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Irish guy moving to Warsaw looking for work ( currently in Marketing sector )


murr 1 | 1
23 Apr 2014 #1
Hi my name is Owen and I'm Irish, I am planning to move to Warsaw in the next few months to join my Polish girlfriend. I currently work in marketing, in the branded food sector, and was wondering if anyone knew of any international company's who's office operate in English? I realise this may be a long shot but i have heard if you are a native speaker it is easy enough to find a job teaching. I also have a marketing degree so I'm hoping this will be enough to get me a English teaching position somewhere, however I am pretty much willing to work at anything. I've visited Poland on numerous occasions and really enjoy the culture, people, food & beautiful scenery; I only know some Polish words & basic phrases. Any advice/info would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance for your help.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
23 Apr 2014 #2
There are quite a few workplaces whose language is English, but without a specific skill in IT then you might struggle. On the other hand, you might get lucky.

English teaching is increasingly competitive as more natives come over, driving wages down. Be wary of schools that don't pay wages on time, and also those schools that ask people to do free trial lessons -- sometimes it's a legitimate request but some schools just take the p and do it regularly to many hopefuls while coining it from paying students. A lot of this has been discussed before, do a search and also see https://polishforums.com/uk-ireland/poland-irish-married-woman-considering-moving-63894/.

In conclusion, you might get work teaching for quite low pay or decent pay, or you might get lucky and find something paying well and in a real firm. Hope for the best, but perhaps expect it to be difficult for some time.
DominicB - | 2,709
23 Apr 2014 #3
I realise this may be a long shot but i have heard if you are a native speaker it is easy enough to find a job teaching.

Fat chance. That was true ten, fifteen years ago, but that ship has long sailed, especially in the big popular cities like Warsaw. Way too much competition now. Native speakers are dime a dozen, and many teach for pathetically low wages, driving prices way down. The golden age of teaching English in Poland is over.

I currently work in marketing, in the branded food sector, and was wondering if anyone knew of any international company's who's office operate in English? I also have a marketing degree

Pretty much useless on the Polish job market without an excellent command of Polish. There are scads of locals who are much better qualified than you.

however I am pretty much willing to work at anything.

Really, the only option is working in a call center. Could pay if you have solid and well-documented experience in sales. Otherwise, it's cold-call first-contact sales and debt collections, crap jobs that pay peanuts, probably too little to survive on.

The only language schools likely to hire you are crap schools like Callan method, direct method, Avalon or Berlitz. They pay very poorly, and sometimes not at all. Never agree to work for fly-by-night outfits.

As for teaching in better schools, you'd need at least a CELTA certificate. The best jobs are already taken and jealously guarded. You'd have to be really outstanding to break into the club. If you were talking about someplace off the beaten track, I'd say give it a go and plunk down the cash for the CELTA. But considering that you're coming to Warsaw, I say forget about it. At best, the money you make teaching will barely pay for a frugal existence. Essentially, there is no work available for the summer (it's all been snatched up already).

I am planning to move to Warsaw in the next few months to join my Polish girlfriend.

You both might stand a chance in Ireland, but forget about making a go of it in Poland. Her chances of finding gainful employment in Ireland are astronomically higher than your chances of finding same in Poland. The job market is brutal, and you don't have anything of particular value to offer. Your GF is going to lose interest fast if you can't support at least yourself. If you're planning on staying with her family, remember that you will be expected to contribute about 1000 PLN a month for room and board. Once you become a financial liability, you will unceremoniously be give the boot. Poles don't take kindly to moochers, slackers or losers.

Bottom line: If you can't convince her to join you in Ireland, then find another girlfriend. Even better, put off the whole girlfriend baloney for a while and work on getting some real salable qualifications. The money you would spend on the CELTA certificate would be better spent on tuition at home. Talk to a qualified career counselor and work out a realistic plan of making a future for yourself and your future family, and get to work on implementing that plan.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
23 Apr 2014 #4
They pay very poorly, and sometimes not at all

And that can be for 2 reasons: Reason 1 is the teacher is told payday's the end of the month or the 10th, and then some sort of tax or other glitch is claimed and pay is postponed until the next month and so on. Sometimes 3 months until payday, sometimes never. Reason 2 is the supposed audition lesson or trial lesson or demo lesson. Here, the dufus is told he or she must do this lesson to demonstrate he or she can teach adequately. No pay is offered. Yet, the students will have paid the school either the usual fee or very close to it. Of course, some demo lessons might be genuine but from what I hear they're quite often just a way to scam native speakers to give the school (or company) a freebie. Companies quite like these too, because the proper schools won't do freebies but desperate for a job newbie natives will often agree to it in the hope it's going to lead to becoming the company inhouse tutor. Oh, they've a lot of dirty tricks up their sleeves in the big cities, doncha worry!

