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Hard to find jobs?

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  • #276442

    prs1979
    Member

    So I was granted the permanent VISA less than a month ago. And now I am trying to find work in Sao Paulo, where my poor basic portuguese can get me by. I speak fluent english, so I try to look for jobs that is internationally. But it is pretty hard to find something as estrangeiro, if you don’t speak portuguese.
    Anyways I have tried setting up profiles here and there to sign up for incoming jobs, but my resume is in english.
    I really don’t care too much what kind of job I can get, just as long as I can start somewhere.
    I just wonder what kind of opportunities there is in Sao Paulo, if you can’t speak that well portuguese?
    Share your experience please.

  • #276444

    Anonymous

    [QUOTE=Jeds74]
    I really don’t care too much what kind of job I can get, just as long as I can start somewhere.
    [/QUOTE]
    That is a good mindset, especially if you can see the job as leading to a career in something interesting and not just as a way to make a living. I myself once took a job simply to make contacts and network; not for the money (salary was below industry standard) but for the opportunity to be mentored by someone I had long wanted to work with.
    Post a bit about yourself: What brought you to Brazil, what is your age and background, etc.
    In addition, a question you’ll like get from most potential employers is: Do you plan on staying in Brazil permanently or are you only here for a stint?
    picolino2015-07-22 22:13:06

  • #276445

    prs1979
    Member

    Yes I just want to get a network started, and climb my way up somehow. I know the salary will be low, but it beats sitting at home looking for jobs and waiting for my GF to come home.
    I am living in Sao Paulo/SP. So opportunities are there, I just have to find them somehow.
    I am 40, come from Denmark, where I got my degree in culinary arts as a chef. Reason I came was my dad invited to come and experience Brazil, since I have been getting bored/tired of the same scene.
    They introduced me to my GF, and we hit it off really good and we decided to try and go for the Union Estavel so I could stay and we could have a future and life together. So I am here to stay for good hopefully.

  • #276447

    Anonymous

    Well, you do have some points in your favor:
    – You are in Brazil’s largest city, which is the country’s economic powerhouse.
    – You have a permanent residence visa already (correct me if I am wrong).
    – You have a stable partner who is from Brazil, so she is bound to already know people.
    – Your dad already lives here, too? If so, he probably knows people, too.
    Since you don’t speak Portuguese yet it will be hard for you to cold-call or search for jobs with people or companies you don’t know. Thus, your best bet is to start networking in the circles where you can get introductions from people you have in common: in other words, your girlfriend’s set of contacts and your dad’s set of contacts.
    Another question that will come up is in terms of wages. Some of the foreigners here are on expat packages and easily earn as much in Brazil as they would earn back home. But unless you arrange such a job before you arrive here, you’ll be looking at a Brazilian-style salary instead and none of the expat package perks. What sort of salary do you need to start at in order to be able to support yourself and your new life here in Brazil?

  • #276453

    Finrudd
    Participant

    I would say you have a good chance if you want to work in the culinary area – the restaurant scene is HUGE in Sao Paulo and you will have novelty value, no offence intended – I mean that to highlight an opportunity for you. If this is an area you are happy to work in, I would start knocking on doors, or rather kitchen doors after service when the team are out the back smoking. Restaurants are notorious for employing casual labour, no questions asked – if you have experience in any particular area (pastry, sauce section or even prep) then be prepared to offer to show it for free – impress the head chef with a dish, perhaps something unique from Denmark?
    I was chatting to a Pousada owner last weekend who loves to cook – he has just managed to secure a placement in a restaurant in Paris for six months. He didn’t say as much, but I assumed it was working for free, perhaps with some accommodation and food provided. While this is not ideal, it gives you a foot in the door, and a chance to network and learn. Having started my career in kitchens, (from pot-wash upwards) I am looking at returning to Europe at some point to do a similar thing – I imagine there must be people doing that in Sao Paulo also.
    I also met a young English chef who was in Brazil, and he managed to get a position in DOM in Sao Paulo, and from his time there, moved on to other positions – so it can be done. Good luck!

