Mistake 5 – Don’t just react! Be three times more proactive when you are looking for a job abroad.

June 22, 2018

Mistake 5 – Don’t just react! Be three times more proactive when you are looking for a job abroad.

It has been great to work together with you! Thank you for being with me throughout this journey! Previously we worked on the major four mistakes which you should avoid to be successful in your dream of building up a global career by working abroad or remotely. Today, we are finalizing our exercise with the last mistake: DON’T JUST REACT! BE THREE TIMES MORE PROACTIVE WHEN YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A JOB ABROAD.

Before we end, let’s review all the mistakes previously studied:

Mistake 1: Don’t use the same strategy you use in your home country to get a job abroad! – Do your homework before and identify the best job hunting strategies within the country you are interested in.https://www.ubeyon.com/blogs/professionals-students/five-mistakes-you-can-avoid-while-looking-for-a-job-abroad-and-building-up-a-global-career 

Mistake 2: Don’t just translate your resume into a second language! – Educate yourself about the key information you are expected to have in a resume for a specific country. As well as educating yourself about the required: number of pages, format, and type of resume such as chronological, functional orders. https://www.ubeyon.com/blogs/professionals-students/mistake-2-don-t-just-translate-your-resume-into-a-second-language 

Mistake 3: Make sure your English is fluent enough for the work environment! – If you are looking for a job in a country which speaks a different language than yours, companies will expect you to master it while speaking with coworkers and mainly with clients. You need to learn a new group of vocabulary specific to your field. You will have to think fast, solve complex problems and argue your point of view. You will have to have powerful articulation and argumentation; your day by day vocabulary and communication skills will not be enough. https://www.ubeyon.com/blogs/professionals-students/mistake-3-make-sure-your-english-is-fluent-enough-for-the-work-environment 

Mistake 4: Not preparing yourself enough for every stage of the selection process abroad! – This is the worst mistake! Let your ego come between you and your global career dream. You cannot think you don’t need preparation and help mainly when building up a global career. You need to understand the labor market, country and company’s needs and requirements.  Once understood, you must prepare yourself and adjust to them. https://www.ubeyon.com/blogs/professionals-students/mistake-4-not-preparing-yourself-enough-for-every-stage-of-the-selection-process-abroad 

Now talking about:

Mistake 5 – Don’t just react! Be three times more proactive when you are looking for a job abroad.

If you think it is hard to find a job in your national labor market, I don’t want to discourage you at all! However, at a global level it is three times harder, so please beat it by being three times more proactive! When I say be proactive, do everything you can to pursue your dream, think out of the box, do not let “rejections” and “no” put you down and make you give up. Of course, feedback, good or bad, is important, which will help you to improve more and more. In my 10 years of building up my own global career, I heard so many no’s and rejections mainly at the beginning of my career. If I had listened to them, I would most likely not be here right now talking to you as an expert in Global Human Resources working with different global clients with a presence in USA, Canada, UK, India, Brazil, and others.

I don’t like to use personal examples because I like to keep things professional using data, facts, scientific research, and professional expertise in order to provide you all with the qualified consultancy which is not based on common sense or personal experience. However, in this case, I will share with you some of my personal experiences to explain better what I mean with: don’t react, think ahead and be proactive.

When I was an international student studying Global MBA in the USA, I knew how hard would be to find a job with a company which could sponsor my H1B visa. I saw my classmates not being able to find a job and having to leave the country in three months. International students in the USA have the opportunity of working in the country with OPT (Optional Practical Training), however; students have 3 months to find a job and have the OPT “validate” otherwise they need to leave the country. Can you imagine how stressful is it? Among my foreigner classmates, I would say around 90% went back