Working Abroad

Working Abroad Video view time 7:45When searching for international employment you can use many of the same job search strategies you would employ searching for positions stateside, although, there are issues that are unique to searching for employment abroad.  In our new and developing global economy, millions of relationships are being developed by people from countries all across the world.  A workforce is developing that will lead and manage these relationships.  In order to determine if you have the skills and characteristics necessary to be successful in this environment you will need to complete an extensive review of your motivations, skills and how you might fit into the global workforce.

What does it mean to have an International Career? 

An international job can mean several different things.  For instance, working in a country abroad, working for an international company in the United States or working in a job that requires global travel all could be considered international careers.  As you embark on your career, you will need to entertain all possibilities as your goal may not be realized quickly.  You will need to develop your portfolio of experiences that will allow you to market the value you bring to a potential employer.

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You must consider your answer to this question very carefully because you will be asked this question many times.  To find your answer you will need to ask yourself many questions, including the following.
  • What is my purpose for wanting to go abroad? (travel, new experience, build a career) 
  • What do I rate as most important? (job, location, pay) 

Your answer should include why you are drawn to an international career and not that you are hoping to leave parts of your current life behind.  Concentrate on communicating the positives you have to offer and what you hope to achieve in your career.

Do you have technical skills in engineering or computer science?  Do you have experience working in cross-cultural environments?  Can you speak multiple languages?   You must answer questions like these in a way that will help you communicate to prospective employers the value you would bring to their company.  Hiring an employee from a foreign country is a considerable risk for any organization.  As the candidate, you must mitigate the risk for the employer as much as possible by demonstrating your exceptional value to the organization and your commitment to make the relationship work.  You must exhibit an adventurous spirit, an ability and interest in learning new things, demonstrate an enormous amount of initiative and desire to be successful.  In addition, to be successful an abundance of flexibility, adaptability and tenacity will be required.
The University Career Center provides several resources for students interested in pursuing careers abroad.  Make sure to check out Going Global, a site that provides specific job search information for more than 20 countries as well as job listings for opportunities around the world and the databases from UniWorld that will assist you in researching international companies.  A listing of external websites on the International Job Listings page provides links to additional resources and listings for those interested in working abroad.  Also, the Career Coaches at the UCC are available to meet with you to discuss your individual situation and help you develop a targeted job search plan.


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