Since moving to Medellin three years ago, I have worked and also recruited employees to work with three different types of companies:
- Local Colombian company
- Foreign (US-based) company with a remote team and/or team in Colombia
- Freelancing for various companies from both Colombia and the United States
If you’re thinking of coming to Medellin but do not have a job yet, or if you are in Medellin and thinking of switching roles, there are a few different ways to get a job as an expat in Medellin. While I write these tips from my own experience (as an expat working in Medellin), they also can be useful for local Colombian job-seekers.
As a recruiter, and from my own job-seeking experience, I have had success in a few different ways in getting and giving offers for different types of companies hiring in Medellin. Here are my different tips for getting a job in Medellin:
Don’t be shy
“Friends are worth more than money”. In any city in the world, your network is the best way to find a new job.
If you are new in Medellin, or if you’re not but don’t have a strong professional network, networking is very important. There are various meetups and online communities where you can go and connect with professionals.
Pro tip: Don’t go to networking events with the goal of getting a new job. Go to networking events with the goal of making meaningful, long-term connections. Take genuine interest in the other people, follow up, get coffee regular, build a strong network based on mutual interest.
Before I moved to Medellin, I personally direct-messaged about 85 members of Medellin Entrepreneurship Society. I didn’t ask for a job, I just asked for any advice they might have for a young professional in digital marketing to build her network locally. About 8 people out of 85 responded to me, and 2 had jobs for me.
In Medellin the expat and entrepreneurship community is very small and tight-knit. If you take genuine interest in people and build these meaningful connections with no ulterior motive, the job will come as a by-product.
Don’t stick to one channel
There are a ton of ways to find job listings in Medellin. In addition to all of the remote job boards that exist, here are the job channels that have helped me get offers in Medellin:
Expat and entrepreneur Facebook groups in Medellin are often hosts of job posts, especially for small expat businesses and growing startups.
CompuTrabajo Medellin has a lot of roles for local Colombian companies.
LinkedIn Jobs have roles with both large and small companies based locally.
AngelList is a great way to find jobs with both local and international startups.
And of course, the #TrabajoSiHay Medellin newsletter will send jobs to you.
Look at foreign companies
Don’t rule out foreign companies, both those with a presence in Medellin and those without. A lot of foreign companies in Medellin are looking for native English speakers and you can position yourself as an attractive candidate.
Don’t forget about your network back home
Companies hire remotely! Even if they don’t specifically have a “remote” job on their careers page. Leverage your existing professional network to see if you’re able to get a new job that allows you to work remotely.
Try out a new role
Unable to find a similar role you had before, but have transferable skills? Take the opportunity to try out a new career path! If you have writing skills from your last role, take a stab a content writing roles. If you have teaching or literature experience, maybe you want to get your TOEFL certificate and start teaching English. Try to find your transferable skills and capitalize on the; you never know what’s out there!
Do you have experience working from Medellin? Share any tips you have for getting a job in Medellin as an expat in the comments below!