Recently, I was in Toronto. Toronto is known as the most diverse city in the world, with more than half of its population being foreign-born. What a treat for me to spend some time speaking with other career professionals who regularly work with high-skilled, job-seeking international professionals. We discussed many issues facing this population, but I want to share with you the top 3 areas that were discussed regarding what international professionals need to research in order to be effective on the job search. These 3 areas apply to you whether you’re an international student wanting to continue to work in your host country, the spouse of an international assignee, or an immigrant or expat in the country.
1. Work permits.
You need to know the laws governing your ability to work (and in some countries, your ability to volunteer). It can be confusing to find this information online, and it’s often recommended that you seek an international immigration law firm to assist you with the process. However, you can find some general information and links at the Permits Foundation– http://www.permitsfoundation.com/links.htm. This is an excellent site for spouses/partners of international employees, but also provides links for anybody seeking visa/work permit information.
2. Career information and options.
You’ll need to know what types of employers are in the city where you’ll be living. Will you be in a rural area of an emerging country where most nonprofit organizations operate? Or will you be in a bustling metropolis that is bursting with multinational companies? Some of this research can be done online, but you can get better information from others who have lived there or are currently living there, which takes us to…
It may be challenging to develop a network from scratch, but there are many ways to build an effective network within a month or two. You’ll need to research to find out what networks exist. You may find formal networks, such as Chambers of Commerce. Or, you may find online networks through Facebook or LinkedIn or on many of the expat websites. Or, you may find informal networks, such as a women’s group, or expat sports club. Making contacts is critical to an effective, international job search. Check out our guidance on developing your network on the blog post Get Globally Connected! http://www.passportcareer.com/blog/get-globally-connected.
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