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Things to Consider Before Job Hunting Abroad

Things to Consider Before Job Hunting Abroad

12_WorkAbroad02Working overseas tends to be an attractive prospect for many jobseekers (especially if that thought coincides with a rainy day in England). You might have worked at overseas locations as part of your UK-based job and got a taste for working internationally, acting as the catalyst of your search for a full-time position. Finding a job abroad is similar to finding a job domestically; it can be tough but with determination and the right research, you can make your dream of working abroad come true.
It’s clear the benefits of international work experience can be huge in furthering your career. However, it’s important you ask yourself the right questions when attempting to find and land your dream job.

Work-Life Balance

It’s worth considering not just the effect moving abroad will have on your job, but on your personal life too.

For instance, learning the region’s cultural nuances, employment laws, and language requirements is crucial. For example, are you aware of the visa requirements when visiting the United States? Are you prepared to work long hours if you’re moving to Germany? Do you know if you move to the Middle East, Sunday through Thursday is a usual working week? Have a think about potential destinations and their customs.

Visa Issues

It helps to research your destination in mind before you start applying for vacant positions abroad. After all, landing a job abroad is not quite as simple as sending your CV, accepting the job, hopping on a plane, and heading to the office.

Visas and work permits are crucial as some firms will not even consider your application if you don’t already have a visa for their country. This is not a problem if you’re an EU national looking to work within the Union, but what about working in Asia, South America, or Africa?

The Application

Why would a firm hire a candidate from half way around the world instead of a domestic worker?
This is a question you need to be asking yourself as you tailor your CV and write your personal statement. Forbes suggests overseas jobseekers should ensure the skills they possess in their chosen market stand out from the crowd and, furthermore, jobseekers should make themselves look preferable to a recruiter – this could be in language skills, analytical ability, or a deep knowledge of the industry.

The Interview

Forbes also advises researching interview customs in your chosen destination. For instance, Japan’s interview process may involve a dinner with potential colleagues in order to know you personally. In the UK, the interview process tends to be more based on detailing work experience and workplace role-playing activities.

Workplace accomplishments can also be seen differently. Let’s look at America and Brazil: the US may interpret independent accomplishments as a superb barometer of your relevance for a vacant position whereas in Brazil – where teamwork is especially valued – it could position you as self-centred in the eyes of an employer.


Finally, jobseekers need to ask themselves whether they are personally prepared to make the move to a new country. For instance, will you be able to take the 40 degree heat in Dubai or withstand the frequent wind and rain of Chicago? Will the cold winters of Moscow force you to move back home? Do you know if your chosen destination has a hurricane season? Climate is a big question mark that hovers over overseas jobseekers so psychologically prepare yourself for a culture shock.

This post was written by Tom Chapman, who works on behalf of Ranstad Mena – recruitment specialists for the Middle East and North Africa. For more information about working abroad, please click here to visit their website.