(A Performante intern shares first-hand experience)
It is becoming more and more common for students to seek the opportunities for working abroad in an international environment. There could be numerous reasons for an individual to apply for a job overseas. Yet, the process of landing a job and the work environment could be more challenging compared to your own country. This article will help you to identify some of the challenges faced while looking for a job in a foreign country and it will also provide you with some tips to overcome those challenges.
When I decided to move to Poland and work while studying, I took the old-fashioned approach. I googled every possible article which might help me to make a right decision and find a dream job. Most of the articles I read online said the same thing, which was to use conventional ways to connect with new people/employers. By conventional ways I mean online applications or connecting with people on social media like LinkedIn. Soon after coming to Poland, I realised that there are more than just conventional ways. So, here are some tips on how to find a job you are looking for.
This might be more helpful for those who are studying abroad and also looking for an internship or a full-time employment. Why you should consider having consultation from the career office at your university? The university counsellor might have a better understanding of a job market in the country or the city you are studying in. Remember that each country and city has a different setting and usually counsellors are aware of it. They might also point out the small mistakes most of the students make.
At the job fairs you can meet the employers face to face. If you are already in the country and searching for a job, this is a very good opportunity to get familiar with an employer. In most cases you can ask for an email or personal reference which will be very helpful during an interview in the future. From my experience, I can tell that references are the best way to get to the interview stage. Another thing to consider when you visit a job fair is to plan which company’s booths you want to visit. You should be prepared with the questions you want to ask an employer. Print out a copy of your resume and give it to an employer. Make sure to smile and leave a good impression and always ask for a card or email because it will be your point of reference.
This might sound a little bit odd but from my experience, you should discuss your decision to move to another county with everyone you know. There is always a chance that a person you know might have connections. If you find a mutual connection, just take them for a coffee and find out all the nitty-gritty. When I was thinking about moving to Poland, I made sure everyone knows about my decision. I already had one friend in Poland who connected me acquainted with her friends and after meeting about 20 people, only a few gave me some essential insights about the country. You will be surprised by what they have to tell you! That will also help you to find a reference in the company you would like to work for.
It is true that if you know English, you can communicate with almost everyone. However, if you are interested in moving to another country, I would suggest starting to learn a local language. This will not only help you to find your dream job but it will also help you to connect with the people who have a similar interest to yours. If you can get access to a language class before arriving to your chosen destination, it will help you to connect with some people whom family live in that country, which might give you some useful information. If you want to learn the language after going abroad, you should ask your employer. In many cases, companies provide free/paid language classes. In my cases, Performante offers me an opportunity to learn not only Polish but also many different languages free of charge, and a great thing is that I do not even have to go to another place. I can learn it at the office!!!
There is one more important thing you should consider before applying to a company abroad: a work permit!
Unless you are moving to a country where you don’t need work permit/visa, you should look into visa processes and the time it takes to get a visa. If you are applying to big firms/companies, there are chances that they will be ready to take care of the process for you. However, if you are applying to smaller local companies, you will have to go through the process by yourself. To fill in an application by yourself, I would recommend talking to a consultant or visiting the consulate website. Nevertheless, it is possible that a local firm would help you with your visa process. I was lucky because at Performante they helped me during each step. I remember the situation, when one of my colleagues was moving to Poland from Brazil, everyone was helping him to find the suitable accommodation.
So, what is it like to work abroad in a diverse environment? Speaking from my experience of working abroad, it is invaluable in terms of self-reliance, and the exposure to different cultures. You will experience few cultural shocks, but that is what makes it interesting. Working in a diversified and international environment surely gave me a new perspective, but it also gave me a feeling of being a part of a small international community. Like during weekly team breakfast on Fridays where almost everyone in the company sits together and discusses various topics. I felt that I will fit at our first integration party already.
Working at Performante for me is working with like-minded people; where everyone helps and guides each other in every step. International environment teaches you how to be flexible, where we exchange the knowledge and culture with each other to reach the highest level of work-efficiency. Looking for a job abroad might seem difficult, but after few more google searches, a language class and some networking, you will get a chance to work in your dream company.
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