Get your passport and visa intact. Your next Job could be on foreign land.
Working abroad is not only a great experience, but it can also launch your international career and open doors for new opportunities around the world. Your language skills will skyrocket, and your cross-cultural competencies will go through the roof while bringing all of those other soft skills along. In short: If you have the opportunity to go work abroad – do it! To help you prepare, we put together some things to consider and facts to research.
Attend Job Fairs.
Consider searching your local area to find overseas job fairs. You can do that either by asking around in your work or even if you’re a student, the university’s student office might help.
Also, a quick Google search for the phrases “job fair abroad” then the name of your city will likely result in at least one option. You might even find many online options!
Going to career fairs and social events can open more doors in your life. They are a great way to find companies recruiting people to work in their international offices. It is possible that you could even go through an interview on the spot.
You can introduce yourself to companies on a personal level and receive feedback on your profile and CV. By being there, you are showing your dedication and making useful connections!
In some cases, you can find a job abroad without getting hired by an employer, you would have to become a freelancer. The rules to work legally vary from one country to another, so make sure you check the regulations before traveling.
For example, as a freelancer, you can immigrate to Canada as a self-employed person, but there are requirements that you would have to meet first. Check them on the government’s website.
Writers, photographers, graphic designers, voice actors are some of the many jobs that you can do as a digital nomad. Many countries allow you to live there, but again, you would have to look into the visa options and pay close attention to the rules.
Spain, for example, is planning to launch a brand-new visa for digital nomads where you can stay there for one year and an extension is possible too.
If you can’t stand the idea of having a 9-5 office job, then becoming a digital nomad is a great way to follow your passion!
Take Advantage of Social Media.
Social media is one of the best channels you can leverage to find job opportunities abroad, particularly because you might not be familiar enough with the environment to use more direct means of garnering a job. LinkedIn is a great social media tool for finding and applying for jobs; Facebook’s job-finding feature can also be of great help. If you intend on selling your services to others, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can be great platforms to showcase your work and expertise for free.
It’s alarming how little research people do when trying to get a job abroad. It is important to note that doing research isn’t just about skimming through travel guides, job boards or social media for job opportunities to apply for, it is about doing your homework and getting vital information on the country’s immigration, tax and healthcare policies relating to work and employment opportunities. The importance of getting this information can’t be overemphasized as it will save you from a lot of hassles and dangers, and more importantly, it will save you from being cheated in an employment opportunity.
Target less competitive cities.
Students often have ambitions not just to secure a job in a particular country but in a particular city. Well-known cities like New York or London for example have a highly competitive job market. You will be competing against the best people from that country, as well as international talent.
Many cities are hungry for international talent. In the U.S. for example cities like Seattle and Austin have strong-growing job markets, are actively seeking international talent, and are considerably less competitive. It’s a similar story in the U.K. in cities like Manchester and in the U.A.E. for cities like Abu Dhabi.
Keep an Open Mind.
You need to keep an open mind when searching for a job in another country because their work dynamics are likely to be much more different from what you are used to. It is important to take this into consideration especially when going for interviews so you don’t end up rejected for not being a ‘good fit’. Try to understand the work dynamics of your new area either by asking questions through social media channels or business community forums. You can also talk to family or friends who already work there or have worked there to get some information.
This can help you get the information you need to brush up on some of the important business cultures of your new area, and it can also help to solve potential communication problems that might arise. Basically, just do your homework so you know what you should and should not do or say in the business setting or environment.
Pick a Company and Apply Directly.
A direct application to a company of your choice might just be more beneficial to you than waiting for social media posts on available job opportunities. This is because there are a good number of companies that first consider the applications in their database for job openings before deciding whether or not to post on social media or job boards. Therefore, you might want to consider applying directly to these companies so that your resume and applications letters will be in their system for referral anytime there is a job opening that you qualify for.
Build Your Language Skills
When trying to get a job in a new area, it is important to ensure that you can speak their language with professional and working proficiency. Without this language skill, you just might end up getting turned down regardless of how much experience you might have.
Study or Intern Abroad
A more structured way to get face-to-face with overseas companies hiring is to either study or intern abroad. There are endless study abroad and intern abroad options out there. If you know you eventually want to join an overseas workforce, use these opportunities to start getting your foot in the door.
An internship in a city overseas is a chance to prove how good a worker you are, and begin growing international professional network. Several different program providers, like AIFS and Hutong School, and IFSA-Butler, can actually set people up with internships abroad so they don’t have to go through the hassle of finding one themselves and convincing human resources to take a chance on an international worker. You can also apply to internships through your university and/or do them in addition to studying abroad.
Often, visa options for people on an internship are a lot easier to get approved than actual work permits. Make the most of this opportunity and at the end of it make it clear to your boss that you want to stay.
Studying abroad offers those same opportunities to either find an internship or at least make contacts for possible employers, but one way to almost guarantee yourself a spot working abroad is to get a college degree from a university abroad. Usually, if a country trains and educates you, they’ll try to keep you there to work.
A lot of student visas, such as those in Australia, not only permit international students to work up to a certain amount of hours while in school but also stick around for a year after graduating to work full time. Once you’re working full-time somewhere or even have a reference from a company in the country, you’re in the perfect position to find sponsorship to stay on a working visa.