If you are a “self-made” expat who’d like to start working in Rome outside an intra-company transfer, prepare for your job search to require some patience. Many Italian enterprises, especially smaller ones, are family businesses, and family generally plays a vital part in Italian life. With that background in mind, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that personal contacts, networking, and recommendations are extremely important for job applicants.
Unfortunately, networking in another country is hard from abroad – but not impossible. The Italian chamber of commerce in your home country is a good stepping stone for building a business network in Rome. Conversely, you can make sure to attend events at your chamber of commerce in Rome during a business visit or fact-finding trip to Italy.
At the moment, France, Germany, and the US, as well as Switzerland, Russia, Turkey, and the UK are Italy’s most important trading partners in import and export. If you are a national from one of these countries or speak its language fluently, this could increase your chance to land a job in commerce.
If you send unsolicited applications, job hunting will be difficult unless you know another person working for the same company in Rome. At least try to make personal contact via phone: Talk directly to the person who’ll be responsible for handling your application, and leave a (hopefully positive) impression.
If you don’t have the patience for the “unsolicited applications” approach, here are a number of Italian job search engines (offerte di lavoro) where you can find job vacancies for Rome. Unless you are planning to work for a large multi-national company, though, most ads will be in Italian, and you are expected to have at least a decent grasp of business Italian.
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