Immigration. Travel. Living.

Finding a job in Kaliningrad as an expat

This Russian city is closer to Berlin and Prague than Moscow or St. Petersburg. Formerly known as Königsberg, it was the former capital city of East Prussia, Teutonic Order, and the Principality of Prussia in the 16th century. The city is blessed with history through all its pores; an example of its fine architecture is the beautiful gothic cathedral located in the heart of the city. It is now a UNESCO heritage site. Expats moving to the city for better opportunities should consider the fact the Russia federation is currently at war with Ukraine. Working in the country might not be as easy as it used to be. The service industry accounts for more than half of the jobs in the city, with retail, tourism, health, and education in the top service sectors. Whereas mining, manufacturing, and construction are the largest industrial sectors. 

A picture showing a bridge, and probably a commercial centre in Kaliningrad

Jobs available for expats

Based on an expat’s background, finding work here might be a bit difficult. The options available for English speakers are teaching English or other languages, and working for a multinational firm in industries such as energy, finance, construction, etc. English teachers should look at BKC International and English First. The sectors with higher demand for ex-pats include IT, business development, finance, human resources, medical and pharmaceutical, drivers, engineers, etc. 

Employment contract

The employment law is enshrined in the Russian Labor Code. Usually, employment contracts are in written forms. According to the Russian Labor Code, there are three major kinds of contracts:

Employment contract with free text

This has no exact term of validity, but it includes the condition of termination

Definite-time employment contract

This contract states the validity which is up to five years and can only be made when a previous temporary employee is newly offered a permanent contract

Seasonal work contract

This is valid for only two months. It is usually used to hire workers for summer jobs. 

Working hours

The working hours a week for employees is 40 hours and no employee should work a maximum of 50 hours a week. Full-time employees are entitled to at least 28 days of annual leave.

Work termination

Notice periods for termination of a contract vary according to reasons for termination. There could be two months’ notice or none.  Also, employees must give a minimum of two weeks’ notice before quitting.

Finding jobs as an expat

There are numerous recruitment agencies and job websites with opportunities in the city. However, they are for highly qualified and skilled persons. Most agencies require a CV to be in English and sent by email or completed at their websites. Another useful option for finding a job is to contact international companies located in one’s country with branches in the city.  On the Expatica job page, ex-pats can find information on jobs available. The following are some Russian job websites where ex-pats can find work; SuperJob.ru, HeadHunter.ru, Xpat Jobs, Career.ru, CareerJet, indeed, Learn4Good, IRR, etc. Expats can make friends with locals who can link them to job opportunities around the city. This can only be achieved by actively networking and attending events.

Applying for jobs

While some multinational companies use online application forms, CVs and cover letters are still used. The letter format should be formal and indicate how suitable you are for the job. 

Language requirements 

Finding work here is possible even if an ex-pat cannot speak the language. There are English-speaking and foreign-speaking jobs available. Multinational and international companies often employ senior staff who cannot speak the language but the best way to improve your chances of finding work is by learning to speak the language.

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