Long before the advent of digital nomads, Athens has been an attractive place to call home and to be based for work. As a hub in the Eastern Mediterranean and southwestern Europe, Greeks based here, returning from abroad and expats as well, are well acquainted with Athens’ best lifestyle benefits. English-speaking jobs in Athens offer exciting opportunities in sales, tech, and hospitality but not all jobs are created equally and suitability against your profile may vary. We’ve assembled this guide, from consulting our Talent Acquisition & Engagement team in-house, as to what you should prioritize on the job hunt when you’re at the start of your career and looking for early career opportunities and entry level jobs.
First, let’s talk about the basics and work them to your advantage. Not all companies or organizations in Athens that are actively looking for a fluent English speaker will list that in their job title so this part may take some fine-tooth combing. Fluency in English, Greek and other global business languages (French, German, Italian, Spanish, and/or Japanese to name a few) will make you stand out as a prospective candidate and is always worth mentioning in cover letters to highlight to recruiters. Especially for newly arrived expats from abroad, working for an international company with a local office that prioritizes language classes to integrate into Greek life or to level up your professional proficiencies in another language is a huge plus.
A number of larger Greek companies and tech startups are prioritizing organizational culture as a part of the employee experience. Working with international colleagues (whether based in Athens or in another office overseas) is a great way to build up interpersonal skills across cultures and feeling part of work that has an international reach. In Athens, sponsored team-bonding events all year-round, volunteering days and in-office socializing are great ways to get to know your team away from the meeting room table.
Of course, we also need to talk about compensation and financial rewards. Comparing salaries across job opportunities requires reading the fine print and awareness of the Greek salary model. For foreigners and those breaking into the Greek job market, it’s worth noting that salaries are typically negotiated in monthly net figures (after pension and tax deductions) and multiplied by 14 payments to arrive at your net annual compensation. Don’t miss out on calculating prospective bonus schemes and inquiring as to what is normally paid out to high performers and what percentage of the workforce that covers. For those coming from outside of Athens, understanding the relocation compensation (to be thought of as a signing bonus of sorts) can help greatly in getting settled into an apartment, employment and immigration paperwork, and other necessary housekeeping.
Though it may be hard to focus on when early in your career, you don’t want to fall into the trap of holding onto one job title for too long. For example, understanding during the job hunt process and interview where your first job can lead you – into a managerial role or specialist role – will help you already plan out your personal growth and recognize which milestones to aim for. On the flip side, the monotony of cornering yourself into one job for the next half-decade or decade can be demoralizing and stagnating. When given the chance to speak directly with a recruiter or hiring manager, ask them what the typical career progression would be for someone in the prospective role and how common that is within the company. Beforehand, you can also review LinkedIn profiles by job titles to see where current directors or VPs started or where those who previously held the advertised job have moved to afterwards. Joining a company that invests in internal training – whether soft skills-based training, workshops on management skills, being sent to conferences to stay on the cutting-edge of industry knowledge or joining a mini-MBA program – are strong indicators of a business that wants to nurture and upskill junior talent.
In the same vein of moving away from role monotony and having variety at work, a career in consulting or the expert network industry allows you to taste a number of different sectors through collaboration with an array of clients. The Client Service Associate Program at Dialectica, for instance, may ask their team members to source intelligence from senior executives in the drone industry in Brazil one day, while working on a project to benchmark rice production in the APAC region the next day.
There you have a few indicators to look for in an English-speaking job in Athens, particularly when early in your career. Take this awareness on your job search, get networking and we wish you the best of luck with the start to an enriching career!
Being recently recognized as one of Europe’s Fastest-Growing Companies by the Financial Times, Dialectica’s plan for the next few years is to establish a global presence of 1,200+ members with more offices to come. By having as a top priority to foster a diverse and inclusive environment where everyone is empowered to bring their full, authentic selves to work, we offer an exceptional opportunity to our people to successfully grow and advance in managerial and high-level positions, while continuously attracting more and more international talent. Recently awarded as a Best Workplace in Greece for a third consecutive year, at Dialectica we are always looking to further grow our team, having 40+ recent graduates and international professionals joining us on a monthly basis!
Looking to launch an English-speaking career in Athens as a part of Dialectica’s accelerated Client Service Associate program? Come discover how working in the knowledge sharing sector, along with relocation and employee culture benefits, will set you up in a managerial role in as little as 12 months, and a VP role in as few as 5 years.