Unlike many other destinations, working in Portugal is hardly a hook for expats looking to move to this Mediterranean country. In fact, many relocate here to escape the faster business cultures of their own home countries. These include retirees and professionals that would sacrifice higher wages for a better quality of life.


Job market in Portugal

Expats who do move for employment can find the transition difficult, as Portugal's bureaucracy can be slow to provide licences and certifications. Furthermore, unemployment is generally high and wages are well below the European average, leaving many locals to settle for some abbreviated version of self-employment.

Much of Portuguese industry is manufacturing, which has a limited need or attraction for expat workers, but burgeoning technology and alternative energy industries are beginning to take root in the country as well.


Finding a job in Portugal

Those lucky enough to secure a job prior to relocation will find that the businesses usually take care of most of the groundwork. Expats planning on taking the self-employed route or those who move without a job opportunity will have much more difficulty beginning a business as well as navigating the waters of foreign affairs.

Those wanting to work in Portugal will find the best method of obtaining a job is through word-of-mouth. Many positions never even reach the press for advertisement and are rather marketed through social connections and friendship networks.

Expats may also find that the expat community often prefers hiring service providers that originate from a similar part of the word as themselves, so it's worthwhile to cultivate acquaintances in these circles. Many have made a living in Portugal working strictly for expats like themselves.


Work culture in Portugal

Portuguese business culture tends to be hierarchical and relationship focused. Employees show respect to superiors and should always use titles like 'Señhor' and 'Señhora' when speaking to colleaguesAppearances are important to local businesspeople. Expats should make an effort to wear formal, neat and conservative clothing.

Expats would also do well to learn at least basic Portuguese before arriving in their new home, as this will go a long way when building a business network in Portugal.

Expat Health Insurance

Cigna Health Insurance

Cigna Global

Cigna Global can tailor an international health insurance plan to perfectly fit the needs of you and your family. With 86 million customers in over 200 countries, Cigna Global has unrivalled experience in dealing with varied and unique medical situations and delivering high standards of service wherever you live in the world.

Get a quote from Cigna Global

William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell

William Russell is a boutique insurance company, that values itself on its great customer service and is underwritten by Allianz. They provide health, life, and income protection insurance for expats around the world. With a global network of 40,000 hospitals and doctors, their health insurance plans are designed so that they follow you to whatever country you move to next.

Get a quote from William Russell

Moving Companies

Sirelo logo

Moving Internationally?

Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.

Get your free no-obligation quotes now!