If you’re looking for opportunities to make a difference in a new part of the world, searching for a job is just one part of the process. You also have to spend time researching and understanding the country and community you seek to join. But what questions should you ask? How do you even get started?
Over on the BBC, Elizabeth Garone outlines the ways that job seekers can make the most of an international job search. Here’s one piece of advice that stood out to us:
Do as the locals do
First, know the nuance of work locally before you apply for a job, and then focus in on it.
“Find out not only the legal requirements of the destination country but the local employment culture,” wrote Barbara West, a partner at Culture Works, a Melbourne-based intercultural consulting firm.
For example, in the US, international experience is highly valued. If applying there, “by all means play it up,” wrote West. But, on the flipside, in some countries, such as Australia, non-local experience can be viewed as suspect. “Try to get somebody local to put in a good word for you,” she wrote.
This is a powerful insight to me; I never would have thought of asking questions around how people view work and work experience in general, and how those views might affect my career growth in a new country.