February 17, 2009

Working in Europe

Are you an adventurous spirit? Do you want more out of job than punching a clock and getting your paycheck?

I read in the Boston Globe today about an interesting new program between the United States and Ireland to approve work visas for college graduates. The program is designed to support recent grads who want to spend a year or more in each others’ country.

That article inspired me to write a post I’ve had on the back burner for a while now: Where and how to get a job in Europe. Let’s take a little trip around the Continent…

Ireland, England and Scotland
The unemployment rate in Ireland is at nearly 10 percent — even worse than here in the U.S.

There are still opportunities, however, for those of you interested in working in tourism or high tech. The Green Isle also hires experienced miners. Temporary American workers can find work in the U.K. at places like pubs or summer camps. Longer-term opportunities are available in the IT sector.

France & Germany
Both France and Germany offer opportunities to English-speaking au pairs, so if you want to work in English nanny-ing is a great way to see central Europe. Other opportunities for English-speaking professionals include military bases or high tech companies in Germany, and the resort industry in France. If you currently have your own business and want to take your show on the road, France is a great place to do that. The country has some of the most favorable laws for consultants in the EU.

Italy, Spain & Greece
Tourism is the name of the game in the Mediterranean, especially in the summer. There are also great opportunities for teaching English and working as an au pair in both Italy and Spain.

Eastern Europe
Opportunities abound for entrepreneurs in Eastern Europe, including those who want to start a business or work as a consultant. Eastern Europe also has English teaching opportunities, including at the college and professional level.

Now once you have found a job or settled on a country you want to work in, it’s time to look at the logistics of this adventure.

•    Do you have a current American passport? If not, now is the time to apply for one.

•    Do you know the visas and work permits for Europe? Each country sets its own guidelines. Check out JobMonkey for a country-by-country list of visa regulations.

•    Do you know where you will live? You will need to line up a place to stay when you first land. In the summer, many colleges rent out dorm rooms. The local U.S. Consulate should have a list of reputable apartment brokers. Or if you can check the city’s Craigslist.

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