If you're not relocating for retirement and don't have huge savings, you'll eventually have to face the challenge of finding a job abroad. Although you shouldn't expect to land your dream job right away, if you prepare well you should find something you enjoy. Britannia's top tips will help you prepare and plan you job search, hopefully making the whole process less stressful.
1. Prepare ahead & do your research
Do some research online about your destination's job market, requirements in your field, average salaries, and find out more about certain jobs that might be in higher demand. Make sure that your qualifications make you eligible for your desired job, and be prepared to learn some new skills if you think it's necessary. If you plan ahead, you can realistically estimate the time you might need to find a job, and thus make the relocation process less stressful. It is also essential that you ensure that all visas and work permits are in place, and that you arrange everything you can from your home country. Find out about how long you can stay, and what kind of visas and/or work permits your spouse and children might need. As a last step, make sure that you have enough money to cover the period of your job search.
2. Build a new social network
Many expats find work through personal connections, rather than traditional job search. Although you'll have to start building a network of friends and acquaintances from scratch, this can be a rewarding and exciting experience, and can help you find a job. Once you're in the new country, network with locals as well as fellow expats, join business associations and clubs. Online social networks can also be good tools for building up relationships, and might even help you get a new job. Join LinkedIn, and Twitter, participate, build up an online network, and you'll be surprised at the number of new opportunities you might find.
3. Be patient
Finding a job will not be easy so you'll need determination. This will be especially true if you need to get some further qualifications or you lack language skills. Finding a job at a multinational company might be easier, as they are more likely to recognise international qualifications, and you might not need local language skills right away. Many expats start out working in bars, hotels, restaurants, teaching English, or in unpaid positions. If you are determined and patient, you will eventually progress to a better job in your career field even if you start off with something more casual.
If you prefer working more flexibly, and have the right skills, freelancing can be a good option. Web design, web development, technical writing, translation, travel journalism, photography, private teaching, investments – there is a long list of things you can do if you're self-employed. Find out about visa regulations and work permits for the self-employed before moving abroad. Ensuring that you have a network of friends and acquaintances is however indispensable for keeping you busy as a freelancer.
Finding a job abroad will almost certainly mean that you have to leave your comfort zone, but that's what moving abroad often is about, and hopefully it will be a rewarding and exciting experience. If you want to share your experiences or views, leave a comment, or drop us an email.