The work ethos in Malta will be very familiar if you’re from Europe and North America. Offices generally have a friendly environment and since the island is small, colleagues frequently become friends; many business links are founded on personal connections. It’s an easy working culture to settle into and the general feeling in the private sector is that anything is possible in Malta through hard work, determination and vision – it’s fun to be a part of that!
Nearly all Maltese speak good English. English is also the business language in Malta. Maltese is usually not a requirement for jobs in the private sector, with a few exceptions. Learning Maltese can only help you to fit in though! Italian is also widely spoken.
While you might not earn as much in Malta as elsewhere (here's a bit about salaries in Malta), there is one huge perk – a great lifestyle. Malta has one of the highest number of hours of sunshine in Europe and there are some beautiful and easily accessible beaches where you can soak up those rays. From hiking and biking to paddle-boarding and rock-climbing, there’s tons to do on the islands for outdoor enthusiasts. This little rock in the Med also punches above its weight in terms of cultural events, while summer brings dozens of colourful local festas. Malta is well connected to Sicily by ferry meaning Italian culture, heritage and gastronomy are right on your doorstep.
Shaking hands is the most common form of business greeting in Malta. People still sometimes address each other as Mr. or Ms. until they get onto a more relaxed footing. Malta is a relatively conservative country and so business dress is usually formal (suit and tie for men, business suits for women) except in the newer IT, iGaming or marketing sectors. Take note of what people are wearing when you visit a company to make sure that you get it right.
Citizens of the EU, European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland don’t need a visa to work here but will need to register for an ID card.
If you are from outside the EU and do not have any Maltese ancestry, you will need a job offer, and your employer must apply for an employment licence. To do so, they must advertise the job first, then prove that no qualified Maltese, EU, EEA or Swiss candidate could take the position, which is quite a challenge (but not impossible, especially for larger, hi-tech businesses such as Gaming firms). TCNs with Maltese ancestry may be able to apply for citizenship.
Hard workers are appreciated in Malta – teams are often small and there’s a sense of everyone pulling together to get the job done, especially if there are staff shortages. There’s a vibrant, innovative atmosphere in the private sector– people are full of ideas and want to explore what is possible in the new Malta that is emerging in the 21st Century. The Mediterranean atmosphere spills into the workplace too – the office tends to be a friendly place where you’ll feel like you’re really making a difference.
Foreigners with specialist skills are most likely to be snapped up first, filling a skills gap in the Maltese workforce. Companies hiring from overseas are generally either international firms or Maltese businesses with foreign interests, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth looking beyond these options. In certain industries, particularly finance and law, a sound knowledge of the local scene or regulations is usually required. Other roles which are based outdoors, such as sales, delivery personnel or quantity surveyors, might require a solid basis of getting around Malta and also some knowledge of the Maltese language.
Job titles might vary from what you are used to. Since Malta has a relatively limited job pool, there are more vacancies for ‘all-rounders’, someone who can cover two or three areas that might be split into different jobs elsewhere. Keep an open mind when reading job descriptions. They are usually aspirational, but employers might struggle to find someone with all the skills or experience that they require and will be prepared to consider a less well-qualified candidate if they interview well.
Read more about work ethos and employment conditions in Malta.
For most skilled positions in the private sector, you don’t need to speak Maltese. It is a bonus if you can learn it when you get here though - this might take your Maltese colleagues by surprise but if you persevere you’ll gain a lot of cultural brownie points. For white collar jobs, the business language is generally English.Will my colleagues be multi-cultural?
That depends upon where you work. In larger companies, gaming companies, and within the IT and hospitality industries predominantly, there’s a good chance that you’ll be working with people from all over the world; that’s less likely in smaller or family businesses. However, the Maltese are very outward looking and hospitable as well as being firm members of the European Union so you’re likely to find people you connect with in every work environment.How much holiday will I get?
If you work full time, you’ll get 25 days of leave plus 14 public holidays which are over and above the days of leave allocated.What should I wear to work?
This depends very much on the place of work. Business dress is still the norm (suit and tie for men, business suit for women; jackets are often abandoned due to the heat) especially in sectors such banking and law. Tech, iGaming, marketing and branding firms often have a more relaxed dress code. If in doubt, check with your employer.Will I find a job easily?
If you work in IT (especially gaming), you’re golden. Legal, financial, pharmaceutical, medical and tourism experts are also likely to get their feet under the desk pretty quickly. Even outside of these sectors, the booming Maltese economy means there’s work available - it might just take a little longer to match your skills to a job, and at least initially, you might need to be less picky than normal. Here's a bit more about sectors in demand in Malta.What are salaries like in Malta?
Salaries might be lower than elsewhere, but there are some notable exceptions, such as the gaming industry. However, it is possible to live quite cheaply in Malta, so a skilled foreign worker will likely end up with as much, if not more, disposable income as they would in other countries, especially compared to much of Northern Europe. Check out the site salariesinmalta.com for a guide or read up more here.