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Top tips for working in Turkey

12th April 2013 , Adana, Aladağ

My experience of working in Turkey has given me good insight into the highs and lows of working abroad.
The main plus point for me is obvious; you get to earn a living whilst living in the sun!
Touristic areas are the easiest hotspots for jobseekers as you can find employment in hotels, travel companies or restaurants and bars.

But be prepared to work long hours, if you’re work is related to tourism.
Working 9-5 is not the norm.

In comparison to working in Europe, here you can expect to work at least 9 or 10 hours a day (or more), six days a week and all for a fraction of a European salary.
And niceties such as one hour lunch breaks, annual leave, paid holiday and flexi time don’t really exist when you’re working for a Turkish company/employer.

Here, you’re expected to show up on time and put in the hours required to meet business demands.
Job seeking can be a little bit challenging; I applied for a job that I found in a local online English speaker’s newspapers (most regions that are home to Brits have one).

The best time to apply for jobs in the tourism sector in regions such as Fethiye, Bodrum, Dalaman and Antalya is between November and April.

Before the summer holiday season officially starts in May, as this is the time when local and national travel companies, resorts and hotels are on the lookout for English speaking (or bilingual) staff.
Most jobs in Turkey are seasonal, so you work six months (May to October) and then have the winter off.  There are some year round jobs, but you usually get paid less in the winter time as tourism companies are not generating when holidaymakers are not around.

Most of the people I know work here as holiday reps, hotel receptionists, English teachers, admin staff for tour operators or transfer reps.

When it boils down to it, for me working in Turkey, is more often than not a trade off.
You work hard in return for the beauty of living in the sun.

My top tips for working here are:

•    Remain realistic when it comes to pay
•    Remember that you’re working in different country with a different culture
•    Make sure that you are clear on your working hours, days and if you get a day off before you agree to take a job.
•    Plan your time off well, as you’ll have less days off here

On a more personal note, I enjoy working in Turkey as it allows me the freedom to have the means to enjoy life here.
I’ve worked for a tour operator, a boat company, and a hotel and I’ve made some great friends. It’s hard work, but also a fantastic learning curve and life experience.

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