The one thing holding back some would-be expatriates is the thought of how they’re going to make a living once they move abroad. In a country such as Bulgaria this concern is intensified, because it doesn’t have the level of international placements that a country such as France or Germany can support for example. So, in this guide to how to make a living in Bulgaria, we’ll cover the options and angles that would-be expatriates can consider.
Naturally your options are improved if you speak Bulgarian, but don’t panic if you can’t because the door to entry and employment is not closed to you.
From speaking to expats who have already made the move, to looking at the types of jobs currently being marketed in Bulgaria, we’ve drawn up a pretty comprehensive overview of how you can go and live in Bulgaria and make a living.
Just to recap, if you speak Bulgarian your chances of securing employment are vastly improved, and what’s more, the fields in which you can find work will be almost as diverse as you’re perhaps used to in the UK. However, we’re also well aware that the easiest way to learn a foreign language is to move to the country in which it is spoken, and immerse yourself in it!
So, if you have yet to pick up more than the basics of the language and yet you’re keen to be living in Bulgaria and creating and establishing a brand new life for yourself, it is possible. The two main fields of employment in which Britons find work are property and teaching. The former is a marketplace where opportunities are dwindling at the moment unfortunately, although there are still some people who find jobs in Sofia and the winter resorts in the field of real estate. Positions range from estate agent to property management – and if you’re not averse to cleaning, then you’ll maybe get work in the winter or summer resorts looking after other people’s holiday homes.
In terms of teaching jobs, Brits are finding work with language institutions teaching English as a foreign language. If you have a TEFL qualification, so much the better, otherwise enterprising Brits are also marketing their services privately via newspaper classified adverts or even by putting up cards in supermarkets! If you’ve an entrepreneurial bent, you’ll find an opportunity to make a living in Bulgaria without doubt, this is because there are so many niches left to explore and exploit. Whether you set up a restaurant or an interior design service for Brits who’ve bought a home in Bulgaria, you’ll find a way of making a living.
Those with little or no Bulgarian language skills will either have to rely on employing Bulgarian staff, or they’ll need to target their business and skills towards British clientele. For those with Bulgarian language skills, Sofia is the main centre of employment, and the two best sites for finding jobs in Bulgaria are JobTiger and Jobs.bg.
The other side of the expat coin reveals that there is a small pocket of expatriates who are living and working in Bulgaria quite happily and who have been headhunted or relocated by an employer. These expats often earn a salary above the usually market rate for the nation, but are on a short-term or fixed secondment to the country. If you work for a company with offices in Bulgaria and you’d really like to relocate, you may as well approach your company and see if they would be willing to sponsor or at least support your move abroad. After all, nothing ventured, nothing gained!
If you’ve set your heart on living in Bulgaria and the only thing holding you back is the thought of how you’re going to make a living, you need to rest assured that there are limitless opportunities in a country like Bulgaria where the entire economy and nation is emerging and developing. If you’re prepared to work hard and make opportunities, you will find that you can succeed. If on the other hand you like working in a regular and routine 9 to 5, you may well discover that you’re lacking sufficient get up and go, and that a move to Bulgaria would therefore be unwise!