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Poznan - Career Path


ongos2000 3 | 20  
31 Dec 2008 /  #1
I just arrived in Poznan from the U.S. and am actively looking for a new career within the city. I look to make Poznan my home and am looking for any advice or direction as to jobs w/multinational companies, local businesses looking for English-speakers (as I don't speak any Polish yet), steps on how to become a private English tutor, etc. I have an MBA (Masters in Business Administration) and a bachelors degree in Marketing. I have 9 years experience in telecommunications, client/customer service, management, and sales.

***I'd also like to open this thread up for anyone living/working in Poznan since I can't really find much from those within the forum.*** Let's feel free to open discussion with job openings, advice, and support.
morella 11 | 65  
31 Dec 2008 /  #2
The ones who r native speakers of English r very lucky.They can find job wherever they want in this world without any extra skill except speaking english..so dont worry for sure u will find sthg.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454  
5 Jan 2009 /  #3
***I'd also like to open this thread up for anyone living/working in Poznan since I can't really find much from those within the forum.*** Let's feel free to open discussion with job openings, advice, and support.

Ooh, I'll bite.

Poznan is a very strange city - it's without doubt the business capital of Poland, yet multinationals are very reluctant to come here. Many students at my school are involved with property/shares/etc, which shows that there's work for this kind of thing here - yet barely any of them have had regular contact with native English speakers in Poznan. I really don't know why - even one of them is constantly begging for me to take her on a night out so that we can hunt down native speakers for her to practice on.

Kraków appears to be attracting much more in the way of English multinationals at least - why, I really don't know, but it's probably related to the popularity of the city with English speakers.

One thing that's notable is that there's a lot of German companies in Poznan - if you can speak German and (obviously) English - then a job should be easy to find.

I think the best bet in your case is simply to teach for half a year - it'll give you time to really find your feet in Poznań - and (no offence intended to many of the teachers on here!) teaching is light enough to allow you to investigate other things too. You might find that students are useful contacts too - although I have no interest in doing anything at the minute, so I don't know how true this might be.

To be honest, I'm really struggling to think of how else you could find something. I don't know of the expat scene here at all - or even if there is one. Apparently there's a bar in the Sheraton that's very English-orientated, but how busy/populated/useful it might be, I'm unsure. There's also a place called Coxy's according to the ever-useful In Your Pocket - but I've never been inside, and when I've been past, it's either been locked up or playing hideously loud and crap music that makes me flee to the nearest cafe.

But any questions, feel free to ask.
kioko - | 84  
6 Jan 2009 /  #4
I am affraid your previous experience will not be usefull here. How do you want to manage or do marketing, or even work with Polish clients if don't know the language. I think the only thing you can do is to teach English. I know some time ago schools took people like you without teaching experience, but i don't know how it is now. There is an English school in Poznań nativeenglish.pl. Maybe you should ask there, or at least you will be able to talk with other people who used to be in situation like yours, as there are only native speakers working there. Good luck! Hope you will like in Poznań!
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454  
6 Jan 2009 /  #5
I saw that 'Native English' school a few weeks ago and rolled my eyes at it - any school only offering native speakers simply won't be able to provide thoroughly for someone learning English. At least in my opinion, anyway :)

As for schools taking people without teaching experience - now is certainly the time to get a job. The semester is winding down, and they want to ensure that people keep coming back next semester - and having a native speaker on board might just convince some people to keep on paying.

Having said this, I wouldn't want to try and find a job at the minute in this weather...-16c going to school today IN THE SUNSHINE. How..?!
OP ongos2000 3 | 20  
7 Jan 2009 /  #6
Delphi, would you happen to know any of the schools' names/locations that you speak of? All in all, it looks like teaching's going to be the starting point for me here in Poznan, which is no problem at all. Actually, I'm kind of excited about it. If you can't remember any of the schools' names stated in your previous post, would you suggest that I create and post flyers around schools/universities for private lessons? As far as rates go, I've seen people around the forum say they've been charging between 40pln and 60pln. What's your take on this? Oh, and as for the weather yesterday, I'd have to say that's the coldest I've ever been in! I just came from deep South Texas where the temperature only dips below 0c one or two days out of the year. Love those long johns!
boydie  
7 Jan 2009 /  #7
where is your MBA from Ongos ?
OP ongos2000 3 | 20  
7 Jan 2009 /  #8
I attained my MBA from The University of Texas - Pan American in Edinburg, Texas.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454  
9 Jan 2009 /  #9
*deep breath*.

Okay, most schools are located in/around Plac Wolnosci and Sw. Marcin. There must be about 8-10 schools in that area alone, if not more. I'm terrible with names, but just look for the UK flags on the signs - that's how I found most schools, anyway. There's also a Berlitz school in the shopping centre next to the Wrocławska tram stop, and some school in Stary Rynek - I can't describe which part of the Rynek, but it's in the 'fast food' corner as I put it - the corner with (usually) a huge advertising poster.

