As Central Asia's largest economy, Kazakhstan is an attractive prospect for expats looking for career development.
Most expats working in Kazakhstan will find themselves in the nation's capital, Astana (previously Nur-Sultan) or in Almaty. Abundant natural resources and a variety of thriving industries offer many opportunities for expats considering employment in Kazakhstan.
Job market in Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan has several valuable natural resources, including oil, gas and metals. Prominent industries include engineering, construction, mining and manufacturing. As is the case with many countries in Asia, there is a high demand for English teachers.
There are also some expat government workers and diplomats working in Kazakhstan, most of whom are based in Astana.
Finding a job in Kazakhstan
Many expats working in Kazakhstan are employed by multinational companies through an intra-company transfer. This is a relatively easy way to secure a role in Kazakhstan. Others are not as lucky and have to face the daunting task of finding a job in Kazakhstan.
Online job boards and classified sections in local newspapers are great places to start the search, but making personal connections in the country is likely to yield better results and more opportunities. LinkedIn can also be a valuable resource, as can local business meet-ups.
Work culture in Kazakhstan
Most businesses in Kazakhstan follow the classic 40-hour Monday to Friday work week, with an eight-hour workday.
Business dealings in Kazakhstan tend to be formal, and expats should ensure they are dressed smartly. There is usually a chain of authority in the office, with the most senior members making decisions. It's important to treat such individuals with a great degree of respect.
►See Work Permits for Kazakhstan to learn about the legalities of working in the country
"I would recommend that you know before you go to Almaty or Astana or anywhere in Kazakhstan that you have a job before you arrive. It is very difficult to negotiate contracts without a go-between you can trust to work out your pay and also the policies or rules of the hiring organization. I experienced working at NU that they needed my contract to be in three languages, English, Russian and Kazakh. That seemed excessive and perhaps the rules have changed because it is difficult to have all the fine-tuning taken care of."
Learn more about working in Kazakhstan in our interview with American expat Kristina.
Are you an expat living in Kazakhstan?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Kazakhstan. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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