  • #276457

    prs1979
    Member

    Thanks for your replies. I love being in the kitchen, the hustle and bustle. The rush, when your busy as hell. My gf and I calculated that to make sense of it, I should request no less than 1200R$ with various benefits. Which in my head of course is ridiculous when I know how much I was making before, but it’s reality here in Brazil, and I have accepted it. I actually applied to DOM too hoping they might have any kind of position, but I haven’t heard back from them after I sent an application with resume.
    All I can do is keep checking everyday, and expand my search for jobs that I might not have thought off, and spread the word to my brazilian family and their friends.
    Really appreciate the input from you guys!

  • #276458

    You could also look into starting your own business! Brazil is FULL of people with LOOOOTS of money who can’t do things like:

    1. paint walls
    2. bathe and walk their pets
    3. move their own furniture
    4. speak another language
    5. cook their own food
    6. take care of their own kids
    7. run their own errands
    8. solve basic problems in life
    The list is ENDLESS! Companies are forced to pay sh*tty wages to people because the governmentally mandated “benefits” are astronomical!
    Another option is to “contract” yourself out to companies. Forgo the benefits, ask for more money, and start your OWN retirement fund or save for your own vacation.
    boa sorte!
  • #276459

    Finrudd
    Participant

    Very good point – personal Chef for large families is quite common still.

  • #276460

    ffm
    Member

    My first thought is to get your foot into the culinary world. I believe it should be fairly easy entrance if you are willing to work for next to nothing but then the sky is the limit. As mentioned before the “gringo chique” factor could pay dividends. But get on that Portuguese son. Without it, it will be like trying to do track and field with a physical handicap.

  • #276461

    Anonymous

    I am with bamabrasileira on this one:
    For individual employers, the overwrought list of government rules and regulations actually deter new job creation. Thus, they perversely end up acting as ANTI-benefits to someone in OP’s situation.
    For larger companies, the issue is somewhat mitigated. But the larger companies, on the other hand, tend to demand a certain level of language proficiency.
    If I were OP, I’d be willing to take an “off the books” job where I hire myself out for a flat rate salary but no work benefits and no carteira assinada. The R$1200 base will have to be higher, though, so as to offset the lack of extras.
    And listen to findrudd and abbot, too, who always give good advice on this forum. The novelty value of a foreign chef is tradeable in a large city such as Sao Paulo.

  • #276462

    Socorro
    Member

    Hi Jeds74! Since you’re from Denmark, I was thinking it would be interesting to reveal your talents, if you cook Danish/Scandinavian food, there are many Brazilians who are interested in Europe, particularly northern Europe, and would love to come in contact with actual Scandinavians and try Scandinavian food. I’m thinking of young university students, particularly those who are more middle to upper middle class, many upper middle class Brazilians are well traveled, have an interest in Europe and other “1st world things”, so they would love to meet and try Scandinavian food, if you cook it that is. Plus, since many of them speak English, they would love to speak English with you, so the emphasis on speaking Portuguese is less with that particular crowd.
    This all reminds me of an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s show (an American chef), where he goes to Copenhagen, meets with the chef and owner of noma, and they talk about the food they cook there. I think it’s called New Scandinavian cuisine? I just thought it was really cool. Anyway, at least for that crowd, young upper middle class Brazilians, the cosmopolitan type, I think you and your food (if it’s Scandinavian) might be popular with them.
    (By the way, I really admire Denmark. The level of organization there beats makes the USA look 3rd world, and Brazil nem se fala, haha.)

  • #276464

    ffm
    Member

    [QUOTE=Bourne]
    This all reminds me of an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s show (an American chef), where he goes to Copenhagen, meets with the chef and owner of noma, and they talk about the food they cook there. I think it’s called New Scandinavian cuisine? I just thought it was really cool. Anyway, at least for that crowd, young upper middle class Brazilians, the cosmopolitan type, I think you and your food (if it’s Scandinavian) might be popular with them.
    [/QUOTE]
    I saw this too and was a great episode in a great series. If I am not mistaken (and I could be because I usually watch said series with a little THC recently ingested) Bourdain raved about the restaurants and the chefs and how they are the new avant garde of high end, artsy eating. I do in fact remember they used all local grown ingredients and such which could be a future goal to open a similar eatery.
    Again, I feel the sky is the limit in this field if you are creative and good at what you do. Wishing you luck!

