summary: salaries and job hunting in Europe

Subject: summary: salaries and job hunting in Europe
From: Sandra Farkas <sandra -dot- farkas -at- informix -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2000 12:24:59 -0700

Enough people expressed interest that I thought I would share
the information I've gathered about finding work in Europe.

Here are some Web sites that have tech writer listings:

The STC Job Database, http://www.stc-va.org/fjobstart.htm ,
lists some international jobs.

The STC France Chapter, http://stc.org/region1/sfc/joblisting.htm ,
has both job listings (mostly within France) and many useful
links, and is conveniently offered in both English and French.
The only other European sites that have employment information
are the UK ( http://www.stc.org/region1/ukc/stcukhome.htm ) and
Israel ( http://www.stc.org/region2/isc/Index.htm ).

Both www.jobserve.com and www.kudos-jobs.com list
lots of tech writer positions. These are recruiters, mostly
based in the UK.

Someone in the UK also suggested the ISTC web site
http://www.istc.org.uk/ (click the "Links" button on the
home page) for links to various recruiters and other tech
writing organizations in Europe.

For jobs in Ireland try http://www.ireland.com/recruitment/ .

A suggested mailing list is the Technical-Communicator's
Forum at tcf-gen -at- listserver -dot- tc-forum -dot- org .

For resources in German, there are the http://www.tekom.de/
Web site and the Tech Writer's Home mailing list at
t-allgem -at- twh -dot- nbg -dot- de -dot-

Now on to salaries...

The STC France site publishes a salary survey:
http://stc.org/region1/sfc/joblisting.htm#STC Salary Survey

I've surveyed job postings for a while now, and it seems that
top salaries in France are in the high 40s (USD). Salaries in
Germany seem to be about the same; here is one response I
received: "Salary depends on experience and age. In general
you can count between DM 54.000,- DM p.a. for beginners up
to 120.000,- DM p.a. for the head of the TW department."
(The ratio between USD and DM is almost exactly 1:2.)
Holland seems to be a bit lower; the UK and Switzerland
a good bit higher. I got conflicting data on Austria.

I was repeatedly warned to expect a big tax burden. The
trade-off is much more vacation time (starting at 5 weeks
in most locations), and, depending on the country, shorter
work hours (not in Switzerland, where they have a 42 hour
work week).

On relocation...

When moving job overseas, try to negotiate full relocation
costs, including moving (and insuring) your household items,
temporary housing (for at least 6-8 weeks) and possibly
deposit money for your new housing. Make sure you are
given time to search for housing. You can also try asking
for a car, free language lessons, and flights home.

Other random thoughts...

Coming from a non-EU country can make things tough. Some
companies are happy to sponsor visas; others won't consider
it.

Some companies have English-speaking offices; others expect
you to be multilingual. Some companies want native English
speakers; others prefer to hire talented multi-linguals.

Expect cultural differences, possibly including: smoking in the
office, more formality, less directness, lack of political correctness,
standardized work hours, etc.

Hope this helps. Thanks to all my contributors!




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