Defined as an emerging economy, Latvia has adopted business practices of the west with open arms. However, its graduate recruitment market is rather small. The local professionals are well qualified and give foreigners tough competition. Locals also have the language advantage on their side. One fact that is advantages for the foreign workers is that the local population of fresh graduates is emigrating in large numbers, leaving a void in the market.
Occupations that face a shortage include qualified researchers, language teachers, work involving new technologies, science related work and export and marketing. The construction industry, whether it involves restoration of old buildings or building new ones, is showing major growth. Foreigners stand a good chance of securing jobs in these sectors. English teaching is the only portable job that foreigners can take up in any part of the country, for most other jobs foreigners are limited to Riga, the capital city.
Business in Latvia is conducted along similar lines as any EU country. Like in those countries, dress code is formal; IT industry being the exception. Normal working hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. There are ten public holidays in a year and four week vacation is standard.
Salaries in Latvia tend to be lower than in most European countries for similar positions. Living costs are high due to the increasing utilities, gas and electricity bills. Despite this you can manage to earn a decent living while enjoying all the natural beauty, history and culture Latvia has to offer.