Working in Kazakhstan

Although Kazakhstan's economy suffered high inflation rates and drastic devaluation of the tenge in 2015, it is slowly but steadily beginning to make a recovery. 

Despite Kazakhstan's past financial troubles, it is still the largest economy in Central Asia. Most expats employed in Kazakhstan will find themselves working in the nation's capital, Astana, or in Almaty. Abundant natural resources and a variety of thriving industries offer a number of opportunities for expats considering working in Kazakhstan. 

Job market in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan has a number of valuable natural resources including oil, gas and metals. Prominent industries include engineering, construction and finance. As is the case with many countries in Asia, there is a high demand for English teachers. 

There are a number of expat government workers and diplomats working in Kazakhstan, most of which are based in Astana.

Finding a job in Kazakhstan

Many of the expats working in Kazakhstan are employed by multinational companies. Others are not as lucky and have to face the daunting task of finding a job in Kazakhstan.

Online job boards and classified sections in local newspapers are a good place to start the search, but making personal connections in the country is likely to yield better results and more opportunities. LinkedIn can be a valuable resource in this case, as can local business meet-ups.

Work culture in Kazakhstan

Most Kazakhstan businesses follow the classic 40-hour Monday to Friday work week, with an eight-hour work day.

There is usually a chain of authority in the office with the most senior members of the company making decisions. In Kazakh culture, it's important to treat such individuals with a great degree of respect.

Kazakhs are known for their hospitality and expats are likely to find their co-workers friendly and welcoming. It's not unusual to socialise with colleagues outside of work and expats should endeavour to accept any and all invitations. If invited to the home of a local, expats should remember to remove their shoes at the door and should not use their left hand to touch or pick up anything as it is considered dirty. It's worth bearing in mind that the majority religion in Kazakhstan is Islam, so as a rule of thumb, any gifts should be strictly non-alcoholic.