The first port of call should be to try all them - some are Callan schools, some are traditional. After that, you can try elsewhere. Let me know if you need more schools to target - I know more, but they require about ten million lines to explain where they are :)

Moneywise, it depends. Certainly, don't take any less than 35PLN per 50 minutes for Callan teaching, and that's 35PLN in your hand. Some schools are quite happy just to give you the money in your hand, others will want it to be legal - but either way, make sure that you have physically 35PLN in your hand for every 'hour'. The beauty of Callan is that it requires absolutely no preparing - so you have no issues with turning up five minutes before a class.

For other teaching, it's hard and should really be judged on the situation - if they want you to teach Business classes for example, then you should hold out for 50PLN minimum. The best advice in this respect is to use your instincts - if you have to prepare lessons, then demand more. And also, if they want you to teach advanced Business classes, you can hold out for much much more - basically, demand what your MBA is worth if you're teaching material of that level.

As for private lessons - it's probably worth holding off on them right now. Not because I have a vested interest (I'm too lazy to do such lessons...) - but because people won't have much money after Christmas/New Year. But it certainly can't hurt to put up some advertisements in places such as the British Council Library - although my advice in this respect is to make it clear that you have the experience and business knowledge and will charge accordingly. I've seen one particularly idiotic native speaker charging 30zl an hour - simply put, you can charge 50zl for conversation alone - and if you know your stuff, you can easily charge more than that for specialist Business private classes.

The thing that strikes me is that you've got an MBA. It might very well be worth sending CV's to the big companies in Poznan on a speculative basis - although if you don't need to earn a huge amount of money (2000zl a month is ridiculously easy to get when teaching!), then there are far more opportunities for someone willing to go it alone so to speak.

One note : for some reason, people in this country want a photograph with the CV. I've never understood this, but it's the way it is :s

Any questions? :)

edit : I forgot the most important thing. Post an advert asking for a teaching job on gumtree.pl (there's a Poznan localisation), and keep an eye out on there. I got my current job through that website, anyway :)
OP ongos2000 3 | 20  
10 Jan 2009 /  #10
Greatly appreciated and THANK YOU! This info is definitely valuable and I'm grateful for your advice. I'll keep in touch and let you know how the hunt goes. Thanks again!
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454  
11 Jan 2009 /  #11
No problem, feel free to give me a shout if you need any more help. I'll let you know if I hear of any jobs going.

One other note : I'd advise to try and keep afternoons free if you can. There's so many opportunities for private enterprise in Poznan, it's getting ridiculous - one example is that a kiosk in my osiedle (which is one of the biggest!) is available for rent for 700zl a month. That's absolutely nothing - and there's such a big population within five minutes walk, that it would be easy to do something with it.

There's also a couple of schools that should be avoided, but I'll drop you a PM with the details.
RebelOReilly 3 | 10  
12 Jan 2009 /  #12
Hey, thats great info you were sharing.

Any chance you know a website where they advertise places like that kiosk or is it just local info?

Much thanks.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454  
12 Jan 2009 /  #13
Local info, it seems. I've looked for a website, but the only websites that cover commercial property tend to have ridiculous prices for city centre shops - not small kiosks/shops in your average osiedle.
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,161  
12 Jan 2009 /  #14
How do you want to manage or do marketing, or even work with Polish clients if don't know the language. I think the only thing you can do is to teach English.

In some service centers or some HQs of large companies English is in fact the "official" language".

There's so many opportunities for private enterprise in Poznan, it's getting ridiculous - one example is that a kiosk in my osiedle (which is one of the biggest!) is available for rent for 700zl a month. That's absolutely nothing - and there's such a big population within five minutes walk, that it would be easy to do something with it.

It's not as easy as It may looks like. Add to that ZUS, taxes, stupid regulations and other s*its and you will have to try really hard to make any profits out of It.
bolek 6 | 330  
13 Jan 2009 /  #15
I just arrived in Poznan from the U.S. and am actively looking for a new career within the city

You may brush this post away, but your best bet is to have a small kiosk selling american style hamburgers, coke and fries, think about it, this business has not been explored properly in Poland, just take note how wealthy the stallholders are.

Forget about teaching english at 30zl a hour, move up in the world and make it happen.
Poles love food and nothing better than a greesy hamburger, fries and a donut all year round. PS 700zl rent is nothing to pay to lease a kiosk a month.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454  
13 Jan 2009 /  #16
It's not as easy as It may looks like. Add to that ZUS, taxes, stupid regulations and other s*its and you will have to try really hard to make any profits out of It.