During my time here, I've seen other natives try the very same ideas for businesses that I thought of years back and failed to get off the ground. I never tell them I tried it and failed because I know that it could just be me. But, each of them tried and failed too, and went back to other things or went elsewhere. Those that are doing OK here usually have networking connections not through the (in my experience) useless job networking websites but through inlaws or other expats with businesses. It's hard to gain traction knocking on the door cold. Not impossible (as I have managed it to a modest extent) but very, very difficult and it took me ages to break in. And I am light years away from any sort of profit margin that won't make people back in the UK laugh or pity me.
smurf 39 | 1,981
23 Apr 2014 #5
Howaya Owen, I've a bit of a similar story to yourself, I moved here about 5 years ago.

Sorry to be bursting a bubble, but I have to agree with everything Dominic said.....except the part about getting a new missus...we all know Polish women are way hotter and sounder than their Irish counterparts :P

You might get lucky with a marketing job, but I wouldn't count on it....unless your missus' family have connections that can get you a gig. Nepotism is far bigger in Poland than in Ireland and if ever the phrase 'it's not what you know etc. etc.' fitted then it's in Poland.

Without a CELTA though you won't find decent paying teaching work in Warsaw, it's a no-go I'm afraid.
You'd be better off hitting the smaller cities like the ones associated with Katowice (but I bet your missus will hate that idea) or else places like Rzeszcow/Lublin/Szczecin/Bielsko-Biala/ etc.

There's plenty of work down here in Kato though, I know that for sure. I have many native-speaker mates working as teachers and they are turning down work as it is.

I think though if you've got a job in Ireland then you're in a far better position than you would be if you had a job in Poland, You're spending power in Ireland is far better and the standard of living is quite higher. You will be working longer hours, with less bank holidays. Many things cost the same as at home, electronics, fuel, clothes are more expensive here, actually the only things that are cheaper in Poland are food and beer and car insurance and keep in mind you'll be earning at least 4 times less here.

There are advantages (far less crime, nice weather, cheap beer, beautiful scenery) and disadvantages (people aren't as open, racism is rife, conservative attitudes) when you compare the two countries, but personally after being here for 5 years I'd move home at the drop of a hat.

PM me if you've any questions man, glad to help a fellow Irishman :)
OP murr 1 | 1
24 Apr 2014 #6
Thanks everyone for your advice it is a real help. I am sorry but I'm new to the site and do not know how to quote people in my reply :/.

From reading the responses above it would seem that I need to at least get a CELTA if I want a hope at a teaching position and even then it's a long shot. I have also heard that doing private one-to-one English lessons with people can help supplement a teaching wage; has anyone any experience of this?

@smurf thanks for that man, would you know is there anything bar teaching that could be a viable option for a lowly English speaker? I am actually relieved that Poland is on a Nepotism buzz as well, my GF has contacts in Warsaw that could POSSIBLY sort me out; we just didn't know the situation with teaching.

@domenicB thanks for the reply, there was a load good stuff in there but unfortunately I will not be taking you up on your advice to ditch the girlfriend.
Sparks11 - | 335
24 Apr 2014 #7
OMG. Again with the no English teaching work in Poland. Get a Celta, come to Warsaw and drop your C.V. at schools, or just send them via email. I can almost guarantee you will have more work than you can deal with, especially with a background in marketing, people are looking for this kind of teacher. I don't know where this "no EFL work in Poland" comes from. Do the Celta and get over here. It will be fine.
Monitor 14 | 1,820
24 Apr 2014 #8
You will be working longer hours, with less bank holidays.

Really?

Poland:
Statutory minimum holidays: 26 Ranking by statutory minimum: 2
Public holidays (days): 11 Ranking by public holidays: 8
Total holidays in a year: 37
The length of holiday in a calendar year depends on the seniority of the employee - 20 working days less than 10 years' service, 26 working days above 10 years' service

rediff.com/money/slide-show/slide-show-1-thirty-nations-and-holidays-for-employees/20111221.htm#3

Ireland:
Statutory minimum holidays: 20 Ranking by statutory minimum: 8
Public holidays (days): 9 Ranking by public holidays: 10
Total holidays in a year: 29

rediff.com/money/slide-show/slide-show-1-thirty-nations-and-holidays-for-employees/20111221.htm#27
Ziemowit 13 | 4,269
24 Apr 2014 #9
Voilà! No ELT job offer to you yet, but ...
... a prospective new GF is already waiting to meet you, Mr. Murr. Good luck with her!
poland_
24 Apr 2014 #10
I am planning to move to Warsaw in the next few months

Send me your email by PM and I will put you in contact with someone who may be able to point you in the right direction.

