Upping sticks and moving to Poland? You could do with a job then. Discover where to find work and learn how to make the most of your Polish job search…
Sharing boarders with Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania and Russia, Poland is located at the heart of Europe. While the Polish economy continues to grow, unemployment in the country is high so expect stiff competition when applying for jobs. You’ll have a better chance of landing a position if you speak the lingo so invest some time in learning the language before you embark on your Polish adventure.
Job market in Poland
Poland is one of the few countries in the European Union (EU) that avoided a hit during the global economic downturn, actually managing to increase its gross domestic product (GDP) in the midst of the crisis.
The majority of the country’s workforce is in the services sector but other main industries include:
- coal mining;
- food processing;
- iron and steel;
- machine building;
This all sounds pretty positive but the task of actually finding employment relevant to your qualifications may be a bit more of a challenge. While students and graduates find it relatively simple to pick up part-time or temporary work, graduate level jobs are harder to come by and with youth unemployment a big problem in the country, competition for positions is fierce.
However, there are positions available for people with highly sought-after language or IT skills in industries such as telecommunications, computer science and logistics. Foreign workers can also find opportunities in areas such as: banking and finance, education, management and tourism.
Apart from learning the language, improve your chances of finding work in Poland by gaining extra qualifications, work experience and sector specific knowledge and skills.
Search for jobs in Poland at:
In addition, numerous Polish newspapers contain comprehensive job vacancy sections, including:
Work experience and internships in Poland
As the job market is competitive and youth unemployment is relatively high, work experience could give your CV the boost it needs to help you stand out from the crowd.
Internships and summer work placements for students can also be arranged by:
- AIESEC UK – for students and recent graduates;
- IAESTE UK – for science, engineering and applied arts students.
Many international companies are based in Poland and may offer internships so check out the individual websites of:
- Poznan Volkswagen;
- GlaxoSmithKline Poland;
- Nordea Bank Polska;
- Toyota Polska;
- ING Bank Slaski;
- CitiGroup Polska.
Volunteering in Poland
Another way to improve your employability in the eyes of prospective employers is to spend time volunteering in Poland.
The European Voluntary Service (EVS) is a programme, funded by the European Commission, that gives 18 to 30-year-olds the chance to volunteer for up to 12 months in a number of European and non-European countries.
Opportunities vary from placements concerned with sport and culture to others focused on social care and the environment. Travel, accommodation, food and insurance are covered by a European grant for successful applicants, who also get given a personal allowance each month.
Another organisation that may have volunteering opportunities available isVolunteers for Peace.
You may also be able to arrange to volunteer by sending speculative applications to organisations in the sector in which you wish to work.
Make sure you thoroughly research all volunteering opportunities available and always check the terms and conditions before committing yourself to a scheme.
As discussed, Polish is spoken by the vast majority of the population, so proficiency may well be a pre-requisite for many jobs. However, English is spoken among some academic, business and professional communities, as well as the younger generation but bear in mind when applying for jobs that most employers will expect applications to be made in Polish unless otherwise stated.
Polish visas and immigration
According to the European Commission, EU citizens have the right to:
- move to another EU country to work without a work permit;
- enjoy equal treatment with nationals in access to employment, working conditions and all other social and tax advantages;
- stay in the country even after employment has finished.
If, however, you intend to stay in Poland for longer than three months and work, you will require a temporary residence permit (Karta Pobytu), which is valid for up to two years. For more information, visit Embassy of the Republic of Poland in London.
For more information and to check what conditions and restrictions apply, see:
- European Commission – Free Movement EU Nationals
- Europa – Work-Related Rights
- Europa – Workers and Pensioners
EU nationals may also be able to transfer certain types of health and social security coverage to their host country. For more information, see European Commission.