Poland at a Glance
Working in Poland123RF
Although Poland is struggling with unemployment, there are many opportunities for working in Poland.
The Polish Economy
Expats working in Poland benefit from the growing economy, which registered an economic growth of 1.2% in 2009 when other European economies were crashing. Indeed, the country’s GDP made a record jump from 50% to 56% in that year. Today, Poland is one of the biggest and fastest-growing economies in Europe, although the growth has slowed down in 2012. Since the fall of Poland’s communist government, the country has made an impressive transition from a centrally planned economy to a capitalist market economy. The membership in the European Union supported this development.
When you make plans for working in Poland, there are certain industries and key sectors you should particularly look into. The country’s main industries are machine building, iron and steel, coal mining, chemicals, shipbuilding, food processing, glass, and textiles. However, the majority of the work force is employed in the services sector. The percentage of service employees in Poland has indeed increased from 53% in 2005 to 57% in 2010. With an unemployment rate of almost 13% in 2012, the country still has a long way to go, though.
The Job Search in Poland
If you plan on working in Poland, you should make sure to improve your language skills before the move. 98% of the entire population speaks Polish. The younger generation as well as business people and academics often speak English, while German is often spoken among the older generation. However, you should not rely on this.
Unemployment is a major problem in Poland. If you wish to work in Poland, you need to have special experience in a certain field, as well as major qualifications. Knowledge in foreign languages, logistics, direct marketing skills, and IT know-how are particularly in demand at the moment. Aside from the key sectors which we have mentioned above, expats who dream of working in Poland may also find opportunities within banking, tourism, IT, transportation, business services, or education. At the same time, mining, agriculture, and metalwork are in decline.
Things to Keep in Mind
You can use one of the 400 Polish employment agencies when preparing for working in Poland. In addition, you may also register with the employment services of the Polish Labor Office. Although it is easy to conduct the initial job search and application process from outside of Poland, you should be well-prepared to visit the country for your interview. No employer will hire you without having a face-to-face conversation with you beforehand.
Although telephone interviews are absolutely acceptable throughout the first round of the selection process, you will eventually be asked to come in for a final interview. Make sure to bring along your references and diplomas for your interview and have the most important documents translated into Polish. If you play your cards right, you will be working in Poland in no time.
You should not hesitate to send out unsolicited applications to companies you wish to work for. Particularly in the field of science, many expats have found a job that way. However, for the regular job search, have a look at the following online resources:
Additionally, you can have a look at Polish newspapers with a classifieds or jobs section. Here is a small selection: