Working In Lisbon

Working in Lisbon is not quite as easy as living here. Employment is hard to come by for the Lisboettas, so you’ll be darn lucky to find a job if you’re an immigrant. However, there is a market for TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) teachers and it is a growing one.

Teaching In Lisbon

Finding a job teaching in Lisbon depends upon your qualifications and experience. The Portuguese educational system supports primary age children learning English as a foreign language and there are parents who will pay for additional language support. Businesses have realised the positives of teaching their workers business English and there’s also work to be found within schools and colleges around the city.

I am not, for the record, a TEFL teacher – and I don’t work for a Portuguese company. But there is work to be had, providing you’re diligent, dogged and either have the required qualifications or are prepared to go and study an TEFL course.

There are resources (world wide) for completing a TEFL (or CELTA) course and there are a couple of institutes in Lisbon itself that hold courses. None are cheap but once you source employment, the costs will pay you back, year in, year out. All are helpful when it comes to working in Lisbon and some of the links at the foot of this post will point you in the right dircetion.

Careers In Lisbon

When it comes to careers in Lisbon - you're going to need a good profession behind you before you arrive. Your skills will be transferrable and providing you have a good grasp of Portuguese, you'll be on firmer foundations than if you lack qualifications and the language.

Like many other cities around Europe, working in Lisbon is going to be a lot easier if you can tick several boxes prior to applying for posts. There are some good quality employment agencies in and around the city - some can be accessed online and there's always the possibilty of being transferred to Lisbon via your current post or role.

The types of careers in Lisbon are along the lines of:
  • nursing/medical fields
  • engineering
  • specialist subjects in teaching
  • science - both research and teaching
  • logistics
  • human resources
The list is not exhaustive but does give an idea. There are some specialist recruiters in Lisbon and surrounding areas that look for and want hugh calibre graduates. If you're one of those - you could be in luck.

Jobs In Lisbon

If teaching is beyond your scope, there are other jobs in Lisbon. you could always trawl the hostels and local bars. Lisbon has a huge influx of tourists, year in, year out and the common language among the tourist population is English.

If you ask at enough bars/hostels, or email enough if you’re not in the country but hope to be, sooner or later you’ll hit a bulls eye. The tourist trade is fairly strong, year round and with some luck you will find a job in the city that will at least give you a foot in the door.

If you can find a job, it’s also one of the best ways to learn the language. Immersion is truly the only way to really learn a foreign language and despite the possibility of you speaking largely in English, your fellow employees will spend their time talking Portuguese. It’s amazing what you pick up and though it’s not necessarily and easy route to the Portuguese language, it’s certainly the most effective.

Whilst working in Lisbon may appear impossible, it's not. Anything's possible - if you want it enough.


Go Work Abroad

Shelter Offshore

Expat Forum

Teach English In Lisbon - Celta Course


1 comment:

david evans said...

Hi, I'm glad I came across your site, I'm planning to live and work in Lisbon in the near future and am changing career to do so, to teach: do you have any names of recruitment agencies in Lisbon or advice on how to network there?

Thank you
Dave Evans