A 3-pronged approach to finding a job overseas
by Adrianne George?
Yesterday you were in your home country. Today you find yourself a foreigner in a new land. As Sting sings, ?a legal alien?.
Great. Exciting even. But once you have unpacked the boxes, hung up the curtains, and found the local grocer, now what. You need a job.
If your company moved you overseas you are set. But maybe your spouse or partner isn?t. Or you are studying abroad and need extra money. Who doesn?t? Here is my 3-pronged approach to finding a job overseas:
1. Go to the government sponsored employment office. There isn?t one? Go to the temporary hiring services. If there is a government sponsored employment office like there is in Sweden, take advantage of all they have to offer. In addition to registering your CV you will get assigned a counselor who is supposed to work on your behalf. They will tell you about language classes or additional training. Maybe even support to start your own business. You can get help with your CV or learn interviewing techniques. Ask what they can do and follow up!
A temp agency gets paid when they send someone on a short term job. Find out what kind of clients they have and what skills are needed. Then present yourself in the best light possible! If you need to know the local language ask about jobs that English speakers can do.
2. Network, network, network. Yea, yea: it?s not what you know but who you know. So what do you do when you don?t know anyone? You network! Here is a list of groups I have joined. I am sure you can find some that relate to your background:
American Club, American Women?s Club, Business Professional Women?s Group, International Women?s Club, Democrats Abroad, European Professional Women?s Group, XING, LinkedIn, Internations, Meetup. You get the idea. Find organizations for people from your country. Attend their networking events. Oh, go to the Chamber of Commerce events your country hosts. Be active! Have your elevator pitched prepared and tell it to everyone, I mean everyone you meet.
3. Research the companies for which you want to work and contact them. Tell them you think they are great and explain why. Tell them why you are the perfect person to join their team and explain why. Ask for an informational interview. Knock them dead at the informational interview by coming with a list of questions that show that you know their company as well as any outsider could. Dress like you understand the company culture. Ask them for a job. At the very least you will start to learn about how business is done in your adopted country.
In any event stay positive and do things you enjoy. You never know where your next job lead is. It may come from the person on the Yoga mat next to yours.