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Working Abroad

Tips for Your Job Search Overseas

Quite a few self-made expats struggle to find a job abroad. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible though! With a structured, thought-out approach, determination and a dose of creativity, you increase your chances of success during your job search overseas.

When trying to find work with a foreign company, any useful skills and qualifications you have acquired beforehand will be very helpful. Always keep in mind that many foreign companies are reluctant to hire people who do not have sufficient language skills.

An expatriate-owned foreign company might be an exception to this rule. Other expats may actually hire you, even if your proficiency in foreign languages is lacking. If you cannot find an expat-owned company that is willing to give you a job, you should choose an industry which gives you a chance to travel. This could be, for example, the diplomatic corps or the leisure and tourism industry.

The Shoot-First-Ask-Later Method

You may, of course, be too impatient to conduct a thorough job search overseas or to wait for your company to send you abroad before you get on a plane. If that is the case, you can always use what we refer to as the shoot-first-ask-later method. In other words, you can just pack your bags and go.

People who choose this method usually leave their home country with nothing but a plane ticket and a visa in their pocket. They postpone the job search until their arrival, often hoping to exchange a tourist or visitor visa for a work permit. This method is, however, very risky and definitely not recommendable if you have mouths to feed.

An alternative to this reckless step might be self-employment or freelance work. On the upside, you are your own boss and do not have to go through the tedious job search. On the downside, you will have to overcome additional bureaucratic barriers and need an additional financial cushion in case something goes wrong. Read our articles on self-employed expats and opening a business abroad to find out more.

Networking Is Key

It is an open secret that most positions are not advertised. On the contrary, most vacancies are filled by promotion or networking. That’s why the best way of landing that dream job of yours is building a strong contact network.

The size of your network does not matter as much as the people it includes. As the vast majority of jobs are found through networking, you should have a strategy to make your network grow. You can do so by joining expat networks and social networking sites like Professional organizations or courses for further qualifications in your field are also a great basis for your networking strategy and thus for your job search overseas.