Working in Bulgaria
If you plan on working in Bulgaria after settling into your new home, be wary. Finding work can be difficult and jobs in Bulgaria, especially for foreigners, can be scarce.
Unemployment, although falling, remains high at 11.5% and, since Bulgaria is not yet part of the EU, there are tight restrictions on the employment of foreigners. Bear in mind also that unemployed foreigners living in Bulgaria do not qualify for any social security benefits.
Documentation needed for jobs in Bulgaria
Landing one of the rare jobs in Bulgaria will be easier if you have already gained permanent residence status. However, if you haven´t been living in Bulgaria long enough to qualify, you will need a permit before you can start working for a Bulgarian business.
Worker´s permits are tightly controlled by the National Employment Agency. Only employers can apply, and they have to provide proof that no qualified Bulgarian is available to fill a specific vacancy. Permits are issued for one year at a time. No more than 10% of the jobs in a Bulgarian company can be held by foreigners.
If you have a permanent residence card you have the same freedom to work as a Bulgarian.
Most jobs in Bulgaria are full-time and city-based
Working in Bulgaria usually involves a 40-hour week. Typically, businesses work 8.30am to 17.30pm or 9.00am to 6.00pm and close for 4-6 weeks in summer. Part-time jobs in Bulgaria are a rarity.
Most jobs in Bulgaria are centred around Sofia, Plovdiv, and Varna. If you speak fluent English and have specialist skills, especially in IT, engineering and translation, it may be worthwhile approaching the growing number of multinational companies based in these cities.
Without specialist skills, and particularly if you don´t speak Bulgarian, your most likely sources of jobs in Bulgaria are the tourism or property industries or teaching.
Working in Bulgaria´s tourism market can mean year-round employment
People working in Bulgaria´s tourist industry can work almost the entire year by moving between the summer and winter resorts according to season. Catering experience opens the door to many jobs in Bulgaria´s resorts but there is also work for chambermaids, ski instructors and holiday tour reps. Opportunities are also being created in the mountains as summer activity holidays gain popularity.
English-speakers can find jobs in Bulgaria´s booming property industry
A growing number of estate agencies are now operating in Bulgaria. Many need English speaking staff to liaise with foreign investors and buyers. The boom in the market has also created similar jobs in Bulgarian property development companies.
Teaching English - demand is growing
Most English teaching jobs in Bulgaria go to those with a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) qualification. Most vacancies are found in schools but international companies often offer English courses for their Bulgarian employees, too.
How to find jobs in Bulgaria
If you are seeking specific types of jobs in Bulgaria, send your CV and covering letter direct to suitable employers. Study the English language newspapers published in Sofia, and surf the net for vacancies, too, as some companies working in Bulgaria advertise on job-seekers´ websites such as www.jobs-in-europe.net/bulgaria, www.jobtiger.bg, www.jobspartner.bg and www.itjobs.bg. If you are already living in Bulgaria, network! You never know when you might be in the right place at just the right time. Alternatively, you could think about setting up your own business in Bulgaria .