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Spanish chef shares inspiring EURES success story
Juan Carlos de la Cruz Pons learned his trade as a chef on the Balearic Island of Menorca, where he earned work experience and qualifications in gastronomy and culinary management. Despite achieving good grades, he began to think he needed to look further afield to progress in his career and had an idea to leave the island, or even Spain entirely.
‘I had the good fortune to meet a group of European volunteers who spent a year in Menorca with the European Voluntary Service,’ Juan Carlos explains. He thought more and more about leaving and made an effort to practice his English.
‘After a few years, in 2016, I decided to park my studies and explore new horizons,’ he recalls. ‘Then, something magical happened: two good friends of mine – each unaware that the other had contacted me – both sent me an opportunity to work in Sweden through a service called EURES.’
Juan Carlos decided to submit his CV and, to his surprise, received a response within a day. ‘It was incredibly fast. I went through the selection process and ended up going to Barcelona to interview for positions with various Swedish employers, all managed by EURES.’
Juan Carlos received three offers of employment – one in Helsingborg, one in Gothenburg and another in Stockholm. He was supported throughout the recruitment process by EURES Advisers from both countries, had his travel expenses paid and was able to spend time in all three cities. After a successful trial, Juan Carlos was offered the job in Stockholm and moved there within weeks.
Unfortunately, after a few months, the job in Stockholm hadn’t worked out as planned. Juan Carlos contacted his EURES Advisers, Arnau Soy Massoni (EURES Spain) and Maria Thoren (EURES Sweden) and explained his situation.
‘The support was immediate,’ he says. ‘They responded quickly and professionally. They took note of the problem and proposed various solutions.’ One option was to transfer to another employer in Sweden, but he instead decided to take a break and return to Spain. However, the EURES Advisers made it clear that the door remained open for him to contact them again in the future.
Second time lucky
After a few months, Juan Carlos decided to move to Germany, which he saw as another opportunity to start a new life – this time in his partner’s native country. ‘I decided to contact my EURES Advisers again,’ he says. ‘I knew that they also had EURES in Germany, so I thought that maybe there would be a possibility to look for a job through them.’
With Arnau’s support, Juan Carlos contacted the German International Placement Service (ZAV), and found a job within two weeks. He now works as a sous-chef in a professional kitchen in Saarbrücken and has already been promoted.
Worth the hard work
‘I had to go through a lot of paperwork, fill out forms and work hard,’ he admits. ‘But I could not be happier.’ Juan Carlos received valuable support from EURES Staff across three countries and is hugely grateful.
‘Right now, I have a stable position and life in another country, and all this is thanks to all these people who made my trip and transition possible.’
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"Focus on…" articles are intended to provide users of the EURES portal with information on current topics and trends and to stimulate discussion and debate. They do not necessarily reflect the view of the European Commission.