When starting a new life here on the Costa del Sol, you may also be thinking about finding a job here. If you’ve already decided on that dream property for sale in Marbella, great news. That’s one thing checked off your list. If not, then Paradise Marbella are just the people to help you out. We have a whole host of fantastic properties for sale on the Costa del Sol. Once your new home is sorted – or perhaps even while you’re securing it – you might want to think about getting a job too.
There are things to keep in mind about working in Spain. There are likely to be big difference between Spanish working culture and that of your home country. It won’t be anything you can’t handle, we’re sure of that; but it does help to know about the general expectations here. That way there won’t be any major surprises!
Even if you’re planning to work in an international company here, you’re probably going to be working with Spanish people. The working culture here will still be influenced by the Spanish way. We have a few pointers that should help to familiarise you with working life in Spain.
Lunch is a social activity
In your home country, perhaps lunch times are set. Even if they’re flexible, there’s a chance you’re expected to either eat it at your desk or stick to an hour maximum. It’s not the same here in Spain! Not many people will eat lunch at their desks. People will often treat lunch as a social activity, and they don’t feel the need to rush back to their desks unless there are urgent deadlines to meet.
Treat lunch as an opportunity to take a well-earned break and bond with colleagues. Your working life here will get off the ground a lot more quickly this way! One more thing: skipping lunch here doesn’t mean you can go home earlier, so there’s no point in that!
Your colleagues will want to know you
In your home country, perhaps some people like to keep them themselves to themselves at work. That could be considered their prerogative. Here in Spain, however, your colleagues will probably want to get to know you. There will be lots of after work social activities (cañas) and you may be expected to join at least some of them.
Teamwork is a big thing – valued more highly than individual ability, even – and if you’ve bonded with your team, the chances of promotion at a later date are much higher. Your Spanish teammates are likely to invite you to plenty of social occasions, and there will be welcome events for new hires, leaving parties, project closing celebrations, and so on. They’ll probably keep you out late, too! Who knows, it could be fun!
Coffee is kind of a big deal
The Spanish are another nation of coffee lovers. As you might expect, that means coffee breaks are as normal as they are plentiful! There’s no set times for coffee breaks – it’s a case of ‘as and when you see fit’. The Spanish love to catch up on news and office gossip over a coffee.
Just be careful you don’t drink so much of it that you’re climbing the office walls! If you’re not used to drinking a lot of coffee, joining in with this habit could pose a few challenges. Ease yourself in gently!
Your colleagues will tell you what they think
That typical British politeness has no place here in Spain. That’s not to say that you should be rude about anything, but the Spanish tend to be a direct bunch… and political correctness is not really much of a thing! The Spanish would expect you to speak up about something if you have an issue with it, and they won’t waste much time doing the same.
Although this could feel a little uncomfortable at first, it’s probably a good thing. At least you know where you are with everyone, and you don’t need to hold in any resentment yourself. The Spanish don’t mind complaining, but don’t take it personally. It’s normal! They prefer to vent about their problems and then forget them, instead of following formal procedures over them.
The ‘manana, manana’ attitude is alive and well
The Spanish lifestyle is famous for being a little slow. That might be one of the reasons you’re choosing it! However, it should be noted that this also applies to working life. Timekeeping in Spain is no big deal, and things won’t always roll out at the speeds you’d expect them to. People will be late for meetings, and it’s perfectly acceptable here. You should probably allow for some extra time if you’re scheduled to be in a meeting. It may not fit into the time constraints you’ve anticipated.
The working day may officially start at 9am, but that doesn’t mean your colleagues will. Having said that, just because the working day is supposed to finish at 5, your colleagues may be happy to stay until 6 or 7. It can even be seen as little inappropriate to leave on time. The bottom line is that things are pretty relaxed on the whole, and your schedule will be more flexible. The only issue is that it might be harder to make plans you’ll be able to stick to.
We hope this has mentally prepared you for taking a job in Spain, and we are wishing you the best of luck in securing it! Feel free to ask Paradise Marbella for advice at any time. You might be surprised at how much we know! The same goes for our outstanding property books. They are ready and waiting for your viewing.