Working in Portugal

Portugal’s beautiful beaches and climates make it an attractive location, but what key information do you need to know when working there? Not only does England’s rainy weather encourage movement to Portugal but many other features such as lower house prices entice individuals to this sunny destination.

The increasingly declining unemployment rates makes the country more appealing, although is still higher than the UK at 10.5%.

Temporary and permanent work in Portugal

Only non-EU citizens require a visa, residence and work permit to live and work in the country. According to the European Commission, European Union (EU) citizens have the right to:

  • Move within the EU and work without a work permit
  • Remain in the country even after employment has finished

Finding permanent jobs in Portugal has become increasing more difficult since the economic crisis; however jobs are still commonly found in the tourism sector for seasonal work similarly to its Iberian neighbour Spain. The tourist hot spot means the English language is a highly sought skill, creating a demand for English teacher in the industry, but an undergraduate degree and a TEFL certification is essential.

Working in Portugal

Culture in Portugal

Are you moving to Portugal? The main cultural difference between the UK is of course the language. Portuguese is the common spoke language; however English is widely understood due to their dependence on the tourist sector.

There is generally a relaxing attitude towards time in Portugal, it is not uncommon for individuals to be five minutes late to interviews. Punctuality is more important in the North of the country in comparison to the South. Non verbal greetings are usually a kiss on each cheek but hand shakes are acceptable. Be aware that touching and close proximity is common and can be seen as offensive if you step away from an acquaintance .

Showing signs of respect by giving gifts is common in a business environment, it isn’t seen as a bribe like it would in the UK.

Major industries in Portugal

The service sector in Portugal dominates the economy; however is still slow moving since the crisis. A large growth occurring in the telecommunication sector shows a large percentage of job creation. Other major industries include:

  • Agriculture
  • Automobiles
  • Financial services
  • Hospitality
  • Retail

Some industries including; the IT sector, health sector, tourism sector (although tend to be seasonal jobs), the agricultural sector and communications/call centre sector, claim to have a shortage in skilled workers. Similarly to the UK a normal working week in Portugal is made up of 40 hours a week but can be up to 60.

Moving to portugal

Job vacancies in Portugal

Since the crisis the government are trying to encourage entrepreneurs to start up businesses within the country and large amounts of money has been invested into Portugal ventures. Online applications are common and jobs can also be obtained from newspapers, yellow pages and job websites which include:

  • Empregos online
  • EURES
  • Indeed
  • Portuguese employment service
  • SAPO emprego

A typical application consists of a CV, cover letter and psychometric/ psychological tests. Cover letters should not exceed one page but a CV can be up to four pages long. Unless specified elsewhere the forms should always been written in Portuguese, it is also common to add a photograph of yourself to your CV. There is usually a delay in the response time after an interview and can take up to some time before receiving feedback.