Expat Tips: Getting a Job in a New Country

Job Post.jpgAnytime you move a great distance, whether it’s to the next timezone or the next continent, one of the biggest considerations is your career. In the case of one large group of expats, your career itself was the reason for your move, and therefore isn’t something you need to worry about after your move. This post is not for you.

For a second large group of expats, your move was unrelated to your career. Maybe you wanted a new adventure, or maybe you moved because of a relationship. If you fall within this second group, you’ve been saddled with the task of finding a job in your new country. I’ll give it to you straight, this can be rough, especially if you don’t speak the language of your new country fluently. But don’t give up. It can totally be done.

First, research. There’s a good chance that the job market, hiring process, and maybe even the rules and regulations of your profession will be different in your new country. These are all important things to figure out before you begin your search. For instance, skilled professions like doctors and lawyers may have to pass licensing tests in order to practice in a new country, but what tests you have to take may depend on how long you practiced in your home country. You may find that your profession’s market is over saturated in your new country which may require you to rethink the career path you’re on.

Let go of what you know. You may also have to leave behind your expectations from your home country. For example. Israeli salaries, especially in entry positions, are lower than those in the US. It’s just a fact, and, though it may be a hard pill to swallow, swallow it you must. Try to remember that there are other perks (like a long paid maternity leave) that you don’t get at home.

Talk to people. Talk to your natives or other immigrants about the hiring process, since it might be different than what you’re used to. In many countries, like Israel, finding your first job has a lot to do with who you know. Resumes are sent from friend to friend to family member, and eventually end up in the hands of someone who can help. Here, it’s ok to ask a acquaintance to put in a good word with his uncle the CEO at your dream company. In fact, that might just be how you land your job.

Use social media. Facebook is full of groups specifically made to link up employers and job seekers. In Israel, there’s groups just for English speakers and for specific professions and industries. Also, groups like Secret Tel Aviv have specific job pages, and employers know that’s the easiest way for them to find native English speakers. If you’re looking for a job in Israel, I recommend trying JangloIsraemploy, and, especially, Secret Tel Aviv Jobs.

Check the dress code. Let’s say you finally get the call to come in for an interview. Obviously, you’ll want to look well dressed, but try to do a little research and find out the office atmosphere. In Israel, it’s unheard of to wear a suit and tie to work, even to law firms. While it doesn’t hurt to be a little overdressed for your interview, you don’t want to be in a suit when your interviewers are in jeans.

Be patient, and be flexible. There’s a good chance that finding a job in your new country will take a little longer and be a little more difficult than it would be at home. You may end up working in a different field than you expected. For instance, I have a graduate degree, but I took a job here in the field of my undergraduate degree. Try not to get too frustrated, or beat yourself up if you aren’t getting responses. Be creative. Check out sites like FlexJobs, which allows you to search specifically for jobs where you can telecommute. Just know that you will eventually find a job that suits you.

For when you do find that dream job, be sure to check out my Pinterest for some professional and fashionable office wear.

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