Career Advice  Relocation Resources
Surprising Benefits of Networking for Foreign Job Seekers
Networking is an essential part of anyone’s job search, as statistics show 70% of jobs are found through networking. It is even more essential for someone who relocates to a new country and has visa restrictions. Beyond connecting to hiring managers and job leads, here are 4 surprising ways you can benefit from networking.
1. Show your dynamic side.
It is a lot more challenging for immigrants to get hired, not only due to obvious reasons such as visa barriers, but also for language and cultural barriers. Employers may be concerned about your lack of experience in the host country, as they make the assumptions that prior experience in a different country will not translate to the new country’s business customs. Networking allows you to build trust and credibility. It helps those you connect with to see you in multiple lights, instead of just how your experience translates on paper.
2. Overcome employment gaps.
While waiting for your work authorisation, you will have to hold off on finding work and this creates an employment gap – yet another challenge to getting hired. It is very important for you to use that waiting period to your advantage. Taking courses to keep up-to-date with current industry trends and volunteering at a local organisation are ways to pass the time, but networking is another great way to fill that gap. The hiring process can take a while in the best of situations. So, while you must wait to start working until you hold your authorisation, you may be able to network your way to the right people for when the time is right to interview.
3. Improve your language skills.
Nothing improves your language skills more than being around and talking to people who speak the native language. It can be very intimidating to network in a language you are still learning, but it is a key part of being successful in your job search. Give yourself permission to stumble over your words and to ask for help! While there might be a few blunders in the beginning, that is all part of the learning process. Overtime, your confidence and language skills will improve.
4. Get familiar with the local business culture.
It will be helpful for you to familiarise yourself with the business cultural norms and standards of your new country. Networking is a great way to expose yourself to these things so you can identify and overcome cultural barriers. Observe others as you network, paying attention to body language, tone, and customs. Identify common topics that others discuss during their conversations. Ask your new connections about the differences you have observed. All of these will help you understand how to interact with business professionals and what to expect in an office setting.
If you need help easing into networking, start small! Hang out in smaller groups, slowly getting to know people. Another idea is to join a local club, such as a Toastmasters chapter in your area. Over time, you will become more natural at conversing with locals while learning valuable information for your job search along the way.