Finding a job in Barbados
Like anywhere in the world, finding a job in Barbados can be challenging. Every year, Barbados’ colleges and universities pump out highly educated graduates and on a small island, there’s stiff competition for jobs. Never fear, we’ll give you all the tips and tricks to help you find your perfect job in the perfect island paradise that is Barbados.
In fact, you may need to look no further than right here – see Job Opportunities at Totally Barbados. You could be just what we’re looking for!
Note: If you are a non-national or a CARICOM national, ensure you also read our Acquiring a Barbados Work Permit page for information about fulfilling Immigration requirements in relation to working in Barbados, prior to commencing any employment here on the island.
Where do I start?
Job postings are most commonly listed in Barbados’ two leading newspapers:
— The Nation (www.nationnews.com)
— The Advocate (www.barbadosadvocate.com)
Barbados Today (www.barbadostoday.bb), an online newspaper, also lists employment opportunities on the island.
Tip: Also try employment-related websites.
A simple Google search should do the trick but we’ve made the process that little bit easier and listed some handy employment search engines to get you started:
— Bajan Jobs (www.bajanjobs.com)
The Barbados Ministry of Labour also provides an online job centre (https://labour.gov.bb/jobseekers) for jobseekers and employers in Barbados. Additionally consider directly applying to one of Barbados’ employment agencies. Refer to our Local Listings for a list of employment agencies to help you on your job search.
The Good News
Tourism is one of the largest sectors on the island and as the industry expands, service-oriented jobs like customer service and hospitality will continue to open up in Barbados – great news for job seekers on the island!
How can I stand out?
If you’re looking for a leg up on your competition, consider enrolling in a service-related workshop with the National Initiative for Service Excellence (NISE). There are also various technical/skills training programs available on the island. For more information, visit the Barbados Vocational Training Board website (www.bvtb.gov.bb).
Introducing yourself via the traditional methods of cold calling, emailing, or knocking on the doors of potential employers should not be dismissed as an effective way of seeking employment in Barbados. It takes patience and perseverance but can open doors to unadvertised positions, or a meeting with relevant decision makers.
Hint: Research your target employer before approaching them. Learn about their business and be prepared to explain why you’re an excellent candidate and invaluable asset to them and their business.
Offer to Volunteer
Do you have all the qualifications but no tangible work experience? Don’t despair. A good way to get your foot in the door is to offer to volunteer at a business or organisation related to your professional field, or one that you’re personally interested in. Keep in mind that some of the most successful business people got their big break by getting coffees and photocopying – simply learning by exposure. Never underestimate the value of showing you’re enthusiastic and willing to put in the hard yards.
There are also several Non-Profit Organizations (NPO’s) island-wide who are always looking for responsible people to help them out. See our Local Listings for a list of charitable organisations in Barbados.
Volunteering in Barbados is an excellent way to complement your CV/resume through adding valuable work experience and expanding your list of professional contacts. Let’s not forget the ‘feel good factor‘ that volunteering in the community also brings, so it’s a win/win situation for everyone!
Build Your Networks
When seeking to find a job in Barbados, it’s important to prove your business value and display your credentials up front to potential employers.
However, your ‘credentials’ in Barbados mean more than the school you graduated from, your previous work experience, or the licenses and degrees you hold.
Credentials also refer to your personal and professional connections and networks. Serious job seekers in Barbados should heed the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know“. Make contact with like-minded people and those working in your industry here and abroad, attend relevant conferences, and join professional bodies relating to your area of expertise and personal interest. By spreading the word about your desire for employment and expanding your professional networks you’ll show you’re an invaluable asset to any company here on the island.
Hint: Professional networking site, LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com), is great for searching and connecting with contacts in your professional industry.
As you can see, the avenues for you to explore potential job vacancies here in Barbados really are endless. Totally Barbados wishes you all the very best of luck in finding the right job for you here in Barbados!
By: Brett Callaghan