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Jobs in Spain?

#1 Jobs in Spain?
01/04/2008 22:12

Tapas 1


I don't speak Spanish but I'm becoming increasingly sure that I want to get a job in Barcelona, and possibly move there permanently.

My plan is to try and learn some Spanish over the next few months and see if I can move over by the start of next year.


1) How feasible does my plan sound? How easy will I find it to get a deceont consultancy job over there? (Spreadsheet modelling / management consultancy)

2) Any tips?

3) Am I being silly throwing in a successful London based career? (i.e. earning British pounds)

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#2 RE: Jobs in Spain?
04/04/2008 23:56

coco to Tapas 1 (#1)

But have you heard barcelona is better city for living? nice food and nice people with great parties you do love too.

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#3 RE: Jobs in Spain?
05/04/2008 09:23

JohnSmith to Tapas 1 (#1)

Well according to,

the famous Mercer Consulting Survey, London is on place 39 and Barcelone on 44.

My only concern is how on earth do you want to get a consulting job in Spain without speaking spanish? - that is not the first time someone asked this in the forum (it was the case about moving to Germany).

To me it seems that you English people are a bit

naive in this respect. You have to speak

your clients language in order to communicate and manage effectively and efficiently (apart form that its just costumer-service). Believe it or not but Spain is a well developmed economy and they are not just waiting for the consultant from London.

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#4 RE: Jobs in Spain?
05/04/2008 09:25

JohnSmith to JohnSmith (#3)


I also imagine you have not learned a second language properly (as usual in the UK) so let me tell you, it takes years! to get on the level that you can negotiate.

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#5 RE: Jobs in Spain?
05/04/2008 17:18

Tapas 1 to JohnSmith (#4)

Hey thanks for the Mercer link. I also reaad this informative yet witty article on the matter:

Barcelona lack

It sounds like a move to Spain is good for those who want to opt out of the rat-race but bad for those who don't. I don't unfortunately as I like the challenge of my job, was just hoping to move to a country with a better climate and culture to do it.

I do alreaday speak a second language so I can appreciate how hard it is before you can become good enough to do business in it (many many years). I guess I was hoping that I could do try and learn asa much Spanish as I can in a year, and use my Excel skills to get by with regards to work.

Am studying that Mercer list with interest.

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#6 RE: Jobs in Spain?
05/04/2008 17:52

anon to Tapas 1 (#1)

Your best option would be working for a multinational, probably in i-banking, where English (or whatever second language you speak) is the workplace standard. I do not know of specific firms with offices in Barcelona but it might be worth reviewing some business directories for possibilities.

As other posters have commented, getting a job in Spanish firms will be challenging without the language. You have to bear in mind that even Madrid is only a "national" or "regional capital" and has not embraced the global labour market in the same way that "global capital cities" have (albeit with some exceptions for low skilled labour in the construction industry). As such, more consistency is expected in the way you communicate and use regional colloquialisms. If, for example, you are used to working in London, you'll be used to standards for how people use language in the profesional workplace being quite forgiving of accents and grammatical variations for foreign speakers. Working in Spain, the professional community is less accustomed to working with non-locals and hearing Spanish spoken as a second language, so tend to be more judgmental of competence based on fluency.

Similarly, to your last question about throwing in a successful London career, Barcelona can probably offer a good standard of living, but opportunities are decidedly limited and career paths more static.

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#7 RE: Jobs in Spain?
05/04/2008 19:09

neo007 to anon (#6)

Hi Tapas,

I live and work in barcelona so i think i can give you some realistic advise.

I have experience as a consultant and now as a project mnager in a world top 5 FMCG company (american...) and unfortunately i don't see any options of working in any of those envirojnments without spanish... Although i am strongly exposed to international projects and all the internal documentation, software, etc... is mainly in english, the communication language are spanish or catalan.

However i know some people working in the finance sector (brokers mainly), insurance or property who work 100% in english. OF course i'm speaking about very niche companies totally focused on UK, US customers.

A part from all said so far... Barcelona is a great city to live. I don't know actually another city in the world that combines all what Bcn does. Great weather, perfect size, nice people, nice food, beautiful city, beach, sky resorts (1h30m by car), museums, theater...

On the other hand, and being used to the london money and opportunities, you are going to find it difficult to find a good job with good money. Be ready for a city with lots of young well prepared professionals (yes... believe me... Barcelona is not the south of Spain... forget toreros, siesta and flamenco... people here study MBA's in IESE and ESADE) fighting for a few jobs (30k€ year, 10h-12h a day).


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#8 RE: Jobs in Spain?
13/08/2008 10:24

Eduardo Gonzñalez to neo007 (#7)

Barcelona is not the south of Spain. Are your really a consultant? I live and work at Granada, the South of Spain, and I'm not happy with your comment.

The market in Spain is very easy. If you don't want to travel, you must live in Madrid or in Barcelona. But if you don't care about being two or three days every two weeks travelling, you can live anywere.

Andalucia (the south of Spain) has been moving in the last years, and now there are some big firms stablished here.

About toreros, siesta and flamenco, I have no time to go to the National Party (corridas de toros, toreros), and I don't like flamenco, but when I can, I like to sleep between 5 and 10 minutes after eating.

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