As for the usual suspects dishing out the diatribe it reflects their own experience in PL does not mean yours will be the same.
The only one point I will add Owen is you will have to compete with the locals so expect to earn a local salary.
Harry
24 Apr 2014 #11
I need to at least get a CELTA if I want a hope at a teaching position

You need to get a CELTA if you want to get a job that's remotely worth having. It would be best to do that CELTA in Warsaw if you can.

even then it's a long shot.

It's not a long shot: you can certainly pick up a few hours here, a few hours there, a few hours somewhere else and so on. But your chances of getting a full-time post at one place are very very limited.

I have also heard that doing private one-to-one English lessons with people can help supplement a teaching wage; has anyone any experience of this?

It can certainly more than supplement what you earn working for schools. The problem is that you need to know what you are doing and you need to be good at it too, i.e. you need to work at it for a few years. You also need to have the students find you, which also takes a few years for you to build up a good enough reputation to attract the students who are serious about learning and paying.

is there anything bar teaching that could be a viable option for a lowly English speaker?

deVere group seem to be pretty much always hiring; however, there is a very good reason for that.

people are looking for this kind of teacher.

Yes, but only from 07.30 until 09.00 and 17.00 until 18.30.
smurf 39 | 1,981
24 Apr 2014 #12
Really?

Yes, you need to read your stats again:

Public holidays (days): 11 Ranking by public holidays: 8

Public holidays (days): 9 Ranking by public holidays: 10

Ireland has 2 more...it looks weird I know, but unlike in Poland, if a 'bank holiday' falls on a weekend day, we get the following Monday off' In Poland, you're given an extra days holiday in your vacation allowance, in Ireland we'd rather have the long weekend :P

Statutory minimum holidays: 26 Ranking by statutory minimum: 2

you only reach that amount of holidays in employment after 2 years of full-time work in Poland.
As a teacher, the OP will not be given any paid holidays whatsoever, because he will more than likely have to sign some draconian contract that's commonly given to ESL teachers here.

would you know is there anything bar teaching that could be a viable option for a lowly English speaker? I am actually relieved that Poland is on a Nepotism buzz as well, my GF has contacts in Warsaw that could POSSIBLY sort me out; we just didn't know the situation with teaching.

I dunno man. Personally I worked my ass off at teaching for 2 and 1/2 years before I built up contacts and went after a proper gig. It was a hard slog but I got there in the end.

The only other thing would be call centre work, but it's soul-destroying...however, working at teaching and learning the lingo on the side and after a couple of years you'll be able to get your foot in far easier.

Re: private lesson, yea you can pick a few up by posting ads on gumtree and a few other sites, but 2 things here: Serious students will know very quickly if you're really qualified or not and secondly, because there are so many natives in bigger cities, the money tends to be lower. In smaller cities you can get anything from 60-90zl per hour and more if have a few students in a 'class' style lesson. One thing on your side is your experience in business, priate students and classes cream themselves for 'business english' and pay good money for classes....the hours are crap though, you'd have classes in businesses usually from 7am-8.30, or 8-9.30, Poles start work a lot earlier than what we're used to at home.

But your chances of getting a full-time post at one place are very very limited.

Harry's on the money here, in your first year or so, you'll probably be working for a multitude of different schools, For example a Monday/Wednesday in one place, Tuesday/Thursday somewhere else and a diff place on a Friday. School hours are usually from 16.00-20.30, so you have the earlier part of the day to fill up with privates.

It's certainly doable, I've done it and so have many others on this forum and many of my mates living here still do it, but I really recommend getting the CELTA done........I think FAS used to help people, but since you're employed you might have to pay for it privately.
Monitor 14 | 1,820
24 Apr 2014 #13
Poland has 11 days, Ireland has 9 and 11 - 9 equals 2 more for Poland. How did you do your calculations?

you only reach that amount of holidays in employment after 2 years of full-time work in Poland.

Are you sure that work in Ireland is discriminated and doesn't count up to 10 years of service? In Poland even studying time is counted into the 10 years. Even if you're right, then it's 20. The same as in Ireland.

As a teacher, the OP will not be given any paid holidays whatsoever, because he will more than likely have to sign some draconian contract that's commonly given to ESL teachers here.

