When you are looking for a job, remember that the language issue is extremely important: don't forget that you are in Catalonia and that Catalan is with Spanish the official language of the region. It’s one of the strongest symbols of their identity. What does that mean? It’s simple. In addition to English, some companies may require that you speak Catalan. Still, if foreign languages are not your cup of tea, there are also multinational companies that only require Spanish, English or French.
Working in Barcelona also means fitting into a rather particular context. First of all, there is the question of schedules: the workweek is set at 40h; the days start around 10 am and end around 7 pm. In the middle, a long lunch break, which can last up to three hours! You wonder how this is possible? The lunch break is perceived as a privileged moment of exchange and sharing between employees. You will rarely see an employee skipping lunch or eating at his computer, as in London or Paris! Also, some use this long break to shop or go to the gym – which helps to maintain a good balance in life.
In terms of structure, most companies follow an "old-fashioned" model – hence the strong sense of hierarchy and the importance of dressing appropriately for going to work or for an interview. On the other hand, the salaries, which are lower than the European average, are among the highest in Spain. Maternity leave can last up to 18 weeks, well beyond the European benchmark of at least 14 weeks. And the holidays? Barcelona residents enjoy 30 days of paid holidays in addition to 12 public holidays.
Finding a job in Barcelona
Approximately 15% of its population and 20% of its workforce is comprised of expats, making Barcelona the one of the most international cities of Spain. There exist a wide variety of job opportunities in Barcelona for expats, ranging from skilled technicians in industries to management roles in multi national companies such as Amazon. Furthermore, numerous foreigners have even created their own startups, or work as freelancers, satisfying the increasing demand of European language editors and translators.
The jobs in Barcelona are constantly evolving with an increasing number of customer representative and technical support roles catering to Spain's growing expat population. Moreover, if you possess a solid programming and digital skillset, you can find jobs in the IT industry even with limited Catalan or Spanish.
If you are an EU or Swiss citizen, then you can get a job in Barcelona without obtaining a Spanish work permit. People of other nationalities need to apply for a valid work visa to get an official working contract. The contract entitles you to the Spanish healthcare, schooling and pension welfares. These benefits, along with the opportunity to immerse yourself in the Spanish tapas, sports and culture, make working in Barcelona an invaluable experience for expats.