Are you planning on a move to Europe? One of the biggest concerns is finding work in your new host country. Here are some things you should know about working in Europe.
Moving to an English Speaking Country Will Be Similar to Working in the US
If you move to an English speaking country like England or Ireland, you will already have the benefit of speaking the same language. You of course will have to adjust to things like different tax systems and social norms, but finding work will be the same as it is in the US. The qualifications should translate fairly well and you should find work eventually.
Do You Have a Background in IT or Some Sort of Academic Research?
The IT field is generally in demand and you can find work fairly easily, even if you don’t speak the native language. If you speak English and you have the required competency to work, you will have a pretty good chance of finding work in Europe.
If you come from an academic research background, this will help as well. English is often used as the international work language for research in academic situations and you will be able to adjust fairly well. Finding a job as an expat is relatively easy with this background.
If You Have a Background In Business, You Will Have An Advanage
More and more companies have English as their company languages because they’re American companies with offices overseas. If you have a background in business or you have a degree in something related, you will have an increased chance of working in your host country.
However, most often, they’ll expect you to eventually learn the language. Even if English is the official company language, people do speak the local language. However, you will have time to learn because speaking the language while working is one of the best ways to learn a language.
You Will Probably Need to Learn the Language
If you don’t work in IT or have a business background, you will most likely need to learn the local language. This is very important to know before moving to Europe so you should prepare accordingly. If you learn the language a little before moving, you will help your cause of finding work in Europe. Do keep in mind that learning a language takes time.
Sometimes it takes 1 year just to feel like you’re starting to understand basic things. For some, it takes 2-3 years to be able to use correct grammar. For others, it takes 2-3 years just to speak and understand the language. If you don’t make an active effort to learn the language, it will seem like an eternity.
Understand That You Might Be Facing High Competition
Unless you have a business or IT background or have an education that is very specialized, you will have a lot of competition for jobs, even if you understand the language. Europe, just like the US, has a lot of immigrants, and they’ll be going after the same jobs as you. Especially in the beginning when you don’t completely understand the language.
Working As An English Teacher
Most native English speakers that move to Europe have the idea that they can rely on being an english teacher as an expat job that someone can fall back on. This is more true if you have teaching experience or more specifically, experience teaching English. However, without this, you would need to have fairly good contacts or you would need to get some sort of certification somewhere. Unless you have this, then you might have to give private English tutoring lessons instead.