Finding Work With or without a resume or CV, finding employment vacancies and securing a job in Crete or other parts of Greece is not too difficult.
This page assumes that you are a British or Irish Ex-pat or another EU national with the right to work in Greece under Article 12 of the E.U. Constitution. You need to complete certain formalities set by the local bureaucrats. Below we list important short cuts to knowing what is required to satisfy government officials in Greece with your CV and bone fide qualifications even for summer jobs:
Employee, Employer Relationship
If you are to become an employee and working for an employer in Crete, legally your employer must pay "IKA" contributions (IKA is one of the main Greek National Insurance organisations). This covers you for medical treatment should you need it. Furthermore, if you plan on staying in Crete during the Winter months, after two "seasons" of having your IKA paid, you will be eligible for unemployment benefit during the non-tourist season. Each month this can represent up to €300-€400 in payment benefits depending on your circumstances. Note: There are employers who will employ you without paying your IKA but it is not in your interest to accept this situation and it is also illegal. As an an employee you may be expected to work long hours in summertime in Crete, which has a season of approximately 6 months with only 4 of those being really busy months. Working 7 days a week for the entire season is not unusual and the wages start from about *€700 a month (which is only around £450). *€900 - €1,100 a month is an earnings potential but you should expect to dedicate some 60 hours a week or more for that sort of income level and renumeration.(* As of January 2009). CURRENCY CONVERTOR
Self Employment or Running a Business
If you wish to be self-employed in Greece you need to pay your own Health Insurance known as "Tebe" (Pronounced Tev-a). This covers you and your family for basic health requirements and also if paid for long enough also pays a pension in later life. It does not come cheap though. Tebe costs you anything from €180 to €300 per month. There are cheaper alternative schemes that do not offer so many benefits. We advise you to check this out with your accountant. You will definitely need an accountant if you want to run a business in Crete.
Many British and Irish Ex-Pats come to Greece to run a bar or restaurant and to establish a foothold in the system. We would recommend this approach, however we also recommend caution as a large majority fail for a number of avoidable reasons. A prime example would be: Coming to Crete to run a bar and acting like it's you who is on holiday not your customers. You will not succeed in running any sort of catering establishment if you have the "Lets enjoy ourselves and maybe sell a few beers into the bargain" attitude. You have to be committed to the income generating activity. To be successful you have to work LONG hours and work 7 days a week for the whole season. If you are closed at anytime other than between the official closing and opening times you WILL lose customers. Then there is an easy trap to fall into: Disobeying the Law!
Unfortunately this can happen as the laws and rules in Crete change often and everyone including the local Greek residents have a tough time keeping up with all the changes. Furthermore, ignorance of the law is no defense. There is another business practice to avoid: if you have visited Greece before, you will have noticed the bars and restaurants have guys or girls outside touting for your business to get YOU, the paying customer inside their bar or restaurant. This they do smiling sweetly and chatting to you about your holiday. This form of soliciting customers is in fact ILLEGAL. So as a bar owner, do not hire this kind of staff - known as - Kamaki unless you are prepared to pay a hefty fine if caught by the Tourist Police.
Check List of Important Pre-Employment Actions to Take
Yes, after preparing a CV in English get it translated into Greek. That is a useful tip. After that: Get an IKA Health Book. If you are going to work in the Catering industry, you need a Health Book, once issued it is a valuable document to hold. But before it is issued it may take you numerous trips to the local hospital for check ups and health tests , such as for TB and infectious diseases and then to collect the results. Our advice: DO NOT LISTEN TO ANYONE WHO TELLS YOU THAT YOU DON'T NEED AS HEALTH BOOK!
Greek Tax Number. Everyone in Crete whether Foreign or Local nationals MUST have a Tax Number, ask your accountant how to get one, and only one. It is a serious offence to have duplicate tax numbers.
Resident's Permit. If you plan to be in Greece for a long time, in fact any length of stay over 3 months you need what is now called a Resident's Certificate. In fact since April 2006 when Greece fell into line with the rest of the EU in opening up completely to the free movement of citizens to live and work, it is less strict and now only a Resident's Certificate is required for a stay over 3 months. No work permit is required. For non-EU nationals a work permit is still a necessity.
If Unsure Ask, Ask and Ask Again
If you are unsure of anything of any process connected with government and employment that you want to do ASK!, ASK!, ASK! Before you take a single cent or pay one out GET AN ACCOUNTANT and preferably a LAWYER too and then if you are unsure of anything ASK them first before putting yourself in a position which might be on the wrong side of the law - even fr those unassuming short term summer jobs.
Now for the reality of paid employment in Crete. The majority of employers on the island are Greek. It is within this context we make the following observations and suggestions. If you work for a local boss be aware that you may have to ASK for your wages each month. Not all bosses are like this but quite a few are (this is going by personal experiences). Also your wage will most likely not be based on an hourly rate but more likely, a monthly one. The downside of this condition of service is that you may be asked to work more hours than originally agreed but the boss does not expect to pay you more to compensate for the overtime...(again not everyone thinks like this, but a great many do). Also be aware that if the shop, bar, or restaurant where you work is not busy, employers have been known to blame the foreign workers for the lack of customers. Take it in your stride.
Finally, as Crete is still geared very much to the summer tourism economy, everyone is expected to work hard without the luxury of a regular day off a week for six months of the season. The locals do it and they expect you to do it too. This is fine if you're a beach boy, but if you're working in a hot sweaty kitchen you may end up more stressed than before you came to the job in the sun.
Working in Greece can certainly be a lot of fun and in the sun, for the most part, but make no mistake, you will be expected to pull your weight too!!
Brits in Crete recommends several web sites full of useful information, if you are contemplating working in Greece and in Crete.
UK Job Centre Advice: Centres have sound advice before your adventure to Crete. There are lots of pointers especially on explaining what your employment rights are when working in Greece, as well as your civil rights. What happens if you have a dispute with a future employer? As is the case everywhere there are always the unscrupulous employers, particularly those who hire casual workers, who are somehow not around when it comes to pay day. Know what to do.
Directgov - Advice for you as a Briton moving abroad. Directgov - all in one place for what you should know and what to do when you are abroad. The site is to help you as a UK national who is considering moving abroad whether for long or short periods. The site also tells you of what you should do when you return to UK from Greece after your time of working in Crete.
The 4 International Careers & Jobs site is a generally useful, if commercial site finding placement for people just like you.
Brits in Crete recommends a Greece-specific site, www.in2greece.com which is run by a Swedish lady, Victoria Sandels now resident in the country, who obviously has "been there, done that" and has basic, down-to-earth advice for would be 'wannabes' who want to work in the sun and have a thoroughly good time. Her single most important piece of advice is do not reply to jobs advertised in Greece-based, newspapers without checking them out first, especially summer jobs.
Another "must see" Internet portal is an E.U. run web site. Under the title of "Be Informed" it is full of links and information from web sites in Greece with sound advice as how to avoid common mistakes in taking up employment and jobs outside Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic (Eire), and some of the pitfalls of working in Greece. The site is aimed specifically at the younger workers. it covers everything from being an au pair to volunteer work, summer working holidays, even training scheme possibilities. There is always a need for English Teachers in Greece year round and the hospitality and travel industry mainly for the summer tourist season.
Advice on Finding a job in Greece. Καλή τύχη στην επιτυχία σας
(Good luck to your success!)
|TEBE - A Government Health Fund||IKA - Insurance Contributions Agency||KEP - Municipal Citizens Advice Bureaus)|