Employment in Italy — Let’s Get Real!

In my thirty-plus years of working with expats in Italy, I would say the #1 complaint I hear, is the lack of work opportunities. I won’t deny that Italy can be challenging from an employment point of view, but we also need to look at ourselves, and be honest in admitting that sometimes we may be contributing to the lack of prospects. Let me explain (be aware — I shoot from both hips!).

1. Are you legal? — Let me be blunt! Most employers in Italy are not lining up to sponsor a work permit for a Non-EU citizen, unless there is something in it for them. The chances of getting a sponsor for a work permit to teach English are rarer than a hen’s teeth — sometimes a study visa can be converted for this purpose, but this has become extremely challenging in recent times.

2. Language — English will only take you so far in Italy. To really play in the game, you need advanced / fluent Italian. The world has changed, and consequently, there are new players on the world stage. As a result, many of my clients are looking for fluent speakers of Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic, and Brazilian Portuguese. Maybe it’s time to skill up in the language department.

3. Teaching English — You can certainly make a living teaching English, but to make Rockstar money in this sector, you must bring something new to the table. It’s a crowded market and some individuals / schools have contaminated the pool by driving down prices. Back in the mid-90s, when email was in its infancy, in a business that I was involved with, I offered next-day turnaround for translations by using professional translators in California and Vancouver. The work got done while I was sleeping! Think outside the box — what new product or service can you bring to this sector? Get bold and fearsome!

4. New Skills — “Old-school” skills are in just as much disruption In Italy as they are in other countries. The IT sector in Italy is crying out for talent, so maybe it’s time to recreate, retune, and reposition your professional profile. As the saying goes, “You can’t do today’s job with yesterday’s methods and be in business tomorrow”.

5. Networking — They say that 95% of where you go in live depends on who you know! If this is true, then get out and do some serious networking. I’ve enjoyed many expat get-togethers, but to be honest, the most important contacts I have made in Italy for my business have been at 100% Italian events. Make sure you have great looking business cards when you go!

I am the first to admit, there is no way I could survive in Italy by doing and offering what I did in the 80s and 90s. Therefore, I am constantly tweaking and doing my best to bring new offerings to the market and to my clients. I constantly step out of my comfort zone, by attending conferences and workshops that have nothing to do with what I do, so I can get a fresh perspective and learn new ideas that I can applying to my business and sector.

Have a great day and make it a powerful one!

If you require any case-specific assistance, please feel free to contact me www.damienofarrell.com

Get my mini eBook ’50 Tips On Relocating To Italy’ at the super-convenient price of €3.97 today! Download here

To keep up to date with the latest information and news on Italy, global mobility, Italian immigration, and relocation tips, don’t forget to follow my Facebook business page Damien O’Farrell Mobility Services at this link




Global Mobility Specialist and Expat Coach with thirty plus years’ experience in Global Mobility.

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Damien O'Farrell

Damien O'Farrell

Global Mobility Specialist and Expat Coach with thirty plus years’ experience in Global Mobility.

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