  • #276465

    prs1979
    Member

    I have been contemplating the hand for hire job, work as a handyman for construction sites, or families who needs their house and garden tended. As for privat chef, that would be the most ideal, but trying to find something online where families are looking for one is like finding a needle in a haystack.
    As for the Scandinavian cuisine, not alot of people outside of europe knows about it. Which peaks the interest of people. Foodies and the younger generation of people tend to want to try new stuff. Not that the traditional Danish cuisine is all that exciting, but it can be.
    I have my work cut out for me, with the language and the work situation. But perseverance, and dedication will get me to the goal I set for my GF and I.
    Thanks again for all the information, and ideas. I wish you all the best in the future, aswell as Brazil! I do love this country!

  • #276466

    Anonymous

    A good place for you to get your foot in the door with this crowd might be Slow Food- they are very keen on local ingredients and trying new things, get a lot of publicity, and attract people who might be interesting in hiring you. In several cities around Brazil, it is gaining speed in foodie circles, and they usually have events you could meet people at.

  • #276467

    prs1979
    Member

    That is very interesting 3casas. I will check it out together with my GF, since my portuguese is still lacking. Thanks for the links πŸ™‚

  • #276469

    ffm
    Member

    [QUOTE=Jeds74]I have been contemplating the hand for hire job, work as a handyman for construction sites, or families who needs their house and garden tended.
    [/QUOTE]
    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
    Not with your tool set! I feel you would be throwing a valuable talent away for a more short term buck. There would be a clear ceiling on this type of work unless you are really good at start ups and can parley this into a service where you send approved handy men to houses or something of the sort.
    Hustle that food scene. And I will repeat, get on that Portuguese.

  • #276470

    ffm
    Member

    I don’t even know you but I’m cheering for you. lol

  • #276471

    kenalag
    Member

    ….and use your time to learn Portuguese. FAAP has really good intensive courses and they are quite flexible even if the registration deadline passed….

  • #276472

    prs1979
    Member

    Abbot it really doesn’t bother me to do odd jobs, as long as it makes sense in terms of pay πŸ™‚
    But yes I would preffer to stay in my line of work. For me it’s all about getting out there and start working, then later on down the line I can move on to become selfemployed. As for now, I need to understand how things work here in Sao Paulo, and being a part of society will help me in many ways.

  • #276473

    ffm
    Member

    [QUOTE=Jeds74]Abbot it really doesn’t bother me to do odd jobs, as long as it makes sense in terms of pay πŸ™‚
    But yes I would preffer to stay in my line of work. For me it’s all about getting out there and start working, then later on down the line I can move on to become selfemployed. As for now, I need to understand how things work here in Sao Paulo, and being a part of society will help me in many ways.
    [/QUOTE]
    Me neither! I closed a business before coming to Brazil. Between closing and coming here I had months of nothing to do. I did odd jobs for cash and made real good money doing so. I got some Brazilian friends together and even did some demolition jobs too.
    My point though is this shouldn’t be your path (IMO of course) because I think you will have a real future in the culinary world. That’s all I’m trying to say.

