fun and relaxing—and obviously very warm!
Don’t forget to create a job watch!
The internet is full of different job searching websites, but the biggest international employers will most likely advertise open positions in your country’s job centre, at least this is how it works in Finland. The best way to save some time and effort is to create a job watch on the websites you want to use, so there won’t be any need to do the same search separately every single day.
A few websites I found extremely useful, and they are worth mentioning as they are still contacting me every now and then with job offers, even if I haven’t been searching for a job in Spain for five full years now! However, I never deleted my details from their services, and when a promising position is open, they still send me email every once in a while asking if I’m interested in the position.
Eventually, I found my job through Monster (job watch, job watch!) and thanks to that, I spent an amazing year in Spain between 2011 and 2012. Just to be clear, my employer would have loved to keep me with them longer, but I decided to return to Finland after a year due to a promising job offer (another bitter disappointment that I have mentioned a few times earlier, for example here).
No matter where you work, breaks are extremely important as they keep you going. This is where I spent my lunch breaks and other occasional breaks during my working days.
Many sites are looking for workers from YOUR country!
Adecco Spain is listing many good positions all over Spain, and it’s very good tool especially when looking for a job in customer service or office. Although Adecco requires often at least the basics of Spanish language, and the CV should be uploaded on their service translated in Spanish. In case English is the only working language for you, don’t worry. The following websites are made for you!
Talent Search People is extremely good website that is listing many positions where Spanish is not required at all. You can even search for a job as a native speaker, and they have often positions where they are looking for Finnish, Swedish, German or Italian native speakers, among others. The only additional language required is English and also the communication with the staff is always in English. I can warmly recommend to upload your CV on their service, as this is exactly the company that is still after 5 years actively in touch with me with interesting job offers, and I think it was only about a month ago since they contacted me last time.
Europe Language Jobs is another great tool for searching jobs in Europe, not only in Spain. This website is listing positions also from different recruiting companies, so for example Talent Search People positions can normally be found in here as well. Searching for jobs is easy, as you can choose your search criteria by country, language(s) or branch (e.g. customer service, engineering, technology, marketing, etc.). This website is fantastic in case you just want to work abroad but don’t really mind which country you’ll end up to. Europe Language Jobs is very active also in LinkedIn, so make sure your profile is up to date. Social media is a crucial tool for a job seeker nowadays, as you probably know.
And remember, when you get your first job interview, don’t panic too much and most importantly, don’t worry even if you feel you blew it completely. This happened to me, but the results were absolutely unpredictable. You can read the story about my craziest job interview here.
Have you been looking for a job outside your country? Please share your best tips in the comments section. It would be nice to hear other experiences about the job seeking process and especially about the results!
Happy job hunting!
When you find a job, it’s time to start searching for an apartment. Read this warning example explaining why you should be extra careful when looking for an apartment in a foreign country!
Did you find an apartment? Good! Now read how to get rescued from a locked balcony in a foreign country, in foreign language!
Are you starting to hesitate? Read 9+1 reasons why YOU should move abroad – at least for a little while!
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