Navigating the International Career Path: What You Need to Know and How to Prepare

Moving to a new country can be equally exciting and overwhelming. As a professional seeking to find a job in a career field or willing to consider a career change, the changes that come with moving your entire life and comfort can be very challenging.

 

There are a few things to consider before you pack up your bags. Here are some of the tips to help you find a job in a new Country:

 

  1. Self-Assessment: It is important to carry out a self-assessment before making any life-changing decision. Moving to a new country is one decision that must be well planned out. You need to know your capacity, identify your career goals, and map out a detailed plan on how you intend to achieve your goals.

The first step in carrying out a self-assessment is by identifying where you are; this helps you know your capacity and identify your strengths and areas of improvement. Map out your short-, Mid- and Long-term goals; the most crucial element of planning is having your plan in stages.

 

Most people move into a new Country and rush to sign up for a new course without thinking about the career outcomes and how they fit into their career goals. Of course, it is different if you have already assessed yourself and realized you will better function in a different career field and decide to go for a career change. Ultimately, you know yourself best. Also, several online tools can help you with the self-assessment and guide you in mapping out your career goals.

“Ask yourself if what you are doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow” Paulo Coelho  

 

  1. Do your research: It is Important to gather all relevant information about your career choice in the new country. One of the ways to do this would be to carry out online research. Check career sites and Job postings online to understand more about your choice of career. Sometimes, what you think a job entail might be different especially in the country you are moving to. The requirements for these jobs can also be different.
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Highlight your transferable skills and identify your skill gaps. This is applicable if you want to pursue the same career or planning to make career changes. Map out a plan on how you intend to close those gaps in skills.

 

One of the fastest ways to close these gaps would be to take some short courses or volunteer in roles that will help you acquire some of these skills. One big catalyst to my career development has been from taking responsibilities outside of my main job description, identifying a gap, and volunteering to take the challenge even with no prior experience. As much as it gives me the joy to see that I could add value to the organization I worked for, I know the most value I added was to myself.

 

Find out all you need to know about your career path and take immediate action in bridging the gaps. You want to be prepared for your next phase in life and it is your responsibility to ensure you are equipped and qualified for that desired career success.

“The choices we make are ultimately our responsibility” Eleanor Roosevelt

 

  1. Prepare your Resume: Putting together a resume is not exactly a fun thing to do especially when you must constantly review and capture the details of your experiences, skills, education, and knowledge in 2-3 pages. While you research the jobs of interest, you should also understand the resume template or structure of the country you are moving to.

 

It could also be helpful to have your resume reviewed by professionals, career counsellors, or people with adequate knowledge or experience. There are online platforms where you can have your resume reviewed and some of these are free. Like in most developed countries, you will need to tailor-make your resume to each job role you apply for. This phase comes with a lot of dedication and commitment. Another interesting tool to use would be an online job scan which helps you review your resume against the job description of the role you are applying for.

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Developing a good resume is continuous improvement until you get your desired job.

“We all have dreams, but to make those dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort” Jesse Owens

 

  1. Work on your Social media profiles and start networking: In recent times, social media platforms have been a major tool in sourcing talents by most recruiters. You want to make sure you have a good representation of yourself in your social space such that recruiters can see your skills and competencies as well as your job interests. One of the most used platforms by recruiters is LinkedIn.

 

In a survey conducted by LinkedIn between 2015 and 2016, it was revealed that “85% of all jobs are filled by Networking “Lou Adler. It is important to know the power of networking with the right people within your career field or with Organizations you want to work for.

Let your LinkedIn page market your skills. This also makes networking quite easy. The emphasis on Networking is for you to build a relationship in the industry or field of interest. It is also advised to start within your close connections. These are the people that already know you and can speak for you and connect you to their other connections.

 

Another way to expand your network is by attending job fairs. You stand a better chance at meeting people who will be willing to connect with you online at Job fairs. It is also important to prepare an elevator pitch about yourself and always request to connect with people you meet on LinkedIn, ensure to send a connection request within 24hrs after you meet them so they could still remember you. You could also request a virtual coffee chat with these connections.

 

Be strategic and intentional about expanding your Network with people that over a period will be willing to refer you to another connection or for a job. Finally, use your resources, Your old schoolmate, Alumni network, friends of your friends. Your next job could just be two connections away.

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“First, you must be visible in the community you have, to get out there and connect with people. It’s not called net-sitting or net-eating, it is called networking, you have to work at it” Dr. Ivan Misner, BNI

 

  1. Never give up, be ready: Finding a job is very exhausting and can almost make you want to give up. Even after doing what all the experts have advised, you need to be prepared to keep trying and never give up.

Be prepared for your interviews from the day you submit your application. Practice like you already got an interview scheduled as it might come with short notice. Consult with professionals to help you prepare for interviews using the job description of the role you applied for. Take notes of all the feedbacks and try to relax through your interview.

Interviews could be very intimidating but try to relax. One of the biggest learnings I got from a mentor was to talk calmly and as slowly as possible to articulate my points.

Ultimately, preparation is key. Professionally answer your questions and ensure to use the right approach in answering your questions. For Example, when you are asked questions about “how you have displayed teamwork in your previous or current job” This is a behavioral question, ensure to use the STAR method to answer these types of questions.

The STAR method describes the Situation by setting a scene of the event leading to the problem you were confronted with, which is the Task, and the Actions you took to intervene and resolve the problem followed by describing the results of your actions.

“The road to success comes through hard work, determination, and sacrifice” Dolzinski

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