7 Challenges to working abroad

Regardless of your country of residence and regardless of the expatriation country, looking for work experience abroad consists of similar challenges. Unless you are assigned abroad by your employer or if you have been recruited remotely, seeking employment abroad is not easy. Those who go abroad to work should prepare for and address the following seven challenges:

1. Obtaining a visa or a work permit

The key element of work experience abroad is to have the legal right to work in the destination country. This prerequisite is acquired by means specific to each country. The procedures can be long and require the applicant’s patience and perseverance. Various types of documents are frequently required for a visa: police clearance certificate, medical certificate, copies of diplomas, criminal record etc.

For young people 18 to 30 years, permits which facilitate working holidays greatly reduce the time required for the precious document to work in a country other than their own. The Working Holiday Permit is a temporary immigration visa which is for those who come from a country which has signed WHP agreements with other nations.

2. Adapt your resume

Each country is characterized by its professional culture and the approach to individual skills and talents. A resume is not written in the same way from one country to another. All candidates will have to discover these codes and customs in order to prepare their resume properly. It must be written in the local language to demonstrate their employability. Since the traveler or expatriate will perhaps be having their first international experience, they will need to bring strong references. Get references from current and past employers prepared before leaving for work abroad. The documents attesting to school and university education, ideally with a translation in the local language are also important in the job search process.

3. Adjusting your salary expectations

The professional experience gained in your country of origin will not always be recognized at its true value. It is often recommended to favor obtaining a first experience locally rather than seeking the ideal position in salary and job description. When you start a new career path in your expatriation country, do not always keep your previous salary as a reference point. Indeed, the cost of living from one country to another strongly influences the level of remuneration. In addition, some professions may be undervalued relative to its country of origin. The reverse is also true. Salary claims are fixed by inquiring about the local market reality and seeking comparisons.

4. Recognition of qualifications

The education system can be very different in the destination country. Your level of education does not always correspond to a tangible reality in another labor market. Some countries offer services to help establish the local equivalence of diplomas. This does not always guarantee that employers will be receptive to it. For technical professions, it may be necessary to carry out an upgrade in a local college. The issue of recognition of qualifications must be addressed early in the expatriation process to be free from setbacks once there.

5. Know how to decrypt a job offer

Professional jargon is specific to an industry but also a country. Thus, the same profession will be addressed in another country from a different perspective with certain terms and concepts unfamiliar to home. It is recommended to read many job descriptions to incorporate local specificities. Moreover, a similar term can describe even a very different reality. When the expatriate is ready, they can meet people and ask them about the reality of their daily tasks. They should choose their words wisely to define the position sought. As a result, they can detect the employment opportunities that are not really suitable and make the job easier to match the idea that they have.

6. Networking and relying on word -to-mouth

Many job opportunities are not available through traditional channels (job advertisements). In some countries, job positions are filled by an informal approach, on the recommendation or cooptation. Getting closer to expatriates and participating in their community social events are an excellent way to build a network of contacts and discuss employment opportunities. Members of these communities have gone through the same difficulties as any newcomer has. They will be able to warn of the pitfalls and recommend ways to optimize the chances of landing your first job locally. Establishing a list of interesting companies for self and planning a spontaneous application with each one of them is also to be explored.

7. Reassure the future employer

After the first challenges have been faced, the first interviews are conducted. Here, the same criteria of skills, attitudes and behaviors that during a job search in your home country come into play. Abroad, with a greater or lesser mastery of the local language, the expatriate worker or a WHP traveler will deploy his talent to reassure his future employer. The latter will feel that the candidate understands the local reality and will be part of a team that does not know its culture. Rapid adaptation is the hallmark of a successful experience working abroad.