Career Advice  Relocation Resources
Still haven’t found a new job?
If you relocated to a new country and aren’t having any luck landing a job, you needn’t lose hope! It takes time to find a new job, and a proactive and positive mindset will ensure your success.
Networking remains one of the most important tools for a successful job search in any country. Split your time between focusing on the job search and getting involved in the local community. Volunteer, take a class or join an interest group. This will help you build connections, confidence and cultural awareness – which are all great for your job search. Other tips include always following up on every application, call or email – especially when working with a recruiter – and customise your resume/CV for every job opportunity.
In addition to these general tips, here is country- or region-specific advice to overcome job search obstacles:
In the UK, IMPACT Group Coach Clare Sommers says that targeted networking is crucial. “Take time to connect with people from your industry or sector via your networks and 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree connections on LinkedIn before commencing your job search. Prepare questions to ask them about how your industry works in the UK, what key challenges the industry faces and what skills and experience are needed.”
It is very important to be as clear as possible about the job you are looking for to build a detailed job search strategy. Because some professions are not open to foreigners in Thailand, first check if you are allowed to work in your industry there (possible issues may be diplomas, legislation, work visa, etc.). “Once you have identified the industry you can work in, target groups and contacts within that industry,” says Marie Luccini, IMPACT Group Coach in Thailand, “apply to job openings on job platforms, selecting the ones open to foreigners or non-Thai speakers.”
While learning the local languages will increase your value to potential employers in Hong Kong, language acquisition may be the biggest challenge you face. The language is difficult to learn and you need to choose between two: Mandarin or Cantonese. Determine what goal you are trying to reach with learning the language. This will help you decide which language to learn and how in depth you need to go.
Fortunately, communicative English is spoken in many places in Hong Kong, and it is usually on signs and menus along with Cantonese. “Networking is also important in this country,” says Iris Kloth, IMPACT Group Coach in Hong Kong. “But make sure you pick the right networking opportunity for the right reasons. Set goals, create conversation starters and ask targeted questions to learn about the job culture.”
The most unique aspect of Switzerland is the fact that it is truly a multilingual country. IMPACT Group Coach Diana Stager shares, “Switzerland has a combination of German- (65%), French- (20%) and Italian- (6%) speaking populations. The predominant cultural influence is Germanic. The country is known for its formality and its sense of order. Ideally, you should conduct business in the local language and have some degree of professional High German. Be aware of these dimensions also during your job search.”
In bigger cities, you can easily get around in English. Even though finding a job is possible without knowledge of the Dutch language, it will enhance your chances if you do! It is best to start networking as soon as possible by joining groups and clubs, as well as contacting your connections on LinkedIn. Keep looking for networking opportunities no matter how long it takes to find a job.
It is acceptable in the Netherlands to ask relevant contacts for network meetings to find out more about your industry and the job market. An essential cultural characteristic for you to be aware of: time is important for the Dutch. “They are punctual, arrive on time and stick to their appointments,” says IMPACT Group Coach Caroline van der Bogaard. “They have structured agendas, so missing an appointment or being late is not advised.”
Silvia Marteles, an IMPACT Group Career Coach in Spain, points out that in the past five years, there has been a change in mentality towards the promotion of employment, innovation and entrepreneurship. “Nowadays, many cities provide and promote services to the citizens for free,” Silvia says, “such as regular conferences on market opportunities, courses to strengthen personal and/or technical competences, workshops on job search strategies, networking sessions and business lunches.”
Most adults in Spain do not speak English or other foreign languages well, which makes speaking Spanish a necessity in order to find a job. Fortunately, this is slowly changing, as many public schools are increasingly teaching English to children beginning at the age of four. In big cities like Madrid, Barcelona or Valencia, it is possible to find multinational companies that hire native English speakers, but it is preferred that you also know Spanish, as it is usually the vehicular language inside the companies.
In this country, your first step should be conducting comprehensive research about target companies before you start networking. You need to know the latest news concerning the businesses you are targeting. “There is an economic and political crisis in Brazil at the moment,” says IMPACT Group Coach Margot Nick. She recommends exploring industries that are not severely impacted by this. “Social media can be used as a tool for connections. Ask your first connections to introduce you to new contacts to expand your network. In addition, getting a list of reputable headhunters is a reliable way to open doors to job opportunities.”