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How to Beat Rising Expat Unemployment in Spain

According to a newspaper report out today, Gillian Merron, the British minister for consular affairs in Spain has intimated that expatriate unemployment rates in mainland Spain are rising.  This is worrying news for those already living in Spain and committed to their new country – and it’s also concerning for anyone contemplating moving abroad to the sunshine in Spain to escape the gloom of the UK.

After all, if expat jobless numbers are rising, what’s the hope that newly arrived expats will be able to find a job, earn a wage and make a living to ensure that their dream of a new life living abroad can be realised?

Well, in this article we look at how to beat rising unemployment in Spain so that if you do hanker after some sunshine and the inimitably laid back Spanish lifestyle, you can actually make your dreams come true and afford to make the move abroad a permanent one.

The first thing you need to do to ensure you succeed at finding a job in Spain is learn to speak Spanish.  This may sound all too obvious, but you’d be surprised at the number of people who relocate their entire family to Spain and commit to the Spanish way of life without even having learned the basics of the language.  This could be okay for retirees moving into a community packed with other Brits, but it is simply not okay for anyone who needs to get a job to maintain their lifestyle in Spain.

Traditional expat jobs selling property to fellow Britons or servicing the British and Irish tourism market are drying up as fast as Spanish house builders are going out of business – and this situation is not going to reverse in the near-term.  So, if you want to relocate to Spain sooner rather than later and you’re going to need a job to maintain your way of life, learn Spanish!  You can then compete on an equal footing with local Spaniards when you go for job interviews, and may even find that the fact you’re a native English speaker too means you stand out above all other prospective candidates.

Most expats are located in coastal Spain – and this is where unemployment is fast rising.  The reasons for this are manifold, but the number one issue is that tourism is declining in these tough economic times.  We are of the mindset that this is a situation that will of course reverse in time – as Spain is an evergreen, very popular holiday haunt – but in the meantime, if you need and want a job, try looking elsewhere such as in the main cities and towns and employment centres.

Expats also traditionally take on more menial jobs from pool cleaning to bar work – and it is jobs like these that unfortunately get axed first.  If you have a skill, a trade or a profession in the UK, why not take this with you to Spain!  Look at whether there is demand for what you do in Spain, if there is then you may need to get your qualifications translated.  You can consider setting up in business – or perhaps you can find an employer who would benefit from your skills.

Think outside of the traditional ‘expat job’ box – look for services and skills that are in demand in Spain, target that niche and target it well.  If you are committed to making your dream a reality, you have the absolute best chance of success!  And finally, don’t leave things to chance, plan what you will do and how you will do it before you go, have enough money in the bank to see you through some tough times and be willing to be flexible to keep income flowing.

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