Madrid employment

Madrid offers bullfights, an excellent nightlife and hundreds of restaurants for those living and working in Madrid. There are ample job opportunities in the insurance, tourism, teaching, media and technology industries. Fluency in Spanish is an advantage and will help you to become part of the social culture. It is easiest to find work as teachers or au pairs since many of the other industries are reserved for Spanish citizens due an unemployment rate of more than 11%.

Working in Madrid as and English teacher
There is a demand for English teachers from pre-school to university level. The jobs are advertised in the Spanish newspapers and you can also place online job wanted advertisements. A TEFL qualification is an advantage but not always required.

Au pair

If you plan working in Madrid as an Au pair, you can enroll at one of the language schools to learn Spanish. Many of these schools will also able to guide you to available jobs. Most of the au pair jobs are in Madrid. A student visa is required, together with proof of your enrollment at a school and an offer of employment.

Working in Madrid: Business etiquette
Dress: The dress code for business is formal and very conservative. Men wear suits while women dress in a modest manner. Don't wear shorts in public even after hours.

Titles: Use the forenames only with friends and family. Don is a title of respect used among male professionals and graduates. Use titles such as Professor and Doctor or otherwise use Senor, Senorita or Senora followed by the surname.

Public Conduct: The Spanish people are very physical and will touch you or stand close while they speak to you. Don't move away because they will see it as a gesture of disrespect. They don't adhere to the normal 'waiting in line' protocol and you shouldn't get upset when you have to make space for another person who wants to get in front of you.

Discussions: Avoid any type of criticism against the country or its sport such as bullfighting. Don't discuss the political situation in the country and don't argue about religious affairs.

Meetings: Business cards are presented with the introduction. Keep in mind that they are not fluent in English. Your card should be double sided with Spanish on the front and English at the back. Only the managers and owners can make decisions and you are expected to adhere to their hierarchy. They start new meetings with casual enquiries about you and your family. They don't rely on facts to make decisions and lean on the support of their social group. Never admit to struggling in Spain.

Social: Lunch is between one and two in the afternoon. They also have siestas from 1:30 in the afternoon and tapas in the late afternoon. It is for this reason that they work until late in the evenings. The standard tip is 15%.

Appointments: No appointments are scheduled between 1 and 4 in the afternoon. Be on time but expect to wait up to half an hour for the interviewer.

Finding accommodation
You should inspect all apartments before signing an agreement. Make a list of things that are broken and make notes of all wear and tear. The landlord will not give your deposit back when there is something broken and may accuse you of all wear tear of the apartment. The rental places are expensive and it may be best to get a roommate to share in the expenses.

Visa requirements
Foreigners except European passport holders need visas for working in Madrid. It is a long process and best started while you are still in your country. You also need a permit for residing in the country after three months. These visas can be obtained from the Spanish embassy or consulate in your country. Your employer must provide a copy of the contract if you already have a prospective job in Madrid.