Of course, but looking around here, there's basically solariums, alcohol shops and food shops. There's nothing else - which is why anyone with a bit of common sense could make a killing around here.
OP ongos2000 3 | 20  
13 Jan 2009 /  #17
Bolek, I like your style! I've been wondering myself where all the burger stands are. And I've been dying for a burger. A barbeque burger. Onions. Pickles. Jalapenos. Grease dripping down my arm. It looks like I've been a little pessimistic lately. Thanks for your input.

Delphi, call me naive, but I'm sort of new to this solarium thing. Yes we do have them in the states, but man, the girls here don't look tanned. They look orange. Am I wrong? No offense to the tanning bed ladies at all, but spend your expendable income on something else a little more enjoyable...like a big greasy burger. Now that I'm thinking about it, what's better? Fat or orange? Hmm.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454  
13 Jan 2009 /  #18
Delphi, call me naive, but I'm sort of new to this solarium thing. Yes we do have them in the states, but man, the girls here don't look tanned. They look orange. Am I wrong? No offense to the tanning bed ladies at all, but spend your expendable income on something else a little more enjoyable...like a big greasy burger. Now that I'm thinking about it, what's better? Fat or orange? Hmm.

Hahaha :)

It's a very European thing for the girls to end up orange, though it's way worse in the UK than in Poland. It does make me laugh though, watching some of the idiots in this osiedle walk around completely orange while it's snowing.

Having said this, some of the women around here manage the fat part just fine too... ;)

The one thing I'd mention is that with any sort of food business, make sure to make it recognisably American. You know, the kind of place that screams AMERICA to you - because many places (like those horrible Sphinx places) will do American food - but badly, and in a lousy atmosphere.
bolek 6 | 330  
13 Jan 2009 /  #19
Bolek, I like your style! I've been wondering myself where all the burger stands are. And I've been dying for a burger. A barbecue burger. Onions. Pickles. Jalapenos. Grease dripping down my arm. It looks like I've been a little pessimistic lately. Thanks for your input.

Thanks for the compliment sir, it shows that we could do business together! You could be the new new burger king of Poland lol. lets face it poles have not yet truly experience good take away food. The burgers are nothing like those in the US, the pizza's are terrible, and the rolls filled with cheese and mushrooms are primitive.

Like I say a good burger, fries, and coke will make heaps.. I might add the polish fries are soggy and taste like you know what.
Guest  
27 Mar 2009 /  #20
lets face it poles have not yet truly experience good take away food. The burgers are nothing like those in the US, the pizza's are terrible, and the rolls filled with cheese and mushrooms are primitive.

Thank God for that!
Giovanni - | 1  
12 Jun 2009 /  #21
Hi Ongos,

I found this forum while I was google for work in Poznan.
As it seems now, I will move to Poznan in september, october some time.
And I therefor wondered how your search for work are going?

I have been working a lot with sales, marketing, branding, events etc etc for the last 5 years. Are the for an example any callcenters where they speak english?

Please let me know if you have got any experience or any suggestions for me what I might do when I arrive.

Today I live in Norway, and it might seems crazy to move to Poland where payment is so bad, but my girlfriend is studying medicin in Poznan. You have to give something to gain something :)

Thanks,

Best regards
Giovanni
OP ongos2000 3 | 20  
14 Jun 2009 /  #22
Hey Giovanni!

Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I'm normally a bit more punctual if someone's asking for help or advice.

Anyway, my hunt for work has disappointedly come to a complete halt (sort of) within the past 4 months. I've officially become a full time stay-at-home dad after my daughter was born in February. I've been submitting my CV to HP and Google from time to time but to no avail. The jobs I applied for ask for English and Spanish-speaking people, but I'm more than sure that they're looking for someone who also speaks Polish, which I do not. I haven't been in such a deep crunch here where I would desperately need to land a job, luckily, so this is why I have been lazy in my hunt.

I am interested in teaching English to get have some extra change in my pocket, but with summer starting and me going to the States for a month, this calls for another brief pause in my search for work.

I wish I could've been more help to you, but like I said, I've called off the job hunt for now. If I can offer any suggestions though, I would begin with teaching English (or your native language of course) in either one of the language schools around here or by posting an ad on poznan.gumtree.pl offering private lessons. This would be in case you can't find anything relating to the business field when you arrive or soon thereafter, of course. You can also find some multinational companies in town and drop off your CV. I've heard this is the best way to get anywhere near the door when looking for work. Anyway, I wish you luck in your search! Let me know how it goes!

I also see that your girlfriend is studying medicine here in Poznan! My wife just completed her first year yesterday. She's in the 4-year program at Poznan University of Medical Science. What program/level is your girlfriend in?

Ok, enough of this useless novel! Let me know when you get here and we'll meet up for some drinks and then you can maybe join our expat meetups that take place every so often!

Thanks for reaching out and I look forward to hearing from you!

Juan

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