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A foreigner working in SP? I thought it wasn't possible

Good morning everyone!!

As you know, the job situation is one that is difficult for expats living in Brazil. According to the information and opinions I've read on this forum, the only options available for foreigners in Brazil are:

1) Open your own business
2) Teach English
3) Be transferred to Brazil by a company you work for in your country of origin

As we all know, James Woodward (RIP) was a valuable resource of info for us foreigners living in Brazil. But in his messages, he always insisted that, by law, Brazil would reserve it's jobs for Brazilians. In other words, a company would only hire a foreigner for a job if they absolutely could not find a Brazilian who could do it. An American friend who I shall call 'K' lived in Rio also had the same opinion. He said in his experience, Brazil's labor unions made him jump through many hoops to assure that only he was capable of doing his particular job in Rio.

Between James and K, as well as my own experiences here in SP, I believed this was the case. In my experience, only English schools called me for interviews. In general, English schools don't want to pay much money, usually between R$25-50 per hour. I would like to explore opportunities beyond the English teaching market as I DO have a Master's degree in social sciences.

Recently, I met a guy from Switzerland who works in a firm in Morumbi here in SP. Considering the opinions of James and K, I wondered how he got the job. He told me it was basically luck. He had been in Brazil a few months and knew someone who knew a young woman who was leaving the company to move to Europe for a year. He told me that the company needed someone and that that person needed to speak English. As he spoke fluent English, his friend put him in contact with the woman who was leaving the company and management quickly arranged an interview. The company then helped him get a work VISA and other documents he needed. The guy told me that the company wanted to find someone quickly.

My question here is, how do you all interpret this? Does this mean that both James and K were wrong and that it is possible to get an official job in Brazil or does this mean that this guy was simply lucky, knew the right people and was in the right place at the right time?

Looking forward to your responses,
Marques

I am retired so I never tried to get a job. I believe the guy was just in the right place at the right time.  If I wanted to work I have in laws who could figure out how to employ me. Again I think it would be that if was in the right place at the right time.

Jim

Right place at the right time. It's all who you know here and networking...plus luck. I've been actively searching for a few months now and nothing but part time jobs. I am trying to secure a full time career and it is extremely difficult. I am a dual MBA student (graduate December) and 20 plus years in the aviation field and management experience. Nothing solid has come through yet. 

It truly is open a business, teach English privately / on-line or get transferred here with a international company. I have heard of hire a Brazilian first, but I am not sure if its a written law. Good luck! I think it will be needed to secure a job here.

Hi Marques

Greetings!

In my opinion the guy was lucky that he was at the right place at the right time.  Furthermore so far what I feel is that sometimes it's more challenging for non Portuguese speakers to secure a job unless one of the main requirements of the job is "the ability to communicate in English" itself.

Hire a Brazilian first policy is mainly applicable in the government sector however that too is not a must as I have met a Cuban doctor who is working in one of the government health centers just recently.

I guess the situation will be different if you are wanting to go into politics or something similar :)

Regards

CraigF :

Right place at the right time. It's all who you know here and networking...plus luck. I've been actively searching for a few months now and nothing but part time jobs. I am trying to secure a full time career and it is extremely difficult. I am a dual MBA student (graduate December) and 20 plus years in the aviation field and management experience. Nothing solid has come through yet. 

It truly is open a business, teach English privately / on-line or get transferred here with a international company. I have heard of hire a Brazilian first, but I am not sure if its a written law. Good luck! I think it will be needed to secure a job here.

i need some one to help me with concreting and it's hard sweety work and the moneys poor LOL

LOL, my construction days are over my friend. Yes it is hard work, no more for me!

I know, your an office worker now. and good luck to you, Belive me i would be as well if i could read and Wright

but im out in the sun making concrete at this very moment

It was definitely right-place, right-time, right-contact.  I've been in business for myself here in Sao Paulo for about 8 years and in my experience no one gets a job here--Brazilian or foreigner--without these three things.  And, actually, I've never known James Woodward to be wrong about anything.  All we foreigners who received his insights are really indebted to him ... I know I am.  Cheers, JMc

All the responses above are on point. From my experience, the inability to speak Portuguese already places a foreigner at a fat disadvantage. A friend attended series of interview with a German company in Sao Paulo. The Sao Paulo head is Brazilian and he needed someone to speak to international contacts in English. My friend was not taken because he spoke scattered Portuguese even though the advert never mentioned Portuguese ability. He was told at the end that the clients in Brazili generally speak Portuguese so his ninability to communicate with them may harm the company. The English schools largely exploit foreigners too, depending on your desperation. Transferred here by your company is the beautiful thing, otherwise, be ready to launch out by yourself like many people on the forum are doing.
Goodluck everyone.

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