Finding a Job in Prague
Teaching English, IT jobs, Multilingual Jobs and great opportunities for graduates
Every new foreigner moving to Prague gets an unspoken, three-month period of time in which they're allowed to party heavily, and get to know the city. After that, if they're still jobless, hopeless and increasingly drunk, then they probably shouldn't have come here at all.
My wife likes to tell me that 15 years ago, even the most hideous, foul and otherwise uncool foreigner (usually a man) could drop their passport "accidentally" on the street, and they would find a minimum of seven gorgeous women racing to pick it up, bring him home, and cook svíčková and dumplings.
Times have changed -- regrettably for many long-term foreigners here. Beer doesn't cost five crowns anymore, and most of us have to work to stay here and be comfortable.
Believe it or not, you'll find that most Czech companies today aren't waiting for you at the airport, praying for an English-speaking foreigner to show up so that they can start paying them a huge salary, with a company car, and a statuesque secretary. In light of this, I suggest you "...do what your parents did -- get a job, sir!" (The Big Lebowski)
WHAT TYPE OF JOB CAN I GET?
That's entirely up to you. In Prague, everything from bank consulting, to package delivery, to a job in IT is available. For some people, working for a company in Prague that's headquartered in their native country can have benefits (i.e. more vacation time or free health care, which isn't necessarily offered at home).
The type of job most frequently needed is definitely that of English teaching. This requires, at minimum, a TEFL/TESOL certificate, or a university degree in English or linguistics. Information about teaching English in Prague will be in a subsequent article.
ONLINE JOB DATABASES
The most readily available source of information is the internet. Here you have a plethora of options.
One option is to visit job-posting websites, such as Prague TV's very own posting site: Prague.TV - Jobs
This shows you an array of the current job opportunities, many of them permanent positions. Going to job search databases (see below) can be helpful. Even if the site's in Czech, it's easy to switch to English with a few clicks.
Czech Websites With English-Language Sections:
Jobs.cz - offers an English info button down at the bottom and big-name employers along the left side of the page.
Jobspin.cz - specialiest webpage for jobs for foreigners in the Czech Republic
Nawt-mucha-Anglish found on these websites -- but this doesn't necessarily mean that they can't help you:
Prace v Praze.cz
RECRUITMENT FIRMS & EMPLOYMENT AGENCIES
The Czech Republic has a thriving market for recruitment; mainly due to the country's well-educated population and advanced industrial infrastructure. A lower cost of living, compared to neighboring countries, makes the Czech Republic a fine place for skilled workers and drinkers of cheap beer.
Apparently, there's a difference between these two types of headhunters. A recruitment firm specializes in mostly high-level, long-term management positions. An employment agency sifts through the hundreds of CVs searching for a plausible fit for their clients. Although it's "lower-level," I can only imagine that your chances are better with the latter.
Manpower Czech Republic
more Recruitment agencies you can find here: Prague.TV Business Directory
DO IT YOURSELF
This category includes things such as posting your own advertisements on cork-boards in places commonly visited by foreigners and English speakers.
If you're not looking to be the next 60-hour-a-week accounting engineer, then this option could direct you towards a more mellow type of job offer (i.e. bartender, server, coffee-jockey, horse trainer, sausage quality inspector, etc.)
ONLINE DISCUSSION FORUMS AND COMMUNITY DIALOGUE
I've found some of my favorite jobs by word of mouth. It also pays to spend a little time on websites that allow postings, in order to quickly check the options there.
This is useful for learning the "real deal" about potential employers. Information can be passed along easily; just beware of those that use it as a soapbox, or religious pulpit for spewing ignorance.
There are many opportunities in Prague, as well as other places in central Europe. One afternoon of searching could yield dozens of possibilities.
Multilingualism is a definite plus, and in many cases necessary. Most jobs require fluency in English, and native English speakers are encouraged to dust off their German, French or Russian dictionaries.
And even if you're completely worthless, you might still find one of those esteemed positions with titles like Drunk-Old Someone and Dirty-Ass That Guy. Just like a regular expat...
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