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Expat - Looking for a Job Overseas? Some Advice

With the recent downsizing in the USA and Europe, many people are looking to find a job in Asia, as well as South America, and Africa. But can you get a job from abroad? Here are some of my thoughts on that:

In Asia, you pretty much need to be here, to network through the chambers and various social circles. There is always room at the top for excellent and creative work. However, many people make the mistake of working in a field where they are not passionate, and/or not the best at what they do. You need to connect on a sincere level and Make Friends. People will give you work if:

1. They like you, and feel comfortable around you.
2. You are providing best-in-class product.
3. You are providing adequate product, but you have great customer service, or you have the best pricing structure and follow-through when things go wrong.
4. You are currently doing work for someone they know, and doing a great job, and their friend raves about you.

For Instance, for Web Developers and Designers:

You could start your own office here, and go out and offer your services, or if you are really good, you can offer to start a web development division for an ad agency, or be an employee at one. But you have to be world class to be an employee, or they will ask, why not just hire a Local? Out sourcing is not being done to the US, India is closer and cheaper.

We are overly saturated in Thailand with excellent print graphics design, I can get this anywhere, at all prices. What could be expanded: 3D graphics and animation, the Thais are a little slow on this, and elementary in their designs. There could be more marketing of this, if it is not too expensive. Not alot of people are making good logos here, they copy each other alot. Webcasting is in the basic stages here, even more than around the world. They're still pouring money into TV.

For All Job Seekers:

You might like to update your LinkedIn to point to some web pages where you can show your work. Most people don't really have the time to talk to you, meet you, etc, before they see what you have accomplished and what you are capable of. Say a little more about your methods and what you've done, but don't exaggerate.

You also should show a little more personality on your personal page, and link that in to your LinkedIn. You should have Protected content . Less than that, and you're link-less, more than that, and you're looking a little desperate or a self-promoter (boring).

Be clear on why you want to work in Myanmar, or Brazil, or other target country. Secondly, if your title says Financial Services, however, your background is more general marketing and business development, some product development, some design – then it is confusing. I don't know from your profile what it is you do, and what is your particular expertise. It just doesn't grab me.

You should ask a professional PR or copywriter to help you with your promotional material like namecards, resumes, webpage, etc. Pay somebody a little bit, and see what they come up with. Make sure they are good at this, otherwise it is the blind leading the blind. When you are searching for this PR pro to help you, ask yourself, why should you hire them? Then you will know how to promote yourself.

One good way to get started in any foreign country, is to come as an English (or other language) teacher, and then while you are doing that, you can find your career job. All you need is a certification through TEFL, or something similar, and you can obtain a basic teaching job – and if you live frugally, you can have a pressure-free existence while you are doing your real job search. Network your way around while you are doing that, and not only will you enjoy your new friendships, but you will gain entry into a few interviews.

Your Take-Away:

Above all, take this transition period to learn about yourself, do some meditations, try some new food and share your culture with other expatriates from all over the world. And it wouldn’t hurt to do some charity work, too. Finally, even if all you get while working in a basic job overseas is a few weekends at the beach, don’t forget that you can always take a flight back home, and now you have a job in an exotic country overseas on your resume. How many people in your home town can say that about themselves?

Good luck!

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Please feel free to post your job search advise here for your fellow InterNations members. Maybe also your success stories as a result of this advise!

1. Please do not message me asking for jobs.
2. Employment posts and work wanted posts should go in the Marketplace threads, not here. Only advise and questions on how to do a job search here, please.

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