Austria, with its stunning landscapes and promising job market, is an enticing destination for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) seeking new opportunities. But what if you could garner insights from an OFW who has already embarked on this journey?
In this guide, we delve into the personal experiences of an OFW who has shared her Austrian adventure on YouTube. Through a combination of real-world insights and practical advice, we’ll simplify the path to employment in this European gem. Whether you’re a seasoned OFW or a newcomer, let’s explore how to make your Austrian career dream a reality.
Disclaimer: The information posted here is based on the personal experiences shared by the OFW in the video below. Please let this post serve as a guide only. If you have specific questions, you may ask the OFW by commenting on their video on their accounts.
An OFW’s Guide to Landing Your Dream Job in Austria
The information presented in this article comes from a YouTube video from the channel “Nab’s Life in Austria.” In this video, the vlogger talks about the factors that determine how successful you are in finding a job in Austria. If you want to watch the full video, then click on the link below:
In her video, the vlogger addresses the perennial question: “Is finding a job in Austria a challenging endeavor?” She draws from her extensive six-year experience of living and working in Austria as a caregiver to provide valuable insights into the factors to consider when embarking on a job search in this beautiful European nation.
Securing the Right to Stay
- Legal Residency and Paperwork: Obtaining legal residency in Austria can be complex, but there are multiple pathways, including marriage to an Austrian citizen and direct hire by a company.
Mastering the German Language
- Language Proficiency: Proficiency in German is essential for effective communication, as it’s the official language of Austria.
- Understanding German Proficiency Levels: German proficiency is categorized into levels (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, and C2), influencing job opportunities.
English in Austria
- English is less commonly used professionally, so knowing German is crucial, especially for Filipinos with limited job options if they rely solely on English.
Legal Residency and Paperwork
To begin with, one of the foremost considerations is the right to stay in Austria. Securing the legal status to reside in Austria can be a formidable task, given the stringent government regulations and the necessity for proper documentation. However, the vlogger highlights that there are various avenues to achieve this. In her case, she was able to stay in Austria because of her marriage to an Austrian citizen, exemplifying one viable route to residency. Additionally, if you secure a direct-hire position with a company in Austria, they can assist you with the necessary permits and paperwork for employment. For students, the process may vary depending on their specific circumstances.
Mastering the German Language – Language Proficiency
A pivotal factor for anyone aspiring to work in Austria is language proficiency, and here the vlogger underscores the significance of mastering the German language. German is the official language of Austria and is widely used in daily life. While English proficiency is found among some Austrians, it is not commonly used, especially in the professional sphere. Therefore, it is imperative to have a solid grasp of basic German for effective communication.
Understanding German Proficiency Levels
The vlogger further emphasizes that your level of German proficiency often influences the caliber of jobs you can apply for. This is typically categorized into levels such as A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, and C2. She personally attained a B1 level, equivalent to a college graduate, illustrating the importance of language skills in securing suitable employment.
English in Austria
It’s worth noting that certain job opportunities in Austria do require English proficiency, though these positions tend to be limited in number. If you happen to reside in a remote area or outside of major cities, you may encounter difficulties in finding such English-speaking roles. However, in Vienna, the capital city, and urban centers, language requirements can be more flexible due to the diverse population, which includes a substantial number of Turkish speakers.
Qualifications and Challenges in the Austrian Job Market
- Qualifications Challenge: Many Filipinos in Austria hold college degrees, but often these qualifications don’t align with the Austrian job market.
- Experience Discrepancy: The vlogger, for example, had a decade of experience in accounting in the Philippines, but her skills and education weren’t always recognized in Austria.
- Language Barrier: Proficiency in the German language is a common requirement, posing a challenge, especially for newcomers who may need to start their careers from scratch.
- Nostrification Process: Nostrification involves evaluating foreign academic documents, which typically takes up to three months and may require supplementary exams.
- Forced Career Shifts: Fields like Human Resource Management (HRM) or medical professions often require specialized Austrian training and certification, making it challenging to land the same job as in the Philippines.
- Flexibility and Adaptation: OFWs in Austria should be prepared for potential career shifts and consider further education or training to align with Austrian job market demands.
Another crucial aspect to consider when seeking employment in Austria is your qualifications. It’s important to understand that in Austria, many Filipinos hold college degrees, but often these qualifications aren’t directly applicable to the Austrian job market. The vlogger’s experience serves as a vivid example of this reality.
For instance, the vlogger faced the challenge of not being able to work in the same field she did in the Philippines. Despite her extensive 10-year experience in an accounting job back home, she discovered that her skills and educational background weren’t always recognized or valued in Austria. This is a common hurdle for many OFWs in Austria; their experience and education often don’t directly translate to Austrian standards.
One significant barrier to job placement is the requirement of proficiency in the German language, which can be particularly challenging for newcomers. As a result, many OFWs find themselves starting from the ground up in their career.
Furthermore, the process of having your educational credentials recognized in Austria is known as “nostrification.” This involves submitting your academic documents for evaluation, which typically takes up to three months. Depending on the evaluation, you may be required to take supplementary exams.
