Are you looking to get a new job in a foreign land?  I recently interviewed Juliana Rabbi in a podcast on #ProjectHelpYouGrow covering this very topic.  If you haven’t listened to the podcast interview, you should check it out here:

Tips we cover in the interview include:

  1. Being Flexible 
  2. Taking A Step Back
  3. Applying at Multinational companies
  4. Networking online and in person
  5. Making sure your CV / Resume and Cover Letter are top notch

Let’s look at each in depth.

Being Flexible

This has nothing to do with your physical ability to stretch, this has more to do with your ability to compromise.  In the USA I’m an Account Manager for CSDS.  I have 20 years of experience both as an individual contributor (business to business sales) and as a sales department manager.  If I was to look for a role here in the USA, I would likely not consider things outside of something in the sales and marketing vertical market unless it was considered a promotion, say as a VP of something or the head of a firm, especially if it was for a company doing something I believe in. 

If I was to search for a role outside of the USA, I would be wise to open my mind to a wider range of potential job matches.  Like what?  Things like a customer service role, perhaps a digital production position or even a client trainer for the technical products and services I’ve represented over my 20 years in the print business. 

The more flexible I am, the more likely I am to find a position sooner.  The same can be said for finances too.  In the USA, I have established a level of compensation that I am worth.  In a foreign market, I might not get the same rate, especially given that I’ll have to master a new culture, business practices, possibly language barriers and more.  Relocating has hard costs and opportunity costs.  So if you are flexible, you’ll have more opportunities to win.

Taking A Step Back

The thing about taking a step back that can be hard is our pride can get in the way.  If you are a manager now, you might not want to step back down to an individual contributor role.  In a foreign country however it might be much easier for you to find a job, as the contributor, especially given that the qualifications are less stringent and there’s likely more openings available.

By accepting a lower position, you have a greater chance of being hired and exceeding the expectations of the hiring manager.  This sets you up well to build your reputation in a positive way and increases your odds of success in the long run getting your overall career path on track in the new country.

You don’t want to bite off more than you can chew, by accepting a position you could struggle with due to the environment and cultural factors in the new country.  If you do get overwhelmed, you could end up unemployed in a short amount of time and be in a very hard spot with buyer’s remorse. 

Not only is it harder for a foreigner to land a management position, it’s a lot tougher for them to succeed.  Consider giving your self the best shot to win by simply taking a step back to help propel yourself forward in the long run.

Applying at Multinational Companies

The strategy is simple, multinational companies typically are larger firms that have many employees and positions to fill.  If you meet with a recruiter and/or a hiring manager from a large company like this, you might find that they have interest for you in a position other than what you were contacting them about.  Also if you get hired, and you struggle in one position, they might have another position they can transition you to, without having to let you go. 

Another advantage of working for a multinational firm is the opportunity for advancement. Once you’ve done a good job (taking a step back in action) you are more likely to have a promotion opportunity because of the sheer size of the firm.  A larger company will have more employees and managers than a smaller local company.  Your also less likely to run into a glass ceiling at a multinational company, given that you’re not competing with things like nepotism as much in a larger company than you might face in a family owned business.

Finally, as a great strategy, if you look at companies who have offices where you are, and where you want to be, consider going to work for them locally first, and then work on getting a transfer.  As Juliana and I discuss in the podcast, you can potentially get the employer to help with the cost of moving, sponsorship and more.  This might take a bit longer than doing it another way, but I’m sure the success rate in this method is the highest of all strategies.  Look for companies who are hiring locally that you can grow and move with. 

Networking Online and In Person

This one is fairly obvious, however it’s amazing how many people I meet who don’t understand the power of networking.  For example, if you want to move to a foreign place, you should be doing all you can to meet people their now.  You never know who they know and how the connections can help you secure a job, or a place to live when you get there.  On social media you can and should join regional groups and join in on the conversations. 

When you’re in country, you can and should try to participate in networking events and/or volunteering opportunities.  Why?  The more people you meet, the more opportunities you have to network and build relationships.  Networking at the end of the day is not about a giant list of names to fill a CRM data base or an old school rolodex.  Instead, the point is to meet people, build a rapport with them and then utilize the connections to a mutual win-win benefit as much as possible.

One major advantage of taking a step back and pursing an opening in a lower level is the comradery opportunities you’ll be presented with.  In most cultures one unspoken but unfortunate reality is there’s a management versus staff mentality.  If you’re a part of the staff, then you have a larger number of people to meet, build bonds with and this can help you establish your reputation faster.  There’s nothing wrong with being in management, but for many reasons, it’s counterproductive to your long-term success.  Being a manager makes it harder to network with your internal company employees when you’re new to both the country and the company.   

Making Sure your CV / Resume and Cover Letter are Top Notch

This is always important, but with a foreign job search, you never want to waste a single opportunity to get noticed and interviewed for a position.  The mechanics of the CV/Resume and Cover Letter speak to your ability to communicate.  If you want to show that you’re not in over your head, and that you will be a consummate professional, then having the form and function of your documentation is vital.

You can demonstrate that you are not only qualified technically, but culturally by having your paperwork in the proper format for the region.  There’s one chance to make a first impression, so make sure you don’t miss out on making it the best impression possible.  To that end, especially if you’re seeking a foreign position, don’t leave your CV/Resume to the hands of a novice.  You should consider and I strongly suggest you employ the help of a professional resume writer from the region you’re trying to land the job.  They not only know how to write a resume professionally, but they know how to format it using the local best practices.  Every region does things a bit differently.  By submitting your paperwork in the local format, you’ll demonstrate your competency before you ever say a word to them in person.

Need More Help?

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