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How to get a Job Abroad | New Recommended Resource and Tips!

If you are looking to get a job abroad, this resource is for you! I've been listening to Emily Durham's Podcast The Straight Shooter Recruiter for career advice for years, so when she posted her most recent episode I was very excited to give it a listen.

This week's episode was "How can I get a job internationally?... Help!!" She aims it at international students and those looking to relocate abroad for work.


As far as the advice on finding and applying for jobs and learning about a new job landscape and culture, she is *chefs kiss* perfect. For example:

  • Research the job markets where you would like to move, like Emily said, I would love to live in Italy, but the job market in Italy isn't it.

  • There are different CV cultures around the world. (I wrote about my CV tips for applying to university in Europe already but a new post about CV tips for applying for jobs will be coming soon too!)

However, there are some dimensions to moving abroad for work which she doesn't hit on or doesn't cover as in depth. Below are a few points that are worth considering when looking for jobs abroad that Emily didn't cover:


The language barrier

This is typically the most difficult part of getting a job abroad. If you don't speak the local language it's just reality that some jobs won't work for you. It can take years to master a language and we don't all have that time before moving (plus it's honestly just easier to learn once you're already in the environment). So here's what I recommend doing;

  1. Really push your native language: Don't waste your time trying to apply for jobs that don't require English and rather really put your energy into the jobs that explicitly specify that you NEED English (or whatever your native language is). Then, really make it obvious that you are a native speaker of that language. Especially in Brussels and companies that work in the EU bubble, English can often be the working language in a lot of offices. Most offices in Brussels need at least one native English speaker to proof publications in English so don't try to hide that you are not a native speaker of the local language and rather really lean into your native language.

  2. Finding English speaking offices: Your best bet for this is bigger companies which work internationally or companies which work in the EU Bubble. (The EU Bubble is the group of people and organisations which work in or with EU institutions like the European Commission or Parliament).

    1. Bonus tip: look for companies which are headquartered elsewhere and have an office in the location you are looking at, often since they are communicating between locations the working language will be English.

Visas

This is absolutely the biggest challenge of moving abroad. If you don't have citizenship and want to stay abroad long term, you're going to have to find a way that you can legally stay and work in your country of choice. Here's a few considerations:


Entry level salaries don't always meet the minimum salary for a work visa. There are a few ways I know around this:

  1. Wait 2-3 years until you are not considered entry level anymore and move then.

  2. Explore other working visa options such as a freelance permit or starting a company. This is what I have and although there is one company that I dedicate most of my time to, I also have several other streams of income which allows me to fit the requirements for a freelance visa.

  3. This is a niche solution but, if you want to live in Prague or elsewhere in the Czech Republic, having a Czech degree grants you full access to the job market. So, if you go back to school and get masters degree in the Czech Republic (which can take only one year in Europe) you will have full access to the job market. What does this mean? With access to the market you do not need to meet all the same requirements for a visa as other immigrants, such as being sponsored by a company, which makes hiring you more affordable and jobs more apt to hire you.

Getting a remote job and moving wherever your heart desires isn't always realistic. Here's why:

  • Mainly, again, is the visa issue. If this is something you hope to do, look into digital nomad visas. Portugal is known for being a hot spot for this and Spain also recently introduced this. You may also be able to do this with the freelancers visa I mentioned above.

  • If you have your visa sorted out the likely your taxes are also somewhat sorted out but you should be really careful to make sure you are fulfilling all your tax obligations wherever you live as well.

  • Keep in mind that doing this can also make it difficult to find a community abroad, you'll have to push yourself a bit more to make friends, I also wrote this post on how to make friends abroad.

You can't always handle relocation entirely on your own without some help from your employer.

  • If you are getting a work visa through this job then they likely will at least have paperwork to figure out. Here in Belgium they actually have to file the application for your visa on your behalf. So if you are going to inform the company that you are applying to that you are going to manage your relocation yourself, make sure that this is actually feasible and that they aren't legally required to be heavily involved in the process.


Other than these notes, I think this podcast gives great advice on how to get a job abroad and is an excellent resource.



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