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Working Abroad: Paphos, Cyprus

By ExpatExchange.com Member

Summary: A member of ExpatExchange shares his experiences finding a job, learning the language and moving to Pahpos, Cyprus.

Working Abroad - Paphos, Cyprus

What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?

Key industries are tourism and building - with all the associated sub-contracting for both. Hotel work either requires languages and previous experience (for desk jobs etc.) or is very poorly paid and mostly done by non-EU immigrants. There is a lot of casual work in the tourist season for English speakers in restaurants and tourist shops. Delivery for many furniture etc. businesses uses English speaking drivers to deal with the customers at the receiving end. There are also two private schools teaching in English who are always recruiting new teachers for the start of each academic year.

What type of work do you do and how did you find your job?

Estate Agent for local developer. I found a site on the web for the local District Labour Office. The ads were mostly in Greek, but with the help of a dictionary I managed to sort out some worth enquiring about, and I was lucky fairly early on to find a local family building firm setting up a shop from scratch to help sell their houses. The basic pay is low, but when I'm occasionally involved in a successful sale the commission is about 3 months' pay!

How did you obtain your work permit? What advice would you have for others about work permits?

As an EU citizen I didn't need a work permit in Cyprus. I got my immigration permit cleared quickly because I had a job, and my new boss used to work in Immigration.

Have you taken language and cross-cultural training courses to prepare for your assignment? If so, how have they helped you on the job?

I knew the Greek alphabet from school (30 years before) and went to evening classes the year before coming to start the basics of modern Greek. I've still been going to classes for the 2 years I've been here, and can read a lot of signs now, but I can barely speak and understand more than a smattering of the words.

What advice would you offer others about finding jobs and working abroad?

My wife and I tried a lot before we came to get jobs set up for when we arrived - but nearly everything is done by personal interview here - and the answer was generally "ring us when you come here". Also, if you're unsuccessful, it's difficult to get a straight answer saying so. The standard approach is to tell you they'll ring you back - and when they don't you're supposed to realise from that they don't want you.

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First Published: Aug 03, 2008

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