Working in Johannesburg means being employed in the commercial centre of South Africa. The city is home to some of the country's core industries, including mining, finance and telecommunications. There is no better city in South Africa to settle in for expats looking to advance their careers in a work environment that is fast-paced, competitive and demanding.
Job market in Johannesburg
With countless locals descending upon the city in search of work, the unemployment rate in Johannesburg is high. The majority of unemployed people in the city are, however, unskilled. Conversely, there is a shortage of workers in skilled sectors such as executive management, accounting, finance, medicine and engineering – meaning that there are many opportunities available to qualified and experienced expats whose skills are in demand.
Finding a job in Johannesburg
Expats moving to Johannesburg without a job offer will need to be resourceful and creative. Try to tap into as many word-of-mouth networks as possible – there is often a spirit of understanding between expats in the city, and many are willing to assist each other when they can. To this end, networking with members of already established expat groups in Johannesburg could be very beneficial to new arrivals in the city.
Alternatively, there are several well-respected job recruitment websites, and expats can also look through local newspapers to find job advertisements. Recruitment companies may also be able to assist.
Expats are required to have a work visa to take up employment in Johannesburg.
Work culture in Johannesburg
As a more business-oriented city than Cape Town, Johannesburg's work culture is comparatively formal. There is more emphasis on presenting oneself well, though full suits aren't usually necessary on a day-to-day basis.
As in the rest of the country, openness and friendliness are valued alongside professionalism. A sense of ambition and friendly competition is a key feature of the work culture in Johannesburg.
►Doing Business in South Africa provides detailed information on working in the country
►See and Do in Johannesburg gives recommendations for leisure activities in the City of Gold
"If you come from an English-speaking country, you will adjust very quickly and enjoy it. If you have a Germanic background, leave your working culture at home and start fresh." Arnd shares his experiences as a German expat in Johannesburg.
"The work culture is more relaxed than in America. There are more holidays, and the country basically shuts down over the Christmas period." Read this interview with Ryan, an American expat living in Johannesburg.
Are you an expat living in Johannesburg?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Johannesburg. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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