First Steps to Finding an Overseas Job

Enough with America and all its challenges. Why not fly the coop and restart your life somewhere else? It’s probably an unrealistic fantasy for most of us, but if the idea of looking for a job overseas has ever crossed your mind, heed the advice of Forbes contributor Diane Morgan, director of career services at London Business School, as she outlines five steps to finding a job abroad.

1. Research thoroughly. "Take the time to explore the economic, political and cultural structure and stability of each place you want to consider moving to, as well as the effect your job abroad will have on your work-life balance and your career."

2. Use your networks. "To get the most accurate picture of your potential fit, speak to other expatriates currently at jobs similar to the one you want. Use social networks to find introductions to professionals working in the area. Don’t underestimate the power of sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook."

3. Make sure your job application stands out. "Look at the demand for the skills you possess in the particular market and the best way to make yourself look preferable to a potential recruiter. There is a remarkable consistency in the basic set of skills recruiters seek."

4. Prepare fully for your interview. "Be sure to investigate what is acceptable in the culture. As an American, you may be used to flaunting your independent accomplishments; in Brazil, where teamwork and hierarchy are especially valued, that could make you appear self-centered or even disrespectful."

5. Consider the practicalities. "Ensure that you are personally and psychologically ready for the move. Even if you’re going to a country where they speak the same language, you’ll encounter differences in everyday life that require flexibility, patience and a sense of humor. Don’t rush to judgment or make invidious comparisons about the new culture. Wherever you end up, relax and enjoy the different way of life."

Don Willmott

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