Poland

Working in Poland?

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Working in Poland

As the ninth-largest economy in Europe, Poland has a business-friendly reputation, and working in Poland is becoming more and more popular. Read on to learn more about business life in the country, its tax and social security systems, as well as the many different career options for expats in Poland.
Although Poland is struggling with unemployment, there are many opportunities for working in Poland.

At a Glance:

  • When making plans to work in Poland, you should look into the country’s main industries. These include machine building, iron and steel, coal mining, chemicals, shipbuilding, food processing, glass, and textiles.
  • In Poland, citizens and residents are required to pay income tax. The top personal income rate in 2018 was levied at 85,528 PLN per year and amounts to 32% of your yearly income.
  • The country’s social security system covers sickness, parental leave, old age, and accident insurance. Employers and employees are required to contribute to the system.
  • Business relationships in Poland tend to be formal, titles are considered prestigious and should be used to address your business partner.  

A Growing Economy

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: between 2014 and 2017 alone, over half of national public investment came from the EU. Today, Poland is one of the biggest and fastest growing economies in Europe. The country has recorded steady economic growth since 1990 and was the only EU country to avoid recession in 2007/8. However, some economic forecasts predict that growth will slow down within the next couple of years.

When you make plans for working in Poland, there are certain industries and key sectors you should look into. The country’s main industries include machine building, iron and steel, coal mining, chemicals, shipbuilding, agriculture, 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 in the last ten years. According to the European Structural and Investment Funds report, key areas of investment will continue to be infrastructure, education, research and innovation, and the environment.

Finding a Job

If you are planning on working in Poland, it is a good idea to improve your language skills before the move. With 98% of the entire population, the vast majority 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, this not always the case, and it is best to try and learn some Polish before your move.

While unemployment used to be a major problem in Poland, finding work in the country today is easier than in previous years. As of January 2018, the unemployment rate stood at 4.5%, significantly lower than the official statistics of previous years. If you wish to work in Poland, it is best 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 mentioned above, expats who dream of working in Poland may also find opportunities within banking, tourism, IT, transportation, business services, the pharmaceutical industry, or education.

Things to Keep in Mind

You can use the many different Polish employment agencies when preparing to work in Poland. In addition, you may also register with the employment services of the Polish Labor Office, provided your residency in the country is not dependent on having employment. Although it is easy to conduct the initial job search and application process from outside of Poland, be prepared to visit the country for your interview.

Telephone interviews are absolutely acceptable throughout the first round of the selection process, but you will probably be asked to come in for a final interview. Skype interviews are of course becoming more popular in the business world, providing an alternative for candidates who cannot be in Poland for their interview. Make sure to bring your references and diplomas for your face-to-face 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.

Where to Look

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:

 

We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete.

Ivan Dlouhy

"Since moving to Warsaw, I have been able to make some great friends and attend InterNations events with other expats who understand what it's like to be so far from home."

Raquel Santos

"During my first month in Warsaw, I attended an InterNations event and immediately felt as if I had acquired a great network of expats contacts and new friends."

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