How do expats who move to Uruguay support themselves?
Many have a retirement income. Some start a small business activity, like renting out a vacation property. Others arrive bringing their online job with them. And then there's those who get a job in Uruguay.
If you’re considering a new life in Uruguay with the idea of finding a job as a means to support yourself, I have two recommendations.
1) Learn SpanishThe language of Uruguay is Spanish. And it's almost impossible to get a job if you cannot understand others and others cannot understand you.
Some companies may appreciate you're a native speaker of a foreign language. But more than this, they will value your ability to communicate in both languages: your native language and Spanish.
For example, consider a managerial position with a North American multinational company in Uruguay. While your corporate colleagues will likely speak fluent English, many of the company’s clients and factory workers will only speak Spanish.
You may say, “Then, I’ll teach English at an international/English school.” Great! But how will you manage when you meet with the children’s parents?
So, if you’re not a Spanish speaker, the first step to prepare for a job in Uruguay is to start learning Spanish.
If you need to find a job to support yourself in Uruguay, I recommend you identify a position before making the move.
2) Look for a job before you move to Uruguay
While it’s a good idea to update your Linkedin page, the best place to look for a job in Uruguay is El Gallito (http://trabajo.gallito.com.uy/), which posts jobs for all levels.
At El Gallito, you’ll find posts by both employers and employment agencies.
If an employment agency decides you’re not a good match for the advertised position, but finds your CV interesting, they may keep it on file to consider you for future openings more in line with your profile.
Of course, unless stated otherwise, your CV should be in Spanish.
If a potential employer contacts you, it’s important for you to learn about the hiring method and your chances to proceed in the selection process. It’s also important for the company to know they can depend on you, and won’t be at a disadvantage by hiring you as opposed to hiring a local.
Therefore, your first goal in perusing a job opening is to obtain a Skype (or Facetime or WhatsApp) interview. This gives you the opportunity to present your qualifications, evaluate your chances to proceed in the selection, and provide assurances to the employer.
If a company isn’t willing to give you some idea of your chances, I don’t recommend coming to Uruguay just for that interview.
So,start spending time researching at El Gallito, which will give you a sense of Uruguay’s job market and the job skills employers are seeking.