Your job hunt to live and work in Turkey begins at home, as at this age, it is easy to secure a role purely through online means. However, if your online search is getting you nowhere and you'd like to be more direct, applying in person may be a better choice for you.
Here's what you should expect:
If You Are Applying From Abroad…
Although you may have a smaller selection of jobs to choose from, and some companies may want you to come for face-to-face interviews, the beauty of applying from abroad is that you will not need to have a residence permit at the time of your application.
When it comes to working permits, if you do not have a residence permit yet, your employer will apply to the Turkish Embassy in your country of residence.
If You Are Applying Domestically…
If you are within Turkey, you will first and foremost need to have a residence permit that is valid for at least 6 months.
If you have a 6-month residence permit or more, your employer can directly apply to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security to get the work permit application process rolling.
Where to Look For Jobs Online in Turkey?
Airport, holiday or hotel reps, bar staff, teaching English, and internet freelancing are the most popular jobs for foreigners in Turkey. And although you can find ads for all these online bars and hotel jobs, they will be harder to come by, especially for smaller establishments.
Depending on the city you want to live in and work in Turkey, you can find regional job postings on Facebook groups or tourism sites. Most tourism jobs are seasonal, and the best time to apply for them is between March and April.
Freelancing sites list many jobs for writing, editing, social media management, graphic, or web design, which are great options for foreigners.
Best Job Search Platforms or Search Engines
- Turkey's largest job search platform, kariyer.net, is widely used by locals.
- LinkedIn, however, is better overall for more corporate jobs.
- Indeed also lists opportunities in Turkey and, in particular, Istanbul
- Yenibiris.com is another job searching site widely used by the Turks.
- ESL Employment, Teach Away, Total ESL, ESL Café is excellent for teaching jobs worldwide.
- Learn4Good is suitable for seasonal/summer jobs.
- YEP Turkey YEP TURKEY aims to unite global English teachers with young learners of English in Turkey
Expect what you do from any other interview with international companies. You may have to go through several rounds or a 2-step interview first with the human resources department and then with your supervisor or boss. You will be asked questions to demonstrate your professional skills and professional experience, as well as more behavioural questions to see how you'd fit the company culture-wise.
***Make sure to ask your employer whether they will be applying for a work permit for you before you accept the job or sign any papers.
What about the Contract?
Some companies may only offer a contract in Turkish, in which case you may have to sign in in the presence of a translator at the notary. Some companies may also send out the contract beforehand so you can look it over with your attorney.
If the company wants you to sign a contract in Turkish and you do not understand it, don't hesitate to ask for time or a translator.
Don't forget to read carefully before signing and always ask for a copy to keep for yourself.
Never make verbal agreements as assurance and always get everything in writing to have your rights as a worker protected by a legally binding contract.
What Documents Will You Need When Applying For a Job in Turkey?
- Your passport
- Residence permit (if you have one)
- Your diploma/copy of your degree
- A teaching certificate or other qualifications (when applicable)
- Your resume/CV
- 1 or 2 passport-sized photographs
For any documents that are not in Turkish, you will likely be asked to provide a notarized and translated copy.
A Word about Your Resume
Your resume should include a contact number and e-mail, list your professional work experience in chronological order, and qualifications/certificates.
Do not include a photo unless applying for a position where looks matter to the job or are requested. Never write your complete address.
Most Turkish companies ask for or accept those written in English; it is scarce for large corporations and schools to ask for Turkish CVs.
You can earn anywhere from the national minimum wage, TL 2,825.00 (net) and TL 3,577.50 (gross) for the year 2021 to TL 10,000 or more, depending on your seniority the field you are working in. Jobs revolving around tech and finance, for example, will pay more.
The average for foreign workers would be around TL 4,000-6,500 in Istanbul.
If you are working part-time, you should expect that figure to drop proportionally.
Warning: Some part-time jobs pay in cash, and your employer may not sponsor or apply for a work permit, so be warned. This puts you at risk of deportation as an illegal worker.
Digital Nomads and Freelancing
If you're already employed by a foreign company and would like to live in Turkey, becoming a digital nomad may be a wise option. Considering that the cost of living here is much more affordable than in Europe or the U.S., Freelancing, and offering services such as web development and graphic design, among many others, could also be enough to cover living costs if you earn in a foreign currency.
Check out weworkremotely.com for freelancing and remote working opportunities.
Technically, when employed by a company that is not based in Turkey and gets paid through a foreign bank, you aren't considered "working" in Turkey. This loophole could save you from asking your employer to sponsor your work permit.
However, if employed by a Turkish company, you will sign a contract; your employer will have to apply for a work permit on your behalf to ensure you are insured by the SGK and are legally working in Turkey.
As a foreign employee, you apply for your work visa to eh Turkish consulate in your country of residence. However, your employer will be carrying out the application for your work permit.
You cannot, unfortunately, apply for your work permit as an expat. If you can prove that you are earning enough or establish your own company in Turkey, you could later inquire about a self-employed work permit, however.