*By Devon Tincknell
As the effects of the post-millennial recession continue to dominate headlines around the world, countries struggle to get their financial houses in order. Some are rebounding fairly well, while others are still making false steps and suffering consequences. In an effort to bring the human element into what is so often reported as dry economic data, we spoke to two young people currently living in Spain about the job market and their personal experiences and observations. Clara, born in Barcelona, and René, originally from the Netherlands, offer their perspective about Spain’s job prospects, their frustrations and the general atmosphere within the country.
I studied Journalism because I like creativity, I love analyzing reality, human situations, discovering new stuff. I finished my studies a year ago and it’s becoming very difficult to find a job as a journalist. I work part-time as a communication manager in Ungravity, a small company which organizes camps, classes and events extreme sports related. I work from home only 2 hours per day, so I need to find something else. I have worked as a journalist but always with temporary contracts.
Journalism has never been an easy field, but it’s really frustrating to search for a qualified job in Spain right now. Many TV channels and media companies are closing or firing lots of employees. Sometimes I think how are they supposed to hire me if they don’t even have money to pay their old workers?
There are very few job offers online so lately I am applying to all kinds of jobs I am not interested in. I don’t have a clear view about my future, I just want to be able to take out as much profit of life in both my personal and professional world. I am searching for new possibilities somewhere outside Spain. I want to feel that I am working on something I deserve in accordance with my preparation. I don’t want to think I lost time studying for 6 years.
But my story is not so dramatic. Many people here have lost their houses and cannot even reach the end of the month. For them this crisis is much more than ”frustrating”. People my age who have recently graduated with not much experience but with lots of enthusiasm, feel nothing but disappointment. You can research, move your ass off, make all the efforts to find a job, but it doesn’t depend on you anymore. I feel like we are all paying for what banks and governments did wrong, and I am not going to wait forever for this crisis to end (if it ends).
If you get lucky and find a job, you might be submitted to unethical working conditions. I know people working without a contract in a qualified job, in a big company. Other companies hire you without paying you trying to convince you that they are doing you a favor, so you get “a lot of experience”. And since many people accept these conditions, it works out pretty well. And the government does absolutely nothing to help. In fact, they just approved a law which allows companies to fire people easier and to make very short and precarious contracts.
No doubt that those old good times in Spain were fictitious. They took us directly to where we are now. I was studying at that time, but I do remember how much easier it was to find a job, to get a scholarship.
If you are wondering how is the life in Spain, I would say is a great country. Salaries are not that good and we are not so disciplined as the northern countries, but we like to enjoy life in many different ways. But I would only recommend you to move to Spain if you already have a job.
I am a web developer for Andalucia Web Solutions. I’ve lived in Valencia in 2009 and Marbella for almost 2 years now. I love the culture and atmosphere of Southern Europe. I was working freelance for a while in Netherlands, where I was born, until my web design teacher recommended me to a company where she used to work and that’s where I am now.
I think in Spain you need to have a specialty and there are some jobs for you if you kick over enough rocks. But I think the general population are not people with higher education so it is nearly impossible to find a job.
Personally, I make enough money to stay in a place and have some fun in my spare time. Professionally, I would like to learn a lot more in the field of web developing and other programming languages. But at my current job I am learning every day.
Even though Spain is probably one of the countries that is struggling the most, you can still see the people enjoying their life, that’s what attracted me to Southern Europe in the first place, people are less worried and stressed here. It’s an amazing country to live in, just finding a job is difficult.
My friends are always amazed that I was able to ‘make it happen’ in Spain for being Dutch and still struggling with the language. I would probably make a lot more money in the Netherlands for doing the same job but I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. My friends here in Spain are also struggling but we do all have jobs. So I’m just hoping it will improve soon.