Turkey's third-largest city, Izmir represented 6% of Turkey’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as of 2014. The city shows buoyant activity in industry, agriculture and services and is a major commercial hub. As such, Izmir offers you the rare opportunity to grow you career from an idyllic sea-side setting.
Izmir's local economy
Izmir largely owes its thriving economy to its sea port - a major centre for trade and export on a national scale, accounting for 20% of Turkey’s total exports.
The city is also a modern metropolis driven by the tertiary sector. The service industry accounts for over 67% of Izmir’s GDP. Tourism in particular performs well, with over 643,000 visitors to the region in 2015.
The region of Izmir boasts a number of free zones — areas governed by a specific, investor-friendly business regulation — which have attracted investment from many Turkish and international firms.
Ideally mild weather conditions have enabled Izmir to establish itself as a leading area for the cultivation and processing of such agricultural products as olives, figs, cotton, nuts and tobacco.
Finding a job in Izmir
Port- and trade-related activities such as cargo handling, logistics or communication offer countless job opportunities. However, such positions may often require a good command of the Turkish language.
For good English speakers, sectors such as the media and arts industries are generally eager to get international perspectives and are open to working in English.
A foreign workforce is always needed in the tourism industry, and a good command of English is always highly valued at the customer service of a hotel or of an entertainment facility. An expertise in water sports and activities such as sailing, waterskiing, snorkelling or kitesurfing is an invaluable asset when looking for a job in the tourism industry in Izmir.
Otherwise you will likely be able to work in your native language at the local branch of companies originating from your home country. Take the time to look around and identify the foreign firms operating in Izmir.
Expats specifically looking to make use of their foreign language skills can apply for teachers or lecturers positions in international schools, or as au pairs in families.
Where to start?
Regardless of the region, a professional network is generally the most helpful resource to land a job. If you do not have a local network yet, attending networking events such as Meetups can significantly increase your chances of meeting the right people.
Otherwise, you may find suitable opportunities on general and specialised job-listing websites, or in classified ads in local newspapers.
Turks are quite active on social networks, and professional networking platforms such as LinkedIn are widely used by recruiters to find candidates. Keep your profile updated and don’t hesitate to reach out to potential matches.
Generally speaking, remember that you have nothing to lose in sending around spontaneous job applications.