  • #276476

    [QUOTE=Jeds74]Abbot it really doesn’t bother me to do odd jobs, as long as it makes sense in terms of pay πŸ™‚
    But yes I would preffer to stay in my line of work. For me it’s all about getting out there and start working, then later on down the line I can move on to become selfemployed. As for now, I need to understand how things work here in Sao Paulo, and being a part of society will help me in many ways.
    [/QUOTE]

    I think this is definitely the right attitude to have here. You have to start somewhere and build up your network. You will eventually come to a point where people recommend you to all their friends. But it usually takes about 2 years to have a good network (unless your gf has a good one already established)!
    I considered being a cleaning lady when i first got here because people would pay 50 to 150 reis for only 2-4 hours of work, and the apartments here are usually not even that big!
    Just remember how LAZY and unprepared for the basics of taking care of themselves rich Brazilians are LOL
  • #276488

    prs1979
    Member

    A little update. So I have created various profiles on different jobsites, Brazilian and for estrangerios aswell. And I was lucky that a guy from Expat site saw my profile, and reffered me to a neighbor he knows very well who owns a family restaurant πŸ™‚ Long story short, my GF called them and explained the situation, since they don’t speak english and I barely can speak portuguese. We went to the appointment today, met with the owners wife and man was she a sweet lady πŸ˜€ My GF did all the talking, even tho I still tried my best to listen and understand what she was saying. Which to my surprise I understood quite abit! Anyways, she really liked me and wants to give me a shot even tho there is a language barrier. So she asked me to come the next day, and meet her husband and show him what I am capable of, and see if the language barrier will be too much. If all goes well, I will have my very first job! πŸ˜€
    Just thought I would share. I will post tomorrow if they decide to give me a chance.
    John

  • #276490

    Finrudd
    Participant

    [QUOTE=Jeds74]A little update. So I have created various profiles on different jobsites, Brazilian and for estrangerios aswell. And I was lucky that a guy from Expat site saw my profile, and reffered me to a neighbor he knows very well who owns a family restaurant πŸ™‚ Long story short, my GF called them and explained the situation, since they don’t speak english and I barely can speak portuguese. We went to the appointment today, met with the owners wife and man was she a sweet lady πŸ˜€ My GF did all the talking, even tho I still tried my best to listen and understand what she was saying. Which to my surprise I understood quite abit! Anyways, she really liked me and wants to give me a shot even tho there is a language barrier. So she asked me to come the next day, and meet her husband and show him what I am capable of, and see if the language barrier will be too much. If all goes well, I will have my very first job! πŸ˜€
    Just thought I would share. I will post tomorrow if they decide to give me a chance.
    John
    [/QUOTE]

    Best of luck with the trial today – knock ’em out!
  • #276493

    ffm
    Member

    [QUOTE=Jeds74]A little update. So I have created various profiles on different jobsites, Brazilian and for estrangerios aswell. And I was lucky that a guy from Expat site saw my profile, and reffered me to a neighbor he knows very well who owns a family restaurant πŸ™‚ Long story short, my GF called them and explained the situation, since they don’t speak english and I barely can speak portuguese. We went to the appointment today, met with the owners wife and man was she a sweet lady πŸ˜€ My GF did all the talking, even tho I still tried my best to listen and understand what she was saying. Which to my surprise I understood quite abit! Anyways, she really liked me and wants to give me a shot even tho there is a language barrier. So she asked me to come the next day, and meet her husband and show him what I am capable of, and see if the language barrier will be too much. If all goes well, I will have my very first job! πŸ˜€
    Just thought I would share. I will post tomorrow if they decide to give me a chance.
    John
    [/QUOTE]

    Little bit of luck, a little bit of putting yourself out there, now a little bit of hard work and you’ll be off to the races!
  • #276495

    Anonymous

    No kidding! Good luck and get started on that Portuguese ASAP, even if it is online (DuoLingo, Mango, Live Mocha).

