Currently, the job market in Croatia is not particularly promising. High unemployment rates coupled with strict regulations regarding the hire of foreign nationals makes finding legal work in Croatia challenging.
However, with perseverance and special skills, it is possible to find work in Croatia. Native speakers of foreign languages, including English, are in high demand and often find work as teachers, proofreaders, or editors. Foreigners also sometimes find work at universities or in tourism.
When applying for a job or inquiring about employment positions, always send a resume or a CV. Though a CV is more commonly used in Croatia, resumes are also accepted.
For more information about the differences between the two, read the EasyExpat article "CV vs. Résumé".
The CV should contain:
A cover letter, also known as a covering letter, motivation letter, or letter of motivation, usually accompanies your CV in a job application. It establishes your tone and intent and introduces you to potential employers.
If you are applying for a job via email, note that the cover letter may be sent as an attachment or pasted directly into the body of your email. Check the job posting for submission preferences.
Searching for a job in Croatia, as in most other countries, requires a lot of time and patience. There are many ways to go about finding a job, including contacting recruitment agencies or potential employers directly, looking for leads on online forums, and searching classifieds sites. Word of mouth is also a powerful tool in Croatia, so start making local contacts immediately.
Search engines such as Moj Posao and Posao allow you to keyword search job listings in Croatia and set up email alerts when new positions are posted. You can also post your CV online for hiring managers to see.
EURES is a resource that facilitates mobility between EU member states. It provides information about job vacancies, living and working conditions, and a CV posting service.
However, though Croatia is slated to join the EU in June 2013, it could take several years for job seekers to be able to move freely between Croatia and other EU member states. This transitional period may last up to seven years.
EURAXESS is an international initiative that supports European and non-European researchers hoping to find research careers in Europe. Croatia is one of 38 member countries. Available research positions are posted online.
Newspapers are actually not a popular resource for job listings. It's better to browse the classifieds sites such as Njuškalo and Moj Posao listed above.
Though some recruitment agencies may not be able to help foreigners obtain jobs in Croatia, it is worth inquiring if you want extra help. Recruitment agencies include:
One of the best things you can do is network. Start making friends and professional contacts immediately. Once they get to know a bit more about you and your skills, they will generally be happy to endorse you, and a personal endorsement can take you far in Croatia.
Don't be afraid to go ahead and contact companies or organizations that interest you. Unsolicited contact is welcome and generally warmly received. Businesses are often delighted when foreigners take an interest in their activities, and they are impressed by initiative. Even if they aren't hiring, they might suggest some valuable leads.
Teaching English is a great way to find work in Croatia. Though a large number of the population speaks English, Croatians recognize the value of having a good grasp of English and are generally interested in improving their language skills.
There are several language schools throughout the country and most are interested in hiring native speakers. Many don't require ESL teaching certification, and prior teaching experience is not always necessary. A solid grasp of the language, of course, is.
The application process varies from school to school. The best way to find out about available positions is to simply start contacting schools in the city where you would like to live. Sending an inquiry email along with your CV is usually sufficient. If the school is interested in you, they might ask you to come for an interview.
Keep in mind, though, that many language schools will not be able officially hire you, due to current laws on hiring foreigners. They may offer to take you on as a "volunteer" and then pay you cash under the table. Though this arrangement is common, keep in mind that it is illegal.
If you get the job, you might find yourself teaching anything from conversation classes to test preparation classes. The teaching method and style might vary from school to school. Some teachers work at two schools or also give private lessons.
If you have excellent academic and professional credentials, consider seeking a position at one of Croatia's universities, where you might have more support in obtaining a visa and other benefits.
It is also an option to give private lessons. Again, this is common practice, but technically illegal if you do not have a work permit. Giving private lessons is usually more profitable per hour, but may require more work finding customers.
A great way to find private students is to post an advertisement on Moje Instruckije, a site dedicated specifically to academic classifieds. Another option, if you are already in Croatia, is to post flyers near university buildings where students will see them.
TESOL (also known as TEFL) is the acronym for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. A TESOL certificate is the most common qualification required to teach English abroad. There are a wide variety of TESOL courses available, ranging from 4-week intensive, classroom based TESOL courses with TEFL International, to TESOL courses studied online. It is even possible to combine a period of online study with a shorter classroom based course. In addition to standard TESOL certificate courses there are also more specialized courses such as courses for teaching business English, or teaching English to young learners. There is also the more advanced TESOL diploma course.
If you are a native speaker and demonstrate a sound knowledge of English grammar, you might not need a teaching certificate to teach in Croatia. Many schools don't require one. However, having a teaching certificate will likely give you an advantage over a candidate who does not.
When applying for a job in Croatia, you may be asked to interview for a position, but don't be surprised if instead you are invited for a more casual conversation over coffee. Croatians love their coffee dates, and important business unfolds over coffee. They also give you and your potential employer to get to know each other in a more casual context, to see if you could work well together. Keep in mind, though, that in many ways a coffee date is still an interview, so you don't want to be too casual.
You may offer to pay the bill, but customarily your potential employer will, since he or she invited you.
Whether you are meeting for coffee or going in for an actual interview, the same rules generally apply:
If you are in need of short-term work of any kind, you might try contacting the recruitment agencies listed above, as several also offer assistance in finding temporary positions that relate to your skills. As an added bonus, sometimes short-term work can lead to longer contract.
To legally work in the Croatia, foreigners must obtain either a work or business permit, except in the cases outlined in The Aliens Act that allow foreigners in certain positions to work without a business or work permit.
There is a quota for work permits issued in Croatia, established annually by The Government of the Republic of Croatia, meaning that there is a limited number of work permits available. Once that limit has been reached, it's very difficult for more permits to be issued.
A business permit may be granted to private founders of companies in Croatia or foreigners who have at least 51% share in a company that carries out business in Croatia, sole proprietors who have registered their business in Croatia, foreigners engaged in freelancing in line with the regulations of the Republic of Croatia, and foreigners providing services on behalf of a foreign employer.
In addition to applying for a work or business permit, foreigners planning to live and work in Croatia must apply for a temporary stay visa.
Refer to "Passport & Visa" section of the guide for full details.
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