Attending professional conferences, like this one organised by the Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry, can be great for your career
Photo: LaLa La Photo
If you don’t already have a job as you arrive in Luxembourg, we’d like to help you get one as fast as possible. As in the other sections of this guide, there are things to do and some you definitely should not.
If you don’t speak any of the local languages (Luxembourgish, French or German), don’t worry. There are many companies that have English as their working language. So, don’t let it hold you back.
Before we start, a word to the wise. Everyone who has contributed to this guide is an expat who has moved here, found a job and very happily settled in Luxembourg or the Greater Region. We are, however, aware that there may be a false impression about the grand duchy out there--that we earn a lot, work less than in other places and don’t pay any tax. Not true. We work hard and pay tax, but also really appreciate living and working in a great country.
One of the greatest advantages of being in Luxembourg is its multiculturalism and multilingualism. So, do make an effort to learn at least one of the languages as it will assist in your professional and social integration. Also, being able to speak another language is kind of cool and really impresses family and friends when you visit home. Counting the number of language schools in Luxembourg is like trying to count grains of sand, but just a few are: the National Language Institute, Prolingua, Inlingua, Languages.lu and Berlitz. There are many more, as well as tutors who can coach you at home, so please take a look at our listings for more details and “bonne chance”, “viel glück” and have fun.
Now a word about the employment market. At this point in time, employment in Luxembourg is stable, with unemployment even decreasing slightly month-on-month. However, there is a strange phenomenon. Unemployment may be falling, but the skills gap is widening. In other words, the skills that employers are looking for these days are not always easy to find in Luxembourg, so be prepared to do some training to increase your employability.
The Luxembourg employment administration (Adem) is where to start. Its website is in French, German and English. Via its job portal you can access every open position in the country. Adem also works closely with the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce and the House of Training on courses that are regularly updated to meet the demands of business. It is also where to go to find out if you are eligible for unemployment benefit.
There are many so-called recruiters and headhunters in Luxembourg but have a care. Like some of the dodgy estate agents mentioned in our “Settling in” section, not all of them are to be relied upon. Members of the Federation for Recruitment, Search & Selection are serious companies that can advise on all levels of the job hunting/recruitment process. As for job listings, www.monster.lu and www.jobs.lu are the main sites. You can upload your CV and receive daily email alerts on relevant openings. And for vacancies targeted at English speakers, check out the Delano Jobs site.
Back to training for a moment. Employers in Luxembourg look for people who can be operational as quickly as possible, but some don’t want to invest in training or just don’t have the budget. As short-sighted as this is, it is the reality. Our advice is to contact a good recruiter and get their advice on what employers are looking for and how you can make sure you fit the bill. A good recruiter knows Luxembourg and the business environment and can point you in the direction of the training company that can help. Some costs may also be covered by Adem, so make sure you get their input too. Again, refer to our listings for some suggested contacts.
Something that is very important in Luxembourg is networking, so don’t just send your CV out and sit back. Get out there and meet people. There are many networking associations and events that you can take part in and everyone remembers what it is like to be the new kid on the block, so you will receive a warm welcome. Business associations like the British Chamber of Commerce and the American Chamber of Commerce also run regular training events for their members so they are a real win-win.
Now that you have found your (dream) job, it is time to learn about your staff delegation and the Chamber of Employees. For many, these will be entirely new concepts, but they exist to take care of the Luxembourg workforce, so it is important to know what they are. In both cases, employees get to vote for the person(s) they would like to represent them.
The staff delegation is made up of employees who are elected to represent fellow employees vis-à-vis the employer. Once elected, the staff delegation acts as employees’ legal representative, safeguarding and defending their interests. A staff delegation is mandatory for companies in Luxembourg employing more than 15 people, and elections are set to take place in March 2019 for the next term. You will hear them referred to as social elections.
The Chamber of Employees represents all employees (and pensioners) in Luxembourg, excluding civil servants and public-sector workers. It is made up of 60 members elected from the private sector and its main role is to opine on legislation concerning the workforce. Through its training body, the Luxembourg Lifelong Learning Center, it also plays an important role in training for adults, lifelong learning and socio-economic training of staff representatives in businesses.