Finding work in Libya - a few tips

Updated 2014-01-14 07:58

If you're looking for a job in Libya, you need to follow the same process as everywhere else but there are a few tips that might help you secure a job. As i've only ever worked in Libya as an ESL university teacher, i will only share my tips for this particular line of work although they might work elsewhere too.

Tip #1

Libyans like to do business in person, face to face that is, so the best and quickest way to get noticed is to travel to Libya and meet the people you'd like to work with. Of course that can be tricky if you require a visa from your country of origin but it is totally worth it. If that cannot be arranged, you can also use a contact in Libya to act on your behalf.

Tip #2

Any serious application on your part will contain a full CV of course but if you put together a complete file with everything they are likely to ask for later, it will increase your chances of getting the job. Get this ready before you meet any future employer:

  • A complete CV with a recent picture
  • A cover letter (in English and translated in Arabic)
  • originals + copies of your qualifications (going back to Baccalaureate or end of High School qualification)
  • qualification equivalents or certified qualifications that will be recognised in Libya
  • letters of recommendations from past employers (originals + translated in English and/or Arabic if necessary)
  • your passport
  • Photocopies of your passport
  • passport size photographs (at least 2 per university to start with)

Tip #3

Once you have submitted your application be PATIENT. In Libya admin matters take much longer than in other countries so don't expect an answer to come within days or even weeks. Yet don't just wait, you must FOLLOW UP all your applications regularly in person, through your contact or by phone. If you leave them without a word from you for more than a few days or a week they'll consider you're not interested anymore and your file will be buried and forgotten.

Tip #4

Now is a great time to apply for an ESL job in Libya as the demand is extremely high. From January 2014 the government is sending the top teachers and students to gain Phds abroad so there is a definite lack of teachers available in the English departments all over the country. Every university in every major cities are in need of ESL teachers and this is a fact. From my own experience, i can tell you that you have a chance of getting a job even if you're not a native speaker of English and even if you don't have that much experience teaching. If you have an MA or Phd, they'll take you.

Tip #5

Why choose Libya? Because you'll be better off here than in other Arab or Gulf countries. Countries like Saoudi Arabia are very popular with expats which means that they have become very picky with the selection process and getting a job there is more difficult, especially if you're not a native speaker and/or you have less than 3-4 years teaching experience in universities.

The packages offered by Libya are very appealing and based on the cost of life in Libya you'll be able to live very comfortably and save some. You can work here for a few years to save the money you need for your projects and then move on.

Work conditions are very easy here. You'll work a maximum of 24 hours per week, your timetable can be adapted to your needs if you let the head of department know your preferences early, there is very very little paperwork, teachers teach, set up exams and mark them and that's it! You are free to teach whatever you think is best, there are no imposed curriculum.

Finally if you're thinking about Libya, better now than later. I mean that the current situation in Libya scares a lot of people off, as a results demand is high and criteria for recruitment low. In a few years, when the country's government becomes stronger and the security problems are all solved, it'll be a totally different matter. Don't be scared, don't just listen to the news, ask people on the ground, it's really not that bad (Benghazi excepted - quite dangerous at the time of writing - Jan 2014). I've been living here for almost a year (since March 2013) with my 2 young children and we are OK. We don't feel more affraid than if we were living is some areas of London, Paris or Marseilles for instance.

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