Whatever your reason for wanting to work in Madrid – art, architecture, cuisine, culture, history, nightlife, weather – the Spanish capital has plenty to offer foreign workers. However, before you pack your bags and hop aboard the next flight to the Iberian Peninsula, bear in mind the following tips, which might just make finding jobs in Madrid a little easier.
As the business and financial hub of the country, Madrid attracts direct foreign investment and, typically, presents more job opportunities than any other Spanish city. However, the unemployment rate in Spain is high, so competition for jobs in Madrid is frequently fiercer than in other European cities. You may find that you need to ‘cut your coat according to your cloth’ and adjust your aspirations to the reality of the social and economic factors that influence the Spanish job market.
Jobs in Madrid for people who don’t speak any Spanish are available, but represent just a tiny proportion of the total job market. If you speak little or no Spanish, you might like to consider teaching English, privately, or for an academic institution. Even then, though, you will need to speak some Spanish to fulfil your professional obligations. Learning to speak Spanish will not only put you at an advantage over other candidates, but also allow you to communicate with local people and enrich the whole experience of living and working in Spain.
Making connections and building mutually beneficial relationships, otherwise known as networking, is an important factor in finding a job in any country and particularly so in Spain, where the principle is ingrained on the national psyche. Make every effort to attend networking events, such as group events and job fairs for local and foreign business people, which may provide opportunities to leave a lasting impression on thekey players in your chosen field. The old adage, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”, is more relevant in Spain than in many other European countries.
Job interviews carry more weight in Spain, where personality and motivation are highly regarded, than elsewhere. Stand when you greet your interviewer, wait for them to initiate a handshake and only sit down when invited to do so. If your interviewer speaks to you in Spanish, reply in Spanish. Even if your interviewer speaks to you in English, reply in Spanish to demonstrate your language skills, or ask which language he or she would prefer.