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General advice for job seeker (Bogotá)

Hi all. I’m seeking general advice on finding job in Colombia. I’m recently married and living in Popayán. Unfortunately the majority of our contacts are in Popayán and I suspect Bogotá, Cali, Medellín and Barranquilla have more job opportunities for expats. We are willing to relocate but I’m having trouble networking remotely. Does anyone have any suggestions?

I’m a native English speaker with beginner level Spanish. I have strong education credentials – BS in Electrical Engineering from Duke University and a PhD in geology, specializing in planetary science. For the past eight years I’ve worked as a university professor and a NASA-funded researcher analyzing remote sensing data from NASA spacecraft missions to other planets (Mercury, the Moon, asteroids).

I’ve been looking for jobs for three months now and I’m not having much luck. I’m wondering if employers are waiting for me to have my TP-10 visa in hand (next week!) or my approach is not effective in Colombia or if I’m not targeting the most promising industries, etc.

I have extensive grant writing and editorial experience (particularly editing academic articles written by non-native English speakers) that could be transferable to other industries. Obviously the education industry is a natural fit but I am not an accredited teacher (not required for university-level teaching). I’ve traveled extensively and would be open to jobs in the tourism industry. Geology and remote sensing jobs would utilize my expertise but it seems that most require fluent Spanish.

I’ve written blind cover letters (without a job listing or specific job title) outlining my experience, skills, and interests to several international secondary schools, research universities, or universities that teach in English. I am trying to show broad skills to increase the chance of a potential match but trying not to come across as unfocused. So far, no luck.

Can anyone provide any relevant success stories on how you found your first job in Colombia? Any suggestions on industries I’ve overlooked that may value my skills and are hiring in Colombia? I’ve looked on a dozen or so job listing sites but rarely find jobs remotely applicable to me; perhaps there is one that is more valuable for expats than others? Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.



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