Sylvia Pascaline Talent Search People
OCT 2010 - SORRY, QUESTIONS TO THIS EXPERT ARE NOW CLOSED.
This month, our new Ask the Expert feature is with Sylvia Pascaline from Talent Search People. She is the key account manager from their native speakers division, which is currently the leader within multilingual recruitment in Barcelona.
Talent Search is a Barcelona and Madrid-based company which specialises in native speakers and commercial, finance, IT and e-commerce profiles.
If you have any questions about looking for work in Barcelona, finding a job or anything about employment in Spain then email your questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Question 1. Is it possible for an English speaker to get a job here with no Catalan and just intermediate Spanish?
Any advice welcome, Tessa
it is perfectly possible to get a job with English only. Depending on your experience the offers might vary, but there is also entry level positions available, for example in customer service and business development in multinational companies and shared service centres. The work itself is phone-based and towards the UK market so Spanish is not necessarily required. Corporate language in the big companies is also usually English. The more you learn Spanish, the better your possibilities are in terms of finding a variety of opportunities, but jobs like these are good options to begin with.
Question 2. Do I need any particular paperwork in order when applying for a job? I'm from Sweden and have been here for just three weeks, Many thanks, Janna.
As an EU/EEA citizen you have the right to live and work in Spain under the same conditions as Spanish citizens. However, you should have the NIE number and Social Security number applied when you start looking for a job.
NIE number is required if you are having any financial, social or professional interests in Spain—which means basically all activities you are going to do if you choose to settle down here. It’s similar to the Spaniard's NIF (Número de Identificación Fiscal) which serves as a fiscal identification number. Opening a bank account, paying taxes, signing an internet contract or using social services is impossible without NIE. In Barcelona you can get it from the police station in Calle Balmes 192.
Question 3. I'm going to be studying in Barcelona for six months on a student visa and I understand I will be able to work part-time. What advice can you give me on finding part-time work?, Thanks. Rin
Since you are not an EU citizen and student, you need a work permit to be able to work part-time. The company who is wishing to hire you will start the process. You can find more information and necessary forms here:
However, finding a part-time job can be tricky without a work permit. Companies prefer hiring a person with existing permission to work in Spain since it saves their time from administrative matters. Most of our job offers are full time, but I would recommend you look in local newspapers and the Loquo webportal ( www.loquo.es ) for more opportunities.
Question 4. I have a question about working in Spain. I am a Canadian currently living in Mexico but my dream is to move to Spain. I know it is pretty hard to get a working VISA since I am not part of the E.U. so do you know how I could go about getting a job before I come? Currently I am teaching English as a foreign language but I am also fluent in Spanish, albeit Mexican style.
Thank you very much for you help!
Since you need a visa it is slightly complicated to get a job beforehand. For a work visa, you need to find a company in Spain who is willing to give you a job offer and start the procedure. The problem is that there is a lot of administrative work for the company and since there are candidates available across EU, with a permission to work in Spain, they normally prefer choosing them. This is of course depending on the job, if the profile they are looking for is very specific (such as artist, athlete, medic or very special IT profile) they might be willing to start the visa process.
For an English teacher it is very difficult to get a work visa since there are a lot of British here.
An option could be to first study something here and after a year look for a company to do an internship, then ask for modification and start working part-time for them (check previous question).
Question 5. I was doing some research when i found you page on the web, i was wondering what are the chances for an IT Specialist to work in Barcelona. I'm an italian Citizen, spanish is my first language, i speak english, italian , also learning catalan.
I've been an IT/MIS/Network Support Specialist-System Administrator-Help Desk for 10 years, in miami, female,31 years old,single.
I would like some info about where should i look, any specific web-site or newspaper..etc... will be moving by January 2011.
Thanks for your help.
With your skills set and language profile you could definitely find interesting vacancies in Barcelona. In addition to Spanish companies that require remote or on-site IT support agents, a number of international companies have centralised their technical support departments in Barcelona. For these companies your English and Italian skills could give extra value. Of course, you should think in advance what would be your expectations for the position (your salary expectations, whether you’re open to shift work etc.) You can find vacancies from the biggest job portals like www.infojobs.net and www.monster.es. Also, you might want to send your CV directly to recruitment agencies. For example, introducing it directly from our webpage (www.talentsearchpeople.com) your CV goes directly to our candidate database and to the attention of Recruitment Consultants who deal with IT profiles.
Question 6. Is it possible for a German/Hungarian speaker to get a job in Barcelona? (with Spanish basic skills) Are there any German companies in the city? Perhaps at a museum like a german guide?
Thank you very much for your answer!
Good news for you: in Barcelona there are numerous opportunities for German native speakers, Hungarian being a bit less of a language requirement. There are many multinational companies with operations in Barcelona (for example in customer service, help desk, inside sales, business development and financial departments) and they are constantly in a need of employees with different languages to work towards their countries.
The German market is big and that's why German candidates are wanted all the time. Since corporate language in these type of companies is usually English, you don't necessarily need Spanish in terms of getting or doing the job. Of course it will help you to adapt the culture and it increases the amount and variety of job opportunities, but it's perfectly possible to find a job without it.
Question 7: Journalism Amy: Hello, I am a multimedia journalist in Scotland and am investigating work opportunities abroad in order to learn a language. Would love to spend some time working in Barcelona and am wondering how difficult it would be to get some work or an internship in something media related - newspapers, magazines, blogs, broadcast etc. Also have a degree in business. I don't speak Spanish but have basic French. Many thanks!
I would say that you have a good possibility to find at least an internship in Barcelona in your area of interest. There are many international companies and start-ups looking for enthusiastic, qualified interns especially in online marketing industry (social media and SEO). Unfortunately most of the placements are not well paid or completely unpaid, but many of them offer incorporation afterwards. This is, however, something you should clarify before you accept any offer in case you are interested in continuing working here. To finance your internship, maybe you could look for different freelance opportunities in online journalism. I recommend you to do some networking before arriving (LinkedIn and send applications to international newspapers and magazines) in order to get a full picture of the situation.
Question 8. Would there be a possibility of me getting a job in Barcelona? I'm 51 years old and have an upper-intermediate level of English but no Catalan. I've been in Barcelona for the last 4 years and got my work and residency permit last year. I'm training to work as a receptionist in hotels and have experience teaching English to beginners and have worked as a secretary and receptionist in Argentina. I have basic computer skills and am a native Spanish speaker.
As you have been working as a receptionist and secretary before, that might be something you could continue with. Usually companies are looking for Spanish speaking staff with English (another language is a plus) for these positions and if you have a degree/training in addition to experience, even better - also inexperienced personnel are often hired.