We could all use a change of scenery once in a while, and travel is a nice way to switch things up.
But some people crave something slightly more permanent. Working abroad can provide you with the opportunity to truly immerse yourself in a different locale.
Karoli Hindricks, CEO of international tech marketplace Jobbatical, said working abroad is great for people who “feel the need to travel, step out of their comfort zones, and go on adventures.”
But the process of securing a job abroad is quite a bit more complicated than simply finding work at home.
Here are some tips on how to approach traveling abroad to find work:
Do your research
What’s the biggest pitfall people tend to fall into when attempting to work abroad?
For Hindricks, the answer is clear: “lack of research.”
And research doesn’t equate with skimming through a travel guide for the country you’re planning to work in.
Hindricks recommended doing your homework on the country’s immigration, tax, and healthcare policies before making any commitments.
And remember, it’s easier to navigate the process in some countries than others.
“In Estonia, the application costs $190 and you can start working 24 hours after you’ve signed the work contract,” Hindricks told Business Insider.
In addition to Estonia, she said Malaysia, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Austria, Poland, and Singapore all make it easy for skilled applicants to snag work permits.
On the other hand, Hindricks added that it’s a bit of a slog to get through the immigration process in Greece, Australia, Sweden, and the United States.
Demonstrate the right kind of enthusiasm
- Ben Ramirez/Flickr
Enthusiasm is almost always a plus when it comes to the job search. But if you’re looking for a gig abroad, you’ve got to make sure you articulate that gusto in an appropriate way.
“When a person says during an interview that the only reason they want to join the team is that they’ve always wanted to live in, let’s say Barcelona, well, that’s a big turnoff for a hiring manager,” Hindricks said. “The location – like in sunny Barcelona – is a nice perk, but don’t forget that your team comes first.”
Remember, business is business all over the world. Don’t treat searching for a job in a different country like planning a fun vacation.
“Most people on our planet spend half of their waking hours building something that is important to them,” Hindricks said. “It doesn’t matter if they’re in Malaysia, Spain, or Finland. Everyone wants their newest teammates to be as excited about the mission and working as hard to get there as they are.”
She recommended channeling some of your excitement into your résumé, instead.
“Landing a job abroad is no different from landing a job at home,” Hindricks said.
Put social media to good use
- WOCinTech Chat/flickr
Consider leveraging social media to find opportunities abroad.
Scour LinkedIn to find connections who can give advice on international gigs – or perhaps even offer you one.
You can also punch in your location on Facebook’s job-finding feature to hone in on job openings in your desired destination.
Examine your own biases
- Paxson Woelber/Flickr
Before you throw yourself into an international job search, make sure to brush up on some the cultures you plan to immerse yourself in.
“We tend to forget that we all have cultural biases, and communication problems can arise because of them,” Hindricks said.
She recommended reading Erin Meyer’s “The Culture Map” in order to identify and examine your own cultural biases.
“Don’t move abroad if you’re looking to find things to be exactly like they were back home,” Hindricks said. “Only when you open your mind to the experience and grasp all the quirks that your new home has in store for you, will the journey boost your creativity and become positive.”