Kraków’s popularity as an expat destination is growing and, as Poland’s second-largest city, it provides a dynamic economy and welcoming environment for professionals.
As the city's economy expands, there are a growing number of job opportunities for skilled individuals working in fields such as finance, IT, manufacturing and the service sector. English and French speakers will also find there is a demand for their language skills in tourism.
Job market in Kraków
Kraków is one of Poland’s most important economic hubs and receives large numbers of new residents each year. It is a popular destination for foreign investment and several multinational enterprises are choosing to base their operations here. This is thanks to the favourable conditions and incentives provided by Małopolska Province, in addition to the city’s convenient location in Central Europe and sound infrastructure.
Unemployment rates in the city have consistently been the lowest in the country year over year, although there was an increase during the COVID-19 pandemic, the city has recovered well. Most job opportunities in Kraków can be found in the service, financial and technological sectors. Kraków is also one of Europe’s top outsourcing destinations and is home to prominent international corporations such as IBM and Google. Tourism is also a growing industry in Kraków, and this is a particularly good sector for both English- and French-speaking workers.
Finding a job in Kraków
EU citizens with a strong professional background in areas such as finance and technology won’t find it too difficult to secure employment in Kraków. Those working for an international company with operations in Kraków should explore the option of relocating on an intra-company transfer.
Expats from outside the EU will need to navigate the complicated work permit process once they’ve secured a position, as Polish citizens and EU nationals get priority.
Online job portals, such as LinkedIn, are a good place to begin a job search. Both local and national newspapers also have designated job sections. Expats should also contact English-speaking Polish recruitment companies, which can assist expats with finding jobs before they are even publicly listed.
While those working for a major multinational may only need to speak English, having some proficiency in Polish will certainly be an advantage for those seeking employment in Kraków.
Work culture in Kraków
As in the rest of Poland, business in Kraków is a formal affair. Traditionally, Poles have a good work ethic, and people rarely take a formal lunch break in Kraków. Rules of the workplace are respected and strictly adhered to. Poles are punctual, and it is seen as disrespectful to be late for an appointment.
Trust and honesty are highly valued in professional circles. As such, expats working in Kraków should make an effort to build solid personal relationships with Polish colleagues.
While Polish is the official language of business in Poland, English is widely spoken in business circles, especially those in big cities like Kraków. Learning some basic Polish phrases will certainly be advantageous when it comes to networking and getting ahead in the workplace, but the language barrier isn’t a significant issue for expats working in Kraków.