For individuals with university degrees from countries outside the European Union, nostrification is essential. It’s necessary to apply to a public university, University of Applied Sciences, or University of Teacher Education for an assessment of your degree, especially if there is a comparable degree in Austria. The competent university checks your qualifications within this three-month period and determines whether any additional exams are needed for equivalence.
Although it’s possible to work in Austria without having your degree papers nostrificated, having them recognized offers advantages, such as the potential for an increased salary. However, it’s crucial to understand that your degree in the Philippines might not directly translate into your job in Austria, especially if you are applying for an office position.
This holds even more true for fields like Human Resource Management (HRM) or medical professions, where specialized Austrian training and certification are often required. Landing the same job you held in the Philippines in Austria is indeed a rare occurrence. Therefore, it’s important for OFWs to be prepared for potential career shifts and consider further education or training to align with Austrian job market demands. In Austria, achieving the same career trajectory you had in the Philippines can be a challenging but not impossible endeavor.
Austria’s enchanting landscape is adorned with majestic mountains and remote homes, and many people choose to live outside its bustling cities. For instance, the vlogger herself resides about 45 minutes away from Vienna, a thriving metropolis brimming with diverse job opportunities. Her proximity to Vienna facilitated her job search considerably, but this geographical factor plays a significant role in the Austrian job market.
Finding a job in Austria can be notably more accessible if you reside in Vienna or other major cities. These urban centers offer a plethora of employment options across various industries. However, the landscape changes significantly when one ventures further from city limits.
Personal circumstances also significantly influence the job search process. In Austria, the duration of parental leave is notably generous, with parents granted a one-year privilege to stay at home and care for their newborns, a stark contrast to the three-month maternity leave in the Philippines. Consequently, this extended period at home can impact an individual’s ability to seek employment, particularly for parents of young children.
Moreover, a crucial factor in the job hunt is one’s personal situation, which is inextricably tied to financial stability and support from a partner. Job seekers often face challenges if they lack financial security or do not have the support of a partner, making the job search considerably more daunting.
For those living outside the city, acquiring a driver’s license becomes essential, enhancing mobility for job seekers. Additionally, there’s the added financial burden of travel expenses incurred during the job search, which can be quite costly in Austria, as highlighted by the vlogger.
Other Factors to Consider When Finding a Job in Austria
- Work Permit and Visa: Depending on your nationality, you may need a work permit or visa to legally work in Austria. Understanding and obtaining the necessary documentation is crucial.
- Networking: Building professional connections and networking is valuable in Austria. Attend industry events, join online forums, and connect with professionals in your field.
- Resume and Cover Letter: Ensure your resume (CV) and cover letter are tailored to Austrian standards. Highlight relevant skills and experience, and be concise and professional in your presentation.
- Interview Etiquette: Understand Austrian interview norms and customs. Punctuality and a professional appearance are highly regarded. Research the company and be prepared for questions about your qualifications and experience.
- Salary Expectations: Research salary expectations in your field and location. Be prepared to negotiate your salary during the job offer stage.
- Job Search Platforms: Utilize local job search websites, company websites, and job portals to look for job listings in Austria.
- Language Skills: While German is essential, proficiency in English can also be advantageous, especially in international companies. Consider taking language courses to improve your communication skills.
- Professional Qualifications: Ensure your professional qualifications meet Austrian standards. Some professions may require additional certifications or qualifications.
- Cost of Living: Understand the cost of living in your chosen location. It can significantly impact your financial planning.
- Healthcare: Familiarize yourself with the Austrian healthcare system and ensure you have appropriate health insurance coverage.
- Cultural Adaptation: Be open to adapting to Austrian culture and workplace customs. Understanding the local culture and etiquette can enhance your job search and integration.
- Transportation: Depending on where you live and work, consider the availability and cost of public transportation or the need for a car.
- Union Membership: In some industries, union membership is common and may be advantageous for employees. Research whether joining a union is relevant to your field.
- Taxes: Understand the Austrian tax system, including income taxes and social security contributions, which can impact your net income.
- Work-Life Balance: Assess your prospective employer’s policies on work-life balance. Austrians often value this balance, and it can vary by industry and company.
- Job Security: Evaluate the stability and job security in your chosen field and company, particularly in the context of your long-term career goals.
- Long-Term Plans: Consider your long-term plans in Austria, such as residency, career progression, and potential opportunities for growth and advancement.
Despite the perception of Austria as an expensive country, the vlogger points out that the value of money is relative. Once acclimated to Austrian living expenses, it tends to align more closely with the cost of living in the Philippines.
As for the job search itself, the vlogger candidly acknowledges its challenges. Whether finding a job in Austria is difficult or not largely depends on the individual’s adaptability and unique circumstances. Drawing from her own experience, she reveals that securing employment in Austria took her three years, underscoring the persistence required for success in this endeavor.
Despite these challenges, the vlogger encourages job seekers not to lose hope. She sees every obstacle as a challenge to be overcome and advises setting clear life goals to maintain motivation and determination in the face of adversity. In Austria, while the journey to finding a job can be arduous, resilience and a supportive environment can ultimately lead to success.