Last night I had the pleasure of attending a networking event hosted by a group of internationals here in Madrid. It was at a very cute bar near my place and I roped in a friend to join me too, in short, a great Thursday after-work plan. My American friends and I often remark about how wonderful it is that in Spain that midweek get togethers are so common. So we celebrated juernes (thirsty thursday) and heard stories from some expats here about how they broke into the spanish job market.
I’ve been to a few “How to Make it in Spain” chats and they tend to veer towards similiar ends. Some folks went to graduate school here in Spain, giving them the insta-network you need to branch out, other folks were helped by their Spanish partners to make connections and others shared refreshingly independent paths to landing new jobs here. I was glad that I went and felt inspired to publish my own basic guide to breaking into the job market here!
Step 1: Humble yourself. Spain is a country with incredibly high unemployment rates and landing entry-level or junior positions is extremely hard, not impossible just hard. You will not make as much money at a desk job here as you could Stateside or even teaching English when starting out.
Step 2: Learn Spanish. Really.
Step 3: Polish your resume, look for a few great jobs you want and write cover letters for each one.
Step 4: If you get the interview, be prepared to conduct your interview in Spanish and answer personal questions. What are your long term plans here in Spain? Why did you study “insert your major here” and now you want to work in “job title that doesnt sound like your major”? Are you married? How old are you? Where do you live? You won’t discuss salary until you are signing paperwork, or unless your interviewer brings it up first, in which case they will usually ask you how much you’re looking to make.
Step 5: Never give up and stay connected to people in the sectors you want to be in. That’s easier said than done but nobody got a new job by waiting quietly in their current one. Be persistent and get out there!
Hope those are helpful tips. I casually omitted anything about making yourself legally hirable because everyone’s situation is different and that’s another topic all together! There are some great Spain bloggers out there who cover those topics like Young Adventures and Como .
Leka Leka is a cute-ass bar in Latina on a quiet little street. They have cold vermuth on tap and delicious little hamburger sliders. The menu del día is reasonably priced and very good; best of all they have a great indie rock playlist more often than not. Check it out and lemme know what you think!