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Best Tips on How to Get a Job in Europe as an American

Hannah Michaelson February 17, 2020
Posted February 17, 2020 In Moving Tips&Tricks,
Hannah Michaelson

Hannah is a freelance relocation writer from NYC that has become an expert on packing and unpacking.

Searching for new employment is never easy, especially if you plan to find work in another city or state, let alone on another continent. If you’re curious about how to get a job in Europe as an American, there are a few helpful tips to get you started.

Europe is a continent with many beautiful countries that offer countless professional and all other kinds of opportunities. Except for the fascinating cities, breathtaking countryside, incredible nature, and rich history, it has many options for you if you wish to find your next home and build a new career.

You’ll Need a Visa and a Work Permit

US citizens can find employment in Europe, of course, but you’ll have to obtain a proper residence visa and work permit first. You can enter and stay in a European country that’s part of the Schengen Area for up to 90 days without a visa. But if you want to move for good and find an occupation in one of the European countries, you’ll need an employer to sponsor your work visa. There are 26 Schengen countries, so pick the one that best suits your preferences.

To apply for a Schengen visa in the US, you have to submit some pretty detailed documentation and fulfill certain requirements that you can find on the website of the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs.

Research Various Employment Opportunities in European Countries

According to the website Talentsearchpeople, the ten most in-demand jobs in Europe for the next decade are:

  • Software engineers and developers
  • Data scientists
  • Mechanical engineers
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Financial advisors
  • Medical doctors
  • Occupational therapists
  • Home health aides
  • Physiotherapists
  • Tradesperson jobs (manual jobs such as welder, plumber, and electrician).

If you’re already employed in one of these fields, then what else can we say but: lucky you! It would be best for you to find employment before you move to Europe. Not just because it would facilitate the process of obtaining a permit; it would also alleviate some of the stress associated with relocating to a foreign country.

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Crucial Step: Find the Country You’re Satisfied With

Some countries and cities would suit you better because of the mentality, culture, climate, language or the way of life in that particular region. Invest some time in research, find out what works best for you and what will benefit you the most. Check the work ethics, as well, so you don’t find yourself in a situation in which you can’t fit in as well as you’d wanted. You should also get familiar with their business hours and know what to expect when you get there.

Internet Might Be the Answer to the Question of How to Get a Job in Europe as an American

When moving abroad, the easiest way to find a new home, the best restaurants nearby and most importantly – an open position in your field of work is the Internet. Call it your friend because it will guide you through this important process. Surfing the web will spare you of unpleasant scenarios and save you a lot of time.

Work-Related Websites Are a Great Method of Finding a New Job

Some of the best websites for finding employment abroad are Jooble, CareerBuilder International, Eurojobs, CareerJet, Monster Worldwide, and of course, Linkedin.

You can also get familiar with the full procedure of applying for a new position on those websites, as well as gather some useful info on how your resume should look like. Keep in mind that they have slightly different conditions and formats for their resumes across the Atlantic. For instance, European employers demand your photo and a somewhat different length of the resume or CV (Curriculum Vitae) as they would say on the Old Continent.

If you’re working for a multinational company, it’s highly possible that it has branches in some of the European countries. If that is the case, then you can ask for an international transfer and stay in the same firm.

Use the Internet to Find the Right Moving Company

Relocating overseas is complex, and it’s not something you can manage by yourself so easily. That’s why finding a good and reputable moving company is a sound investment. Professional and reliable international movers should provide you with guaranteed prices with no hidden fees or taxes. You can move internationally by sea or by air, and also get packing services and storage if you need it.

You’re planning to move across the world, so you’ll need to plan your budget, and a proper moving company can arrange a survey and give you an idea of the total costs. If you have some expensive or fragile items that you wish to take with you, ordering custom crating for them is a smart thing to do.

Working in Europe Requires Learning Some of the European Languages

As a native English speaker, you should have no problems finding employment, since most European employers ask for high English proficiency. But then again, you’ll need to learn the local tongue if you want to break the language barrier. For starters, to learn a language abroad, you can use some of the online apps to gain basic knowledge. It’s not just about fitting in (even though that would help you a lot), but also about the work that you’ll be doing from now on. If you don’t want to, you can always move to an English-speaking country like the UK or Ireland.

If your options end up being scarce, you can find employment as an English Teacher – that spot will always be there as a convenient way to make some money. Turn your naturally-acquired knowledge of English into an advantage!

Prepare for the Culture Shock and Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Prepare yourself for the cultural shock. It’s entirely reasonable to be confused in the first few months after moving abroad, so feel free to ask if you don’t understand something. Americans and Europeans have a different way of thinking sometimes and many cultural differences. When you find a mutual language, you’ll easily bridge all the gaps. You can also join some of the many American expat groups for more useful, first-hand information.



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