FAQ: Can I Get A Friggin' Job in Panama?
Monday, April 04 2011 @ 12:24 PM UTC
Contributed by: Don Winner
Unfortunately, Probably Not: Foreign owned companies can hire a maximum of 10% of their staff from outside of Panama. This law was established so that companies can bring in their executives and specialized or highly skilled labor in with them for key positions, but the bulk of the jobs (90%) must go to Panamanians, by law. And while your customer service skills are urgently needed in Panama (where customer service generally sucks) you would have to find a company willing to give up one of their 10% slots, put you on a contract, and bring you into the country to work. There is also an onerous paperwork shuffle required between Immigration and the Ministry of Labor to get your visa and work permit. If you just land on the ground in Panama City and start handing out resumes, your chances of finding a position are exceptionally slim. I don't recommend that anyone do that, no matter what their background, education, or skill set.
I Have No Friggin' Idea: I get email all the time from people that say something like "I'm a highly skilled heavy equipment operator and I would like to get a job working on the expansion of the canal. Can you send me a phone number or give me an email address where I should send my resume?" No, I can't. There's this new magic thing on the Internet these days called "Google" - it helps you find stuff. If your first step in trying to find a job is to contact a journalist, then I have to question your fundamental job hunting skill set. "Dear Reporter at the New York Times - I really like the idea of living in Manhattan, and I heard they are building some new stuff there. Who should I call to see about getting a job?" See what I mean? You're asking the wrong person. Now, this guy's question was "do you think I could be considered..." Of course, anything is possible. However, I'm not the guy that can help you get a job. You need to do that on your own, so good luck.
Copyright 2011 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.