  • #276516

    prs1979
    Member

    So I went there and met the husband, and started the trial that day from 9-15. Bear in mind I haven’t seen the kitchen yet till this day. He gave me an apron, and showed me the kitchen… Right away I was shocked at the state it was in, it was like watching an episode of kitchens nightmare, but in this case Gordon Ramsay would walk away right away… I kid you not how bad it was.. years and years of grease cake on the walls, ceiling, and equipment… The way they stored things was hazardous. Everything was out of place, meat and veggies side by side, with raw and cooked products. Mold in some of the fridges.
    But the worst was when I saw how the kids were working, but they learned it from the owners unfortunately. They used the same cutting board and knife for everything.. veggies and meat, cooked meat next to raw meat.. cross contamination overdrive…
    This is one thing I won’t tolerate, the lack of hygiene and basic cleaning! I cannot be partly responsible for getting someone sick from eating there! Never happened in my entire career, and I won’t take a chance on this…
    Anyways the language barrier wasn’t too bad, I actually learned more during the 6 hours, and I understood most of what they required from me. This is a good way for me to learn portuguese really fast!
    As for the pay, and hours.. well imo, it didn’t make sense. Work mon-sat, and get 900R$ without any benefits… It’s not all about the money, but with all the red flags I just couldn’t accept the job at the end of the day.
    Thing is the elderly couple are so sweet, but the kids have been taking advantage of them by being lazy and cutting corners.. Unfortunately that is what can happen if your not firm, and lay down the law when people start!
    So once again, I am on the lookout for the next opportunity. And this time I have other opportunities to try and explore!
    Thank you all for the support, and information!
    John

  • #276517

    Anonymous

    i think most cooking positions are for cooks, not for chefs, if you get what I mean. A friend had a restaurant and said he could not keep cooks no matter what he did (i asked him how much he paid and he gave me a figure like yours– low enough that they could earn more doing almost anything else, never mind working in a dirty, dangerous, high-pressure environment. No wonder!)

    Get that portuguese in gear and you could be a consultant and teach people how to run a kitchen properly. You could bill yourself as the Gordon Ramsey of Brazil, and in true Brazilian style even use his name and stuff in your advertising!
  • #276518

    prs1979
    Member

    3casas it has become more and more evident, that getting the portuguese in order asap will open so many opportunities! Consultant is very appealing, and something I have been wanting to do prior to coming to Brazil. I am considering taking up on volunteer work, just to get my portuguese in order aswell expand my network πŸ™‚

  • #276520

    Finrudd
    Participant

    That could well be your angle – rather than walking away (my reaction would be the same to be honest) I would try and push a consultation service for these sorts of places. Maybe a 5-day package, and use the Kitchen Nightmares approach/tag-lines/style freely, that will go down well. Check the kitchen, observe the service, and review the process. Create an action plan of what needs to be done, and what it will offer – Reduce Risk, Save Cost, Improve Service = Bigger Bottom Line.
    If they chose to follow the action plan, you could propose to help them with some basic training in health and safety, draw up the daily/weekly/monthly cleaning rotas, and even advise on basics that are often very overlooked in Brazil. Stock rotation, stock management (so they have less dishes not available because they invariably forget a key ingredient in the shopping, and maybe even a menu revamp? Just showing portion control can have a big impact on bottom line. Standard things for someone in the trade, but by the sounds of it, not something they will use presently.
    If it works, you could charge more, as you will be spending less time there, but you will have a string of references to move onto the next job. It’s a long shot, of course, as Brazilians like everyone can be resistant to change, but if you can show tangible advantages to them, you may well have some that go for it. They can’t afford a qualified chef full time, but might pay out for one to give them some guidance.
    I am planning one day on opening a small hotel, and one common thing I have seen is having an Exec Chef on a small retainer. The Exec Chef designs the menu and trains the existing kitchen staff to do it – breaking it right down to laminated sheets with photos of the plated dish so that there is a consistent approach (chain restaurant style). The retainer fee includes periodical menu re-vamps and refresher training, as well as a few special events where the Exec-Chef does a particular menu (maybe with a seasonal theme) that the hotel can market.
    Keep at it – I think you may be discovering what your particular niche in the market here is.

  • #276923

    Aaronk
    Member

    Not sure if it helps, but my company is currently looking for people to work as Mystery Shoppers in VitβˆšΓ‰Β¬β‰₯ria da Conquista, Cuiaba, Rio Branco, Goiania, Vitoria and Santo Angelo. Other locations will also be considered though so PM if you are interested and I can give you more details about the project
    Jenny

  • #28528

    gringo316
    Member

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