It’s that time of year again in the UK when we’re supposed to be enjoying lovely long summer days, but instead we’re outside worriedly looking at the grey skies and wondering if we should take an umbrella whenever we go anywhere. The summer tan can be bought from a shop or a salon, but it can’t be ‘earned’ on sun loungers in our gardens. And it’s that time of the year again when interest in moving abroad increases ever so slightly!
It seems that we Britons are sun lovers trapped in a sunless nation and there’s nothing we can do about it except leave! If you’re tempted to get away just for the summer and you fancy getting a job somewhere hot, what about working in Spain? Yes the property market there has died a death, but it is still a top holiday destination for us Brits, for the Irish and even for the Germans too. Therefore there are plenty of businesses that require seasonal workers.
Alternatively, if you want to make a permanent break for the sun then working in Spain can be perfect for you too – with a fantastic year round climate, southern Spain is a popular destination for expatriating Britons. In this report we look into the realities of moving to Spain to work, of finding a job and establishing a new life living in Spain.
Do I Need a Work Permit to Work in Spain?
The answer to this question is dependent on where you originate from. If you’re going to live in Spain from America or Canada for example, then yes, you do need permission to live and work in the Spanish sunshine. On the other hand, if you’re coming from the UK, or from any other nation in the EU then you’re probably aware that there is a reciprocal agreement in place between all member states in the EU, so that us EU citizens can basically go and live and work where we want.
Having said that, you do have to register your presence once you move to Spain, and of course, if you’re going to be working in Spain you’ll need a Spanish tax code and will be expected to pay tax on your Spanish earnings. For more information visit the Spanish Consulate’s website for your nation. Alternatively, speak to your employer about signing up for Spanish tax, and just visit the local police station when you arrive in Spain to get the registration process underway.
Finding Seasonal Work in Spain
As Spain is such a popular tourism destination there are plenty of jobs available during the long summer season in industries directly related to tourism. You may be able to find work as a chamber maid, or in a kids’ club, as a bar person or as a waitress, and if you speak Spanish then your chances of finding work increase, as do your pay options! You may also be able to find work in industries such as farming where there is some seasonal work – however, this is usually low paid and an industry where there are plenty of migrants willing to work for perhaps less than you.
If you have TEFL qualifications you may be able to find temporary work in different parts of Spain and outside of the summer season, alternatively what about looking for work in areas where you’re already skilled – for example, some families just want a nanny or a home help for the summer, some hotels want additional beauty salon staff for the summer season, or if you’re an entertainer, maybe you can find work at a holiday resort in Spain?
Finding a Job and Moving to Live in Spain
If it’s your dream to move permanently to live in Spain then our advice is to put as much time and effort into planning your move as possible – that way you stand the best chance of making a success of your new life. If you are of working age and don’t have enough in the bank to retire just yet, a priority of yours should be finding a job to support you when you move to live in Spain. Just like all nations in Europe at the moment, Spain is suffering economic difficulties which have spilled over into the employment landscape and resulted in increasing job losses across many industries. This means that not only are there fewer jobs available in Spain, but that competition is getting tougher to get a job.
If you speak Spanish then you will have a massive advantage over other expatriates who don’t. What’s more, if you have a professional skill and/or long-term experience in an industry where there are still openings in Spain – from managerial experience in a multinational company for example, to perhaps working as a teacher or caregiver – then you still stand a strong chance of finding employment. It may well take you longer to find a job, but if you put the effort in and are determined to, then you will succeed eventually (it’s all about cosmic ordering!)
If you work on getting a job before you move to Spain you will have the security you and your family need to make your life a success. You can target given employers for work, you can look online at international recruitment companies’ websites, you can also look on companies’ websites which are in your professional sphere of expertise to see if they are recruiting. Other ideas for finding work include contacting recruitment companies that specialise in your business arena or even contacting the Spanish job centre to see about listing your skills or being informed when suitable vacancies come up.
There are two schools of thought when looking for work abroad – one is that it is better to have a job before you go, the other is that you are more likely to find suitable employment when you’re living in the nation you want to work in. This is because you can be more proactive on the ground and literally get out there and find jobs that are available, you can attend interviews in person and at short notice, and you can network and socialise and learn about any job vacancies as they come up. However, there is a downside to this in that you have to be unemployed and living off your savings if you’re going to take the plunge and move abroad before finding work. It is a big gamble. It can pay off for some people, but you really need to think about your family and your finances before you decide which method of attack to choose.
Finally, living in Spain and soaking up the Spanish sunshine is a dream for many – but if can become a reality for you if you do your homework before you go and have realistic expectations about your new life in Spain.