The Channel Islands have traditionally relied on agriculture, but tourism and offshore banking are now the strongest economic sectors in both Guernsey and Jersey. The banking industry is particularly attractive to expats, as is the fact that the islands boast a very favourable tax environment. But unless expats are British citizens, they will need to prove that they have skills or expertise not found in the local workforce in order to get a job on any of the islands.
Job market in Channel Islands
The good news for job seekers is that the islands have low unemployment rates, with conditions being slightly more favourable in Guernsey. Jersey's unemployment rate is less than five percent, while Guernsey's unemployment rate is typically around two percent.
Still, expats who want to work in the Channel Islands will need to have niche skills that can't be found in the local population in order to qualify for a visa. Having extra qualifications or specialised experience will go a long way toward finding a place in the workforce.
Finding a job in Channel Islands
The governments of both Jersey and Guernsey have online job centres where employers can advertise work opportunities. Recruitment agencies and other online job portals, including social-networking sites such as LinkedIn, are also good resources.
If already in Guernsey or Jersey, expats should take advantage of their situation by putting out word that they're looking for work. Since the islands have such a small population, networking is key and personal recommendations can go a long way.
Work culture in Channel Islands
Expats familiar with the work cultures of the UK or France will notice many similarities in the workplace in both Jersey and Guernsey.
As in the UK, most businesses in the Channel Islands have hierarchical structures, though some companies are moving towards a more egalitarian approach to management, where all employees are invited and encouraged to weigh in during important business discussions.