What you need to know about living and working in Spain
It is no coincidence that Spain has been the Danes’ favorite holiday destination for the past 20 years. The Spanish culture differs markedly from the Danish, and if you combine it with the mild climate and the beautiful nature, you have the recipe for why we are so attracted to the southern European country. The Spaniards are known for being welcoming and social, and the family is very much the focal point. Religion also continues to play a role in Spanish society, where most are Catholics.
Spain: The basic facts
Spain is the largest country in Southern Europe and the fourth largest in Europe with its 505,000 square kilometers. The population is approx. 46 million people. As the only country in Europe, Spain borders on an African country, namely Morocco – other neighboring countries include France, Andorra and Portugal. The capital is called Madrid, and here live 3.3 million. people in the city itself – if we count the entire metropolitan area, the number is close to 6 million.
In Spain, the capital does not run with all the attention – among Danes, for example, Barcelona and Málaga also enjoy great popularity. Are you looking for work in Spain during your sabbatical year or in other connections, there are lots of exciting cities and destinations to choose from.
Let yourself be enchanted by the special Spanish culture
Flamenco dancers, bullfighters and beautiful sandy beaches are perhaps some of the things that first come to mind when the talk falls on Spain. But Spanish culture contains much more than what you typically see in advertisements and tourist brochures. The country has strong traditions in art, music and architecture – just think of Gaudí and Picasso.
Sports also take up a lot of space in many Spaniards’ everyday lives. The country is probably especially associated with football and is also home to some of the world’s very best teams. If you choose to find a job in Spain, there is both the opportunity to experience FC Barcelona unfold at Camp Nou, just as Madrid houses the competing Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. When the Spanish football fans cheer on their team on the stands, it is with life and soul, and a football match in Spain is an experience of the very big ones.
Tapas, paella and much, much more
Spanish cuisine is something completely different. Pga. the size of the country varies the dishes and traditions in the different regions, and there is close to infinite amount to pamper your taste buds with. You can enjoy the spicy chorizo, fresh seafood, Iberian black-footed ham, delicious tapas and the cold soup called gazpacho. Cooking in Spain is generally characterized by simple dishes, where the ingredients are in focus – and they should preferably be fresh, local and in season. Every food lover will do well in Spain, whether the menu is based on the nutritious prayer dishes of the northern regions or the cooling delights of the southern regions.
Such is the work in Spain
If you find a job in Spain, you must prepare to change your daily rhythm significantly in relation to how we are used to working in Denmark. The length of the working week is approx. the same with about 40 hours – but where we are used to taking a 30 minute lunch break, the Spaniards hold 2-3 hours of siesta when the temperature is highest. Therefore, the working day often extends to kl. 20.
The work culture is social and largely based on relationships. Before agreements can be made, people often spend time getting to know each other. It happens face to face and preferably over good dinners – in general, Spaniards prefer personal contact rather than phone calls and emails.
Wages are generally lower in Spain than in Denmark, and the same applies to the cost of living. Of course, there is a difference between country and city – in the big cities you should expect to need a larger amount available for rent, for example. Income tax is between 19% and 45% – the highest rate when you earn 60,000 euros a year.
Work in Madrid
Madrid is a financial capital in southern Europe, and the innovation in technology fields are strong here but Spain, in general, is suffering from a lack of job opportunities available, even for EU citizens. Although languages jobs are kind of available and jobs in the restoring and service areas such like restaurants and hotels. This same situation happens in other big cities of Spain such as Barcelona and Valencia.
If you want to know more about livingcost in Spain, look at our articles about Barcelona and Malaga.
How to find work and housing in Spain
You can advantageously begin your housing search online, where you may be lucky enough to find a home through the many websites and online groups for expats in Spain. You can also search on Spanish sites like Tucasa and Fotocasa that bring together a wide variety of rental homes. If you are going to work in Spain during your sabbatical year, you may also be lucky enough to find a time-limited lease, eg a sublet apartment.
You can also apply for jobs from home, for example through international recruitment agencies. On this page you can read reports from candidates who we at Job Squad have helped find jobs in Spain and the rest of the world.
Taxes in Spain
In Spain is necessary to register in your local community first, in order to get you NIE, which is the ID as a foreigner, after this you can request you social security number online and once you get a job you have to provide that number to your employer. Taxes in Spain are progressive and they go from 19% to 45%
Where to learn Spanish
Our recommended place to learn Spanish in Spain is with any academy related to the Cervantes Institute, this works in 4 languages (English, German, Dutch and French) and is located in multiple locations in Spain, you just have to select the one where you want to study spanish and look at the available courses.
Why should you live and find a job in Spain?
Spain is for you who dream of working in a warmer climate and love to explore local food and culture. The Spaniards are welcoming, open and full of temperament – so if you need a little change from the more measured Scandinavians, Spain is a good offer for a destination where you can both work and have your social needs met.
Finally, contact us at Job Squad if you want to hear more about having a job in Spain – whether you have to take a sabbatical or just need new experiences and variety in your working life.