A FEW years ago finding work in Spain was comparatively easy. The country was in a boom (however absurd) and there was work for anyone who wanted it.
However, the past five years have been punishing for anyone wanting to work in Spain with expatriates suffering as badly as the Spanish themselves.
The construction industry, a mainstay for the employment of many people, has ceased to exist in any meaningful form and the universal drop in spending across Spain has affected every business.
So, what can you do now – if you are in Spain and need to make an income, either full time or part time? Well, there only appear to be two outstanding options.
The first is to teach English. This may seem clichéd and you may yawn at the thought.
However, if you do then you will miss the fact that this is a genuine boom industry in Spain, driven by the Spanish government’s pressure upon teachers, school children and university students to learn the language.
Meanwhile, many professional Spaniards are desperate to master English before seeking work abroad.
Of course, as a native English speaker you have everything on your side!
Even if you are not qualified with a TEFAL or TOSSAL, you can earn a living teaching English as the Spanish lack ‘listening and speaking’ practice.
This, combined with interview ‘grooming’ is in great demand, with conversational classes a pleasure to conduct and relatively easy to do.
Needless to say, obtaining a ‘teaching English as a foreign language’ qualification is useful and, importantly, will act to improve your own knowledge of grammar, which few Britons know well.
The great thing with teaching English is that, apart from the massive demand, the overheads are minimal.
You can do it from your own home or just rent a room, if you want to keep costs to the minimum. Meanwhile, anything that you make is pretty much profit from start to finish.
The second obvious way to make money is by using the Internet. To many people this is still a mystery and yet it is the most obvious way of making an income for any expatriate.
“But I am not ‘techie’,” you may cry, despairingly!
Well, the good news is that you do not need to be ‘techie’ to make money using the Internet, any more than you need to be a master of computer code.
In fact, one of the striking things about the evolution of the Internet is the way that it has become more user-friendly over the past few years.
A good example is putting up a web site, which used to be complicated and expensive.
Now, web sites can be put up within no time at all and, with platforms like WordPress, are easy for the technically challenged to use.
Meanwhile, familiarity with social media (Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter etc.) which is user-friendly by definition means that you can target products and services at virtually no cost to yourself.
The great thing about learning to use the Internet as a way of earning money is that your location (so long as you have ADSL) is irrelevant.
Meantime, your overheads can be negligible and the range of things on the Internet is so great that you are bound to find something that you can do.
Often this will be almost directly applicable to your existing skills and experience, So, if you are short of money (or bored!) then Spain’s dire economy does not mean that you cannot work, you just have to focus on the two areas that are functioning and that are low risk and strategically sound for the long term.
Nick Snelling is the Web master of www.culturespain.com and author of 5 books including: ‘How to Buy Spanish Property and Move to Spain – Safely’ and the ‘The Laptop Entrepreneur’