Every time I say to friends and family that I am moving back to Barcelona, their first reaction is one of concern, which involves work and salaries; is there work there? Is there not a crisis? Do they not pay very low?
I would like to help everyone who is considering moving to Barcelona, by answering to these common questions here.
First of all, moving to Barcelona and moving to Spain are two very different things; Barcelona is in Spain yes, and it is Catalan as well (I won’t go into any political discussion here), but it is mainly a city of its own. It is an European capital, very often compared to Los Angeles for its life style, modernity and technological ambitiousness. Barcelona has established itself as one of the most attractive tech hubs in Europe, and for this reason and more, there are some pretty amazing jobs, especially if you work in IT, Sales, Marketing, Real Estate and Hospitality. It is home to some of the richest multinationals in the world, especially American, Norwegian and Danish companies, which offer great benefits and salaries.
Even its rival and Spanish capital, Madrid, cannot compete with Barcelona on this front, because it does not have that multicultural aspect that the Catalan capital has. However, a very important factor to consider when thinking about whether it is a good choice to work in Barcelona or not, is the kind of work you are looking for.
Are you a researcher? Maybe the US is the best place to be in for that. Do you work in IT? Then Barcelona will definitely have something for you, not necessarily better than in the UK or another country, but not worse either.
However, I think the quality of life in Barcelona is higher than in London (although I love London and never discard I will live there one day, if I am brave enough!) Salaries are actually quite high, higher than in Edinburgh, but the cost of life is cheaper and the fact that so many companies offer restaurant vouchers worth 10 € a day, make things even better! Then, many companies offer free public transport, medical insurance, pension, and so on. Barcelona is modern, forward, young, dynamic and ambitious and it is an exciting place to be professionally. So don’t give up on your dream basing your choices on what you have heard, but do your research on Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Indeed, Hosco, read blogs of people who have worked here, and only then make up your mind. Only you, with your unique personal baggage, can decide whether it is a good choice for you or not!
Another thing to consider is that in Barcelona there are many people and lots of competition, so focus on your best selling points and on the things that others may not have. Personally, having studied and worked in the UK for eight years, I know have made a difference to my selection process. English is the main language in a lot of offices so if you don’t speak Spanish or Catalan is often not an issue, although again, that depends on the kind of industry you work in. If you work as a teacher in a publich school, then you may need to be native in Catalan for example, but every job position has different requirements and there is a job for everyone out there (I know it’s easier said than done).
And you, have you moved to Barcelona and from where? I would love to hear your opinion 🙂