5 Steps to Launching an International Job Search

15 Apr 2013 7:54 AM | FIGT Blog Editor (Administrator)

There are many things to consider when planning for a global career transition, regardless of the country you are moving from and regardless of the country you are moving to. Here’s a 5-step pre-departure job search checklist.

1. Develop your action plan. 

You will need to begin developing an action plan. Develop your action plan before you depart, if possible, and keep it handy because you will refer to it regularly throughout your transition and during your time in the destination country. As well, you will need to ensure your action plan refers to future transitions to other countries or back to your home country. Your action plan should include your career goal(s), your approach to your job search, visa/work permit info, resources, strategies, contacts, business culture information, and other relevant information.

2. Get strategic about networking and identify target organizations.

You will find many resources available to you in your destination country to make great contacts, such as expatriate groups/networks, Chambers of Commerce, international women’s associations, and many more organized groups. Try to avoid relying on just one or two resources. Using a variety of networking resources will help to ensure balance in your approach to your job search.

Although it can be daunting trying to go through myriad online resources to find organizations in different countries, it is important to develop a list of 15-20 target organizations. There are many websites that have lists of organizations. The country-specific Chambers of Commerce can be found on the International Chambers of Commerce website. You may be able to find listings of companies and organizations by looking up the different country Chamber sites.

3. Find out the restrictions and permissions for working in the country. 

You will want detailed information about the work permit process, such as what documents are needed, how long each will take to process and whether your nationality may cause any delays, etc. You can contact the country’s embassy or consulate in the country where you currently reside. 

4. Learn the business etiquette and communication culture. 

You can learn the dos and don’ts for the destination country by keeping your eye on this blog. Members who have access to the password-protected Passport Career country portfolios should review the business culture sections for the destination country. There are also some great websites and books out there that cover this topic by country. Do not let this important knowledge/skill slip. You must know the key business culture to be effective with your networking and your job searchundefinedeven when connecting with the expat community!

5. Create a networking resume/CV. 

Create a resume/CV appropriate to the standards in your destination country to use for networking purposes and gather relevant papers that may be requested to be submitted with your CV/resume.  What documents might you need? Plan to take copies of the following: transcripts from your college, vocational or other educational institute (if you have numerous degrees, then you will need copies of each), awards and training activities, proof that you attended relevant conferences (usually only needed if you have a certificate from a training at a professional conference), and other related documentation.

Preparing for job seeking in another country requires a lot of work, but your preparation will reduce the frustration once you arrive at your new destination. Many people fail to prepare well when crossing borders with their careersundefinedeither because they don’t have the time, they don’t think about it, or they simply do not know what steps to take to prepare adequately. However, we strongly encourage you to spend some time on these 5 steps before you depart so you can get started with a solid step forward in your job search. 

Good luck with your global job search!

Contributed by Susan Musich, Executive Director & Founder of Passport Career, a comprehensive, online global job search support system.  She is currently serving on the Board of Directors of FIGT and blogs at PassportCareer.com

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