Expats may find that working in Cyprus is made complicated by a large population of pensioners with a penchant for rest and relaxation, and the year-round almost perfect weather. Neither factor encourages a strong work ethic nor a thriving economy – but nonetheless, expats determined to live and work in Cyprus can still find opportunities.
Job market in Cyprus
The tourism industry accounts for a large part of Cyprus’s GDP. The market in the south is generally stronger than in the north. The holidaymaker’s market remains relatively secure overall and expats tend to be most successful at acquiring jobs in the hotel and hospitality sectors. That said, opportunities are inconsistent throughout the year as there are more positions available in the summer months during peak tourist season.
Adventurous expats who are after a more modest way of living may find work picking fruit in the agriculture industry. Teaching English is also a possibility, although competition is fairly high and spaces are limited.
Aside from tourism, the economy in Cyprus relies on shipping, the service industry and energy. Expats with specialised skills relating to finance, manufacturing, and mining have the best chance of getting a job in Cyprus.
Finding a job in Cyprus
The employment of foreigners in Cyprus is overseen by the Department of Labour. According to law, non-EU nationals have to register with the Civil Registry and Migration Department (CRMD), while EU citizens can work in Cyprus without any restrictions. All expats intending to stay longer than three months have to apply at the CRMD for a registration certificate as soon as they find a job.
Regardless of whether expats speak the language, the best method of finding employment opportunities is through networking. Tapping into the right word-of-mouth channels is often more effective than poring over the island’s English-language newspapers, the Cyprus Mail and the Cyprus Weekly. These publications are still a good starting point, while District Labour Offices in major cities and the internet can also provide valuable information.
When applying for a job in Cyprus, expats should take any face-to-face meeting with potential employers very seriously. Family and relationships are important to Cypriots, and even the most basic interpersonal relationship may be the deciding factor in securing a job.
Work culture in Cyprus
The work culture in Cyprus may differ quite markedly from that of an expat's home country. The working environment can be quite rigid with few perks for employees. Punctuality and adherence to company rules are highly valued and it often takes Cypriot colleagues a while to warm to new people in the workplace. However, with a little patience, effort and tolerance, expats should be able to make some headway in building trust and a good reputation for themselves.