The crisis may have taken its toll on the Spanish economy but you can still find jobs in Alicante if you don’t mind a pay cut and are able to think out of the box.
It is no secret that the Spanish economy has taken a battering with the current financial downturn referred to here as the ‘crisis.’ Unemployment is running at record levels but does that mean job opportunities are zero?
I live on the Costa Blanca – the white coast in the Alicante province. The economy here is different to the major cities where there tends to be a high concentration of white collar jobs in the large government and corporate headquarters offices of Spain’s big companies. Here, the coastal job scene is not so much white collar as a white apron.
So if you are seeking for a job in the service sector, perhaps the coast is will provide you with the opportunity you are looking for.
Do not think that all enterprises are purely Spanish because they are not. The British, Chinese, Italians, South Americans and East Europeans in Spain also run bars, restaurants, and shops selling everything from food to car spares to solar panel systems. They sometimes employ staff of other nationalities for their languages. The daughter of a friend of mine is currently employed in a Chinese bazaar because she speaks English and Spanish.
Which types of jobs are available?
As a salesperson
If you have experience in sales you should not have a problem finding a job. The basic salary may be low but may amount to a substantial amount if you sell enough. If you are able to speak a second language you might even be able to land a great position. From selling advertising space to funeral plans (very popular over here with the elderly expats), there are always jobs for salespeople.
In the hospitality industry
The hospitality business is always on the lookout for chefs and bar staff. Speaking multiple languages and having prior waiting experience will help put you in front of other applicants. However as we are talking about a range of establishments from basic cafes to five-star hotels, you should be able to find a job even with only basic experience.
But be prepared for hard work. Most of the restaurants will be busy and you will be under pressure working at high temperatures. Crowded bars get very hot.
Be your own boss
What if you can’t find a job? Well, maybe you have to create one. Some creativity can go a long way here – see a gap and fill it. Opportunities exist here which are unavailable in your own country: e.g. pool cleaning and gardening is in big demand, especially when the owners are not residents. Many properties are owned by people who have yet to relocate full time. Some let their houses out so they need cleaning and servicing. Fairly basic work requiring minimal experience and skills, but if you build up a portfolio of properties it can be financially rewarding.
The option to be your own boss can be extremely appealing to those who are setting out on a new lifestyle. But it will take hard work and commitment. However, at least the profit will go in your pocket and not the boss’s.
Maybe the internet is your thing. If so, work from home using Spain’s excellent broadband internet services. Work the hours to suit yourself and spend your leisure time in the pool or on the beach.
Relocation to Spain is not for everyone. You have to decide what you want. If you are happy to maybe downsize a little then find a job that pays the bills and leaves you plenty of time to explore. Discovering the culture and other delights this country has to offer can be part of your daily life.
Escaping the rat race and working (for instance) behind a bar may just be the change that would benefit you. But remember there will still be bills that need to be paid. Spain’s healthcare system is only available to those who contribute, and the level of government handouts here may be different from your home countries.
Do some homework; time spent on reconnaissance is never wasted as they say. Spain can offer some exciting opportunities but be prepared to be flexible and adapt to your new surroundings and situation.