In my third year of stay in Poland I got an offer from a local consulting company. I couldn’t say that it was my first job in general (as I worked in banking sphere in Kazakhstan before and helped here and there), but I considered that opportunity as my first official experience abroad.
As an assistant, my main responsibilities were contacting clients and leading projects on developing clients’ business structures. I’ve been cooperated with people from different offices within the company that were located in- and outside Poland and I’ve spent a lot of time preparing PSs (Project Sheets) after each completed project.
To make the story short, I would only add that all the work described above was done in Polish and, as a Frank Smith said: “One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way”, so for many doors opened once I’ve decided to go further.
Knowledge of additional language give you a lot of opportunities. Today I’m working in a big international office here in Poznan and use three languages (English, Russian, Polish) on a daily basis. Therefore it wasn’t a problem for me to find a work. It was just a matter of time since I had to get my work permit (resident card), other than that it was really quickly.
Since the employment rate is really low in Poland (especially in Warsaw and Poznan), there is a high need of all kinds of workers. To check whether I’m right or not, I decided to ask some of my friends and work colleges about their experience and obstacles that they faced while looking for job:
-How did you find a work in Poland and was it difficult for you?
It’s no about difficulties (smiling), but it was a bit complicated at the beginning when I just moved here. When I started with the basic jobs (like when I found a work in Call Center) it was difficult, especially when I couldn’t speak Polish language. But now… the more specific the job description I’m looking for the higher requirements are.
To get a good job in Poland you should know local language at least on good communication level. Not long time ago I’ve noticed that there are a lot of job advertisements in English that required knowledge in Polish language (beside the B2 level in English).
-Do you think it’s important to have good communication level of local language to get a job here in Poland or English is enough?
From my experience, if you would want to work in Production field (FMCG/ CPG) Polish language is a must as well as the background in that fields. However it’s not difficult to find a job without Polish as a pre-requisite in Customer service/ Consultancy field. I found my first job via job portal and I was searching for English jobs only so everything’s possible.
-Does background matter to find a job?
From my experience the most important background that matters is your working and life experience. As I grow up in Switzerland and then had been living in Spain I decided to move to Poland for good to develop myself in professional way. It all comes down to how skilled you are and how you present yourself, your nationality and where you come from doesn’t matter as there are many international companies whom are employing people from all around the world.
So if you don’t know how to start and where to search for a job here are some tips:
- First thing that I would like to recommend – have your documentation right. You have to start with your CV and be honest with yourself. You should include all of the key details when it comes to your educational background and work experience; your skills and strengths;
Tips: prepare your CV in English and feel good about it! But if you have some Polish friend who are ready to help you with translation – just bring them a bottle of beer 😉
- When it comes to the position that you’re applying for – make sure to include only relevant working experience.
Tips: for those of you who doesn’t have any working experience (yet) it worth to describe the projects that you worked on (it could be your BA thesis, group project where you made the most of the part and etc.). You can also put the information on your active participation in student life/ projects out of the school and tell about the “impact” you bring everyday to that world. FYI: many companies today do pay attention even on your involvement in volunteer works (I was asked few times about this during different recruiting processes).
- Prepare cover letter. Writing a smart cover letter can get your foot in the door, even if you’ve just graduated and have no experience behind you): describe yourself and present your arguments why you are the right candidate for the position and why the company should hire you. Don’t forget to explain how you will benefit from being hired and why you think that job if the right one for you.
- Registering on on-line portals – is the best way to find a good job. There are few good websites that is very popular in Poland: pracuj.pl; inforpraca.pl; olx.pl.
Tips: you can always try official website of the company that you would like to work for. Besides looking for a job on the official websites and employment agencies get involved with foreigners groups on social media. There are multiple ones on the Facebook and most of them do share job opportunities. My personal experience – meeting and asking people and friends around you.