Aberdeen is one of the most prosperous cities in Scotland and a cornerstone of the Scottish economy. Internationally recognised as a business centre with a number of globally competitive industries, Aberdeen has excellent academic and research capacities and is home to a growing, highly skilled workforce.
Job market in Aberdeen
The city’s economy was traditionally based on granite, fishing and textiles, but these industries are no longer as prominent as they once were. Over the years, Aberdeen’s economy has modernised and traditional industries have given way to energy, agriculture, property and the oil industry, all of which have been significant contributors to the city’s economic boom.
Energy is the key driver of the local economy, employing roughly 10 percent of workers in the city. Aberdeen is recognised as one of the leading cities in Europe in oil and gas, a sector that attracts many skilled expats to Aberdeen each year.
The property industry has also benefitted from the growth and development of Aberdeen’s economy. As the city grows, there is a sustained demand for both commercial and industrial property. This has made Aberdeen a popular destination for property developers and investors.
Finding a job in Aberdeen
Most expats who relocate to Aberdeen do so with a firm employment offer already in place. It is a great city for expats with relevant skills and qualifications to build a career for themselves. Expats who move to Aberdeen often find themselves staying far beyond the end of their initial contract as there are plenty of opportunities for career progression in the city.
Those without a job offer can search for opportunities online or in local newspapers, though the best approach is often networking.
Non-EU expats moving to Aberdeen to take up employment must hold a work permit to legally work in Scotland. For expats from outside the EU, the employer will be required to prove why they were unable to hire a candidate from within the EU for the position.
Work culture in Aberdeen
On the whole, Scots are a friendly bunch, and this is true of the workplace, too. Meetings usually start with small talk and pleasantries, and it's best not to rush the process but instead enjoy getting to know coworkers.
Be sure to stick to safe, neutral topics during small talk and be aware of local points of sensitivity – for example, confusing or conflating the English with the Scottish is unlikely to earn friends.
►For those planning on starting up their own business Doing Business in the UK is essential reading
Are you an expat living in Aberdeen?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Aberdeen. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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