We suggest that you try several avenues to find the ideal job. Apart from advertised jobs, you could try getting in touch with companies via your networks or even by directly contacting. We at WorkInSriLanka can also try to assist you.
- Sunday Papers (Sunday Observer, Sunday Times, Lankadeepa (S), Thinakaran (T))
- Online Job Sites (See list below)
- ‘Careers’ section on company web sites
- Job Agencies and Head Hunters – i.e- register with them to learn about job openings
Networks and Other Avenues
If you are able to arrange meetings with key people in companies and prove your worth, they may even create a new role for you or keep you in mind for future openings.
Some good channels to get access to companies:
- Writing in directly
- School/university alumni networks (‘Old Boy’ or ‘Old Girl’ networks)
- Professional bodies
- Family connections
Good jobs are definitely out there, but be prepared to put in the effort and time.
Starting Your Own Business
In a country and an economy going through rapid change, there are always great opportunities for astute entrepreneurs. For example, there is great potential in the former conflict zones which are now accessible after decades of isolation. Furthermore, as the demographics change with higher disposable income, a widening middle-class and expanding recreational needs, new opportunities arise for restaurants, personal services, leisure activities, etc.
Government departments have largely streamlined their services to businesses making it more straightforward to set-up and run businesses. Attractive tax benefits are available based on number of employees, type of industry and location.
Other bodies such as the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) and traders’ collectives are also able to help in many ways.
How Much Will I Earn?
As you would expect, typical salaries in Sri Lanka are comparatively lower than those of developed countries. However, there are few factors to think about:
- When it comes to mid-career, middle-level management roles the gap narrow greatly.
- Your monthly salary is likely to be supplemented by various bonuses and allowances (vehicle, petrol, phone, etc) and perhaps free medical insurance, etc.
- Annual bonuses can be between one to three months’ pay.
- The cost of living is much lesser than in developed countries.
- Tax rate is one of the lowest in Asia.
Also, In Sri Lanka you will find that career progression can be considerably faster if you are a capable and diligent employee.
Work Culture in Sri Lanka
If you have never worked in Sri Lanka, or not in the last 15 years, you might be carrying a highly out-dated vision of a Sri Lankan work place. Gone are the days of steel overhead fans and desks with piles of manila files that you might recall in faded colour like an 80s movie. Most of the reputed companies have comfortable, air-conditioned work places with various other facilities. Virtually all companies have social clubs that organize various fun and welfare activities for staff such as sports days, quizzes, movie nights, medical seminars, etc. Ergonomics, work place safety, work-life balance and discrimination are all work place topics that companies look to address.
Depending on the company, you might come across various cultural norms in work places that are different to what you are used to. Like in most countries, work place relationships and coalitions help you in your day-to-day work and progression. However, performance is still the single key determining factor. It is advisable to respect norms and traditions, but you may also tactfully introduce changes where appropriate.