Jobs in Portugal? Know of any American companies based there?
Eat the food, use the wrong verbs, and end up getting charged double.
Many American companies do business in Portugal, and some might have local/regional headquarters there.
On the down side, in order to get hired for a position in Portugal, your employer has to prove that it can’t find a Portuguese or EU national to do the job. And, unless you’re already working for this company in the US and they decide to transfer you to Portugal to fill a position no one else in the EU can fill, there shouldn’t be a reason why your prospective employer can’t find an EU national for an entry-level position.
Don’t assume it’s your birthright as an American to be able to legally work for American companies abroad. It’s only reciprocal: in the US, foreign-owned or foreign-based companies can only hire Americans or US legal aliens. Additionally, companies may have shareholders from around the world, or change ownership several times. American companies invited to do business in the EU are invited to do so (sometimes with incentives) on the basis of creating jobs for locals; same goes for foreign companies that set up shop in the USA. And it’s only fair that locals take local jobs, when the customers/clients themselves are locals.
That being said, some fields in Portugal and in the whole EU do have labour shortages (for example: IT, nursing, carpentry, construction), so you may be able to get an entry-level position in some of these fields if you possess the skills. For some positions (like teaching Enlgish) speaking native English just might be the skill an employer is looking for, (assuming that there’s no Britons or Irish competing for that same position). If you have a skill or degree that’s in great demand in the European Union, then you just may find a job in your dream location.
Additionally, there is one “American company” that is not legally required to hire locals: You can apply for a job with the US State Department, working at the American embassy or an American consulate in Portugal. On the flip side of the coin, positions in Portugal are probably highly sought-after (and thus hard to get), while there may be vacancies in countries like Azerbaijan or the Democratic Republic of Congo, where few Americans would be willing to work. Even if you speak Portuguese, the State Department might find you more useful in Mozambique or Angola, than in Portugal.
Good luck on your job search!
I am working on a computer science degree and will finish in May 2009 while already having a business degree. Hopefully when I’m through I’ll be able to find something.
Do you know anything about Dubai?
I don’t know too much about the United Arab Emirates, but from what I understand, the country must have considerable labour shortages in several fields because the majority of the resident population is foreign workers, filling both blue collar and white collar jobs. You definitely don’t want to do blue collar work there, as there are pretty much no labour regulations to protect you (no safety standards, no 8-hour/overtime rules, etc), no unions, no decent pay, none of the things you’d get in Europe, USA, Canada, Japan, etc, especially if you’re a foreigner: you pretty much have no rights in the UAE as a blue collar worker. On the other hand, I think that foreign white collar workers in the UAE have it very well, and since white collar work is what you’re after, you may find a great job there. If you’re interested in going there, definitely consider the adjustments you’d have to make: for example, if you think you can deal with the desert heat in the summer months (although it’s supposed to be real pleasant in the winter), and if you can transition into a country that is more culturally different from your own than Europe is (albeit the UAE, especially the city of Dubai, is very cosmopolitan and much more liberal than other Arab countries). Do a search online, see if you can find maybe a website/forum for/by American/Canadian/European expats in the UAE, and maybe chat with them about living and working in the UAE.
But going back to Europe and Portugal, I know that IT is in big demand in the European Union, although I’m not sure how much of that demand is for Portugal specifically. I remember Germany was at some point a few years ago recruiting IT workers from India (perhaps because they couldn’t find enough IT people from the EU?). This may have changed; maybe more EU nationals are pursuing IT degrees today when compared to a few years back or maybe EU companies have found it easier to outsource IT work, rather than recruit people from abroad. But IT just may be your ticket into Portugal as a non-EU national. Definitely try looking for jobs in Portugal, and perhaps consider expanding your search into other EU nations if you don’t find anything in Portugal. Perhaps, since you’re interested in Portugal, you may also be interested in other Southern European countries as well, similar cultures and same climate.
Thank you very much for this useful article and the comments. I love this site as it contains good materials.
I have a friend working in Faro and I’m hearing only rapturous feedback how great is the life there. Probably I will try to find something for me as well next summer if I manage to learn some portugese till that moment.
Portugal is a good place for going a trip to this place. There are a lot of good sites to see and this would be a good picnic with your friends. There are lots of variety items to eat. Their Food is the most delicious item in this place. The taste of their food is a different one. They are cooking in a special style. Most of them are fried items. Also this city is good for entertainment.
Choosing Portugal for a job, not bad. Good luck on you. There are American employers there
Which, again, doesn’t guarantee an American a job. If the position is located in Portugal then Portuguese and other EU nationals get priority for that job.
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