How to find a job in another country

Photo by Ashim D’Silva on Unsplash

​Working abroad, expanding your skills and knowledge of new cultures is a very exciting prospect for many, but it can be daunting to secure a new role in a new country without many connections there. The entire process of moving abroad isn’t necessarily more or less difficult than finding something local, it just requires more effort in terms of research and action (especially if you need to obtain a visa!).

This article has been written for those who are curious about making such a step and exploring opportunities in another county. Offering tips based on the hundreds of people we have supported over the years, giving you the chance to cut through the noise and prepare in the right way.

Step 1 — Decide what country works for you

Firstly, you need to decide where exactly is right for you. Each country and city will offer something different in terms of culture, quality of life, salaries, and process. This is a big research piece, do not simply rely on the fact your friends say they like it, instead go deeper into each location to determine which is best for your personal circumstance.

We would advise where possible, making a short trip to your selected locations to confirm your research before actively applying, this is to save you time at the end with offers that might not be a match.

Step 2 — Decide upon the role you would like to take

With a location, or several in mind, the next step is to decide on the type of role you would like to obtain. We often see those moving to Europe seek a role slightly lower than their current (for example, if you are an Engineering Manager, you might try to find a Tech Lead position) to help with awareness of standards for that location.

Of course, this is entirely your choice, but firmly being aware of what position you would be happy with before applying will once again save you time being in processes that are not right from the off.

Step 3 — Connect with local recruiters

By now you should have a basic awareness of the locations of interest, the next thing to do is connect with a few trusted local recruiters to once again confirm the research you have taken and to learn more about hiring processes and salaries in more detail.

The best recruiters will be a treasure trove of information, ask as many questions as you need in order to decide if that path is right for you.

Remember, this step is still about gathering information, do not feel like you need to apply to any role unless you feel ready.

Step 4 — Reach out to your network

After you speak with a recruiter or two, consider reaching out to those already in your network that are living or have lived in the locations you’re interested in. You can put this step before speaking with a recruiter but be careful, friends tend to exaggerate salaries and it might mean you inflate yours well above the market rate… a recruiter will be there to tell you honestly from the beginning.

Speaking with those in your network will give you a better sense of the quality of life you can expect what the move was really like and any tips they might have about running a successful process. If you ask, they might also be able to point you in the direction of an opening in their company.

Step 5 — Connect with local peers

If you are not aware of anyone in your network who you could turn to for this information don’t be afraid to step outside your network and connect with local peers. Not only will this again cover all the points in step 4, but it will help you expand your network in your desired locations, leading to further conversations and potential opportunities opening up.

We would advise approaching local peers through social platforms like LinkedIn and being honest with your intent to speak with them, if they are open to have a chat ensure you have questions ready as to not waste their time.

Step 6 — Find relevant job boards

Each major location will have the ‘go to’ job boards, but don’t stop there. Consider spending more time here really identifying where the key job boards people find work for each location… if you are not sure maybe ask your new recruiter and local friends for some specific advice.

Step 7 — Apply for visas or work permits (if required)

If required for interviews for pre-offer acceptance apply for visas or work permits to ensure the process does not stall. It is also a good exercise to learn what will be required further down the line in terms of visas if you were successful in finding a new job (for you and your family) as each location will have its own set of rules.

Once again, if you’re not sure, utilise the connections you have gained already in this process or turn to a search engine to explore further.

Step 9 — Start applying

With your newfound knowledge of each location and awareness of the best job boards and recruiters, it is now time to start applying. You can start applying well before doing all of this, however, we find that the more prepared you are and informed your thinking, the easier it is to complete processes and decide on which opportunity is truly right for you.

There will always be unknown unknowns when applying for opportunities abroad, the research and connections will take you only so far, but they should give you a much clearer sense of what to expect before you even start speaking with companies. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, securing a role abroad is not too much different, but it does require a lot more effort on your part to research and determine what location is best for your situation.

If you found this article useful we would appreciate it if you could share it with your network, we know a lot of people consider relocation but sometimes it is just having an awareness of an article like this to prompt the first steps.

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Eden Whitcomb

Eden Whitcomb

Bringing simplicity to the chaos of recruitment, one educational post at a time.