But people don't work during holidays, so payed or not he will have them!
Harry
24 Apr 2014 #14
Poland has 11 days, Ireland has 9 and 11 - 9 equals 2 more for Poland. How did you do your calculations?

In Poland holidays do not entitle people to a day off in lieu. For example, when Christmas day is on a Saturday, most people lose both those days off.

But people don't work during holidays, so payed or not he will have them!

So it's a day without pay. Great. It can actually be a fairly significant financial hit. For example when 1 May is on a Tuesday and 3 May is on a Thursday, a free-lance teacher might well lose 80% of his income for that week.

because there are so many natives in bigger cities, the money tends to be lower.

Yes, but there are also lots of people who can afford to pay decent money. I used to charge 120zl per 60 minutes for in-company one-to-one lessons eight or nine years ago and understand that higher amounts than that are still possible now.

School hours are usually from 16.00-20.30, so you have the earlier part of the day to fill up with privates.

Don't forget the 07.30 until 09.00 business classes too. Nothing like going to work at seven o'clock in the morning at minus 20!
Monitor 14 | 1,820
24 Apr 2014 #15
In Poland holidays do not entitle people to a day off in lieu. For example, when Christmas day is on a Saturday, most people lose both those days off.

You're right. I've missed it. work-day.co.uk calculates exact number of working days in few countries in given year:

Poland 2014 - 252 working days vs Ireland 252
Poland 2015 - 254 working days vs Ireland 253

So as we see there is nearly no difference and still person with 10 years of legal work or study has 26 days off in Poland, while Ireland only 20.

So it's a day without pay. Great. It can actually be a fairly significant financial hit. For example when 1 May is on a Tuesday and 3 May is on a Thursday, a free-lance teacher might well lose 80% of his income for that week.

That's simple realty of free lancer. There is nothing to be angry about. I see bigger problem in free lancing in Poland vs in Ireland than 1 day shorter vacation in next year. Mainly lower pay rates.
smurf 39 | 1,981
24 Apr 2014 #16
Are you sure that work in Ireland is discriminated and doesn't count up to 10 years of service?

Everyone starting a new job has the same amount of holidays, if you are 10+ years in a spefici company then you might get more holidays, but it's up to the company. If it's a civil service job then yea, you'll get more, but the vast majority of people are not in the same job for 10+ years, those days are gone....thankfully.

In Poland even studying time is counted into the 10 years

Which is totally weird IMO.

Even if you're right, then it's 20. The same as in Ireland.

Yea, but as per your figures, 10 is 2 larger than 8, so Ireland has 2 more actual public holidays y'know and 20 vacation days, so that's more if you're just starting in employment in Poland, because as a foreigner you aren't given that '10 years rule' so you get far less holidays, as I know from personal experience....I was given only 14 days because of this ridulous rule....thankfully my boss gave me 'sick days' for the other week.

It's a strange system, don't know why it hasn't been done away with.

It's a diff system at home, for example, if St Patrick's Day is on a Saturday, we'll all have the following Monday off, that doesn't happen here, Poland has more public holidays in name, but not really in actuality. It's strange, I think Poland used to have it the same way?

I used to charge 120zl per 60 minutes for in-company one-to-one lessons eight or nine years ago and understand that higher amounts than that are still possible now.

Yea, the big bucks are still there and with the OP's experience in business he'll be able to get decent money.

Nothing like going to work at seven o'clock in the morning at minus 20!

Oh the memories Harry, trying to get a 20 year old Polo to start on those bitter mornings, great times!
Monitor 14 | 1,820
24 Apr 2014 #17
Everyone starting a new job has the same amount of holidays, if you are 10+ years in a spefici company then you might get more holidays, but it's up to the company. If it's a civil service job then yea, you'll get more, but the vast majority of people are not in the same job for 10+ years, those days are gone....thankfully.

It seems that your boss cheated you. It doesn't have to be continues work in 1 company. You should add all your previous work, also abroad:

pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urlop

Moreover if the guy here is right, then anybody who graduated bachelor should automatically count as having 8 years.

forumprawne.org/prawo-pracy/139768-kiedy-26-dni-urlopu.html

Yea, but as per your figures, 10 is 2 larger than 8, so Ireland has 2 more actual public holidays y

You mean "Ranking by public holidays: 8" ? That means 8th place out of 30, not 8 days. But anyway look at my new post. It's +/- 1 day, the same number of working days in Ireland and Poland.
smurf 39 | 1,981
24 Apr 2014 #18
It's +/- 1 day, the same number of working days in Ireland and Poland.

ok, cool :)

the company cheted me, but I had a cool boss who let me use sick days so I could get the proper amount. Have left since anyway, so all good again.


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