Lots of people write to milanostyle.com asking questions about living in Milan. Many want to know about how to get a job in Milan. There are jobs out here, you just have to know where to look, how to present yourself to Italian companies and what to expect once you get a job. Here are some tips that may help.
Disclaimer: This article is written as a general guide and in no way meant to be used as legal or career advice.
There are lots of reasons people move to Milan, Italy. Love is probably the number one reason. A job assignment with relocation, quite possibly comes in second place, followed by a passion for the Italian culture. If you are lucky, a combination of all three; a new love, a new job and a desire to learn Italian will bring you to this beautiful boot shaped peninsula.
No matter what brings you to Il Bel Paese, it is very likely you will need a job to support you and your family.
Where to look for job listings in Milan
There are job-related magazines and websites like Secondamano.it or Lavorare.net. You may also want to search for the “ordine” or “albo”, professional association of your professional field. For example, journalists have l’ordine dei giornalisti, doctors have l’ordine dei medici, Lawyers have l’ordine degli avvocati etc.
If the Italian language is a challenge for you, you may want to search for local expat organizations and networking groups or online communities. Easy Milano is an online community that has been serving the English Speaking Community of Milan for nearly 20 years. They offer information about local networking associations, businesses that offer quality services and there are job listings and announcements.
When replying to ads online, it’s always a good idea to search for the company on LinkedIn or directly with the “Agenzia delle entrate”, Italian Income Agency, or through the local “Camera di Commercio,” Chamber of Commerce.
Find Business Networking Groups in Milan / Dreamstime
How to present yourself to Italian companies
There are three main things Italian companies need to see before even considering you.
They need to know that you are here legally, have experience and will represent the company well.
Citizens of EU and EEA countries can live and work in Milan without requesting special visas or permits. However, if you’re American or from elsewhere outside the EU, you will need to have permits to work and live in Milan. (Contact your country embassy or consulate for legal details and visas.)
In some cases, it turns into a catch 22; you don’t have a visa and can’t get a job, or you don’t have job and can’t get a visa. Large multinational companies have the means and are able to transfer employees from other countries but if you are working for a small company, they will want you to have all your documents in order.
The other alternative is to open your own company by getting a “Partita IVA”, tax number, registering as self-employed or open a small company. In this case, the Italian government will ask you to prove that you are able to financially support yourself.
Your Resumé / CV
In Italy, your job resumé is called a CV – curriculum vitae. Like in every country, here in Italy your CV must be clear and detailed. Use a template maker like Canva.com to make it look nice; not just a list of places and dates. Write your CV and cover letter in Italian. It seems like a no-brainer but just like everywhere else, executives don’t have time to read over CVs, make it as easy as possible for them. Invest in having a professional translator translate your CV. Add a friendly photo of your face (not full or half frame.)
Representing an Italian Company
Italian language skills are important, and, in many jobs, they are essential. Even if you work for an international company, being able to communicate well with your colleagues is incredibly valuable. Italians are known for their style and dressing well is a “must” in Italy. Work environments vary, but a touch of class is appreciated in any workplace.
What to expect once you get a job
Full-time working hours are usually 40 hours per week. However, like all over the world, many people, especially in management work extra hours, but these are implied to be included in the salary and often not considered overtime. Overtime should be negotiated in your contract- always consult a professional before signing agreements.
Become accustomed to the Italian work culture. Things may move slower than you might be used to, lunch hours and coffee break times vary, get to know your workplace.
The legal annual leave amounts to four weeks for full-time employees, but in many jobs, 25 to 30 days are common. In addition to this, you also get a day off on all Italian public holidays which adds another 11 days per year to your vacation days.
Maternity and paternity leave rights do apply in Italy, although they are complicated and vary depending on type of employment; full/part-time, public employees or self- employed workers. Consult a professional when reviewing and considering maternity and paternity options.
Once you have found the job listings, learned to dress for success and consulted a pro to help you navigate the complexities of a contract, you will be ready to work in Milan. All the best!
Main image: Waiting for a job interview / Shutterstock
Disclosure: I am an editor at EasyMilano.com and endorse the website as a valuable resource.