Pack Your Bags, Barcelona’s Going To Be Your Next (Career) Move
TALENTHUB narrows in on great cities to launch and develop your career. Whether it’s a vibrant startup ecosystem, endless career opportunities, an international community or the exciting city life, hear what draws and keeps Europe’s best talents in these cities.
Barcelona is a very unique, colorful, international, and lively city. The word “bored” doesn’t exist for its residents. If you like architecture, museums, sunbathing, live music, culture, nature, football, good food, outdoor activities, socializing, Barcelona’s for you. That was the exact reason I decided to move to this beautiful city for my Masters at EADA Business School 4 years ago. After graduating, I started my career at Autodesk, where I gained all the knowledge I currently use in my role as an Account Executive for Brand Protection at Red Points (a company I actually met at TalentSpace’s Barcelona Talent Night in 2018).
There’re a lot of stereotypes associated with working in Spain/Barcelona; taking a siesta during lunch breaks, it being a bad economy with low salaries or low productivity. But the lived reality of the people working here is quite different. After a devastating economic crisis that brought the country to its knees, Spain has started to rebuild itself — thanks, in part, to the country’s developing startup ecosystem. Home to over 1,350 startups, with a majority in the fields of Industry 4.0 (17%), Life Sciences (13%) and Mobile & Software Technologies (11%), Barcelona is Southern Europe’s most dynamic startup ecosystem, and holds many surprises for foreigners working or looking to work in the city.
Endless opportunities for everyone
According to the Barcelona & Catalonia Startup Hub, Catalonia (the northeastern region of Spain) employs 13,820 people in its startup ecosystem. Barcelona is an international city, and it’s something you see on the streets and in figures: 26% of all employees are from abroad; Western European (46%), followed by South America, Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America. In addition, 15% of startup founders have an international background. Barcelona offers a lot of opportunities for expats, Multinational companies and startups are constantly looking for people to cover international markets. If you’re an ambitious young person with good knowledge in a particular field – you have a good chance of finding a job here. If you have a startup idea you want to put into practice, Barcelona is a perfect place to do it. The city provides many resources to help entrepreneurs and there’s a great work-life balance.
Research agency Adecco reported in February 2018 that the average monthly salary in Spain is €1,636. However, as experts in a specific field and with an additional language skill (German, French, Italian, etc.), you’ll be able to start your career above the average monthly salary and still have a great life in Barcelona. Don’t expect the same standards as in Germany, but the employee packages international companies offer are good.
Barcelona is a very international city, therefore the need to learn Spanish may not be as big as in other Spanish cities. Yes, it is very important to learn the language - it greatly increases your chances of getting a job and makes it easier to get in touch with the locals. So if you’re learning Spanish, there’s no better and more efficient way to do it than living in Barcelona. With so many Spaniards around you, there’s always someone to practice the language with.
Barcelona doesn’t just offer the chance to gain international working experience, the quality of life in Barcelona is also unbeatable. This is a city with growing opportunities; there is talent, very good infrastructure and communication, and a really diverse cultural scene. Of course, the food is fantastic, you’ve got the sea and mountains nearby, and the sun is always shining. It’s the perfect combination.
Kevin is a TalentSpace Ambassador in Barcelona. He studied at EADA Business School Barcelona with a focus on International Management. Currently, he works as an Account Executive at Red Points, the fastest growing Online Brand Protection company on the market with clients like FC Barcelona, FILA, and Bang & Olufsen. In addition to that, he runs Silicon Valley Barcelona, the biggest startup newsfeed in the city, with more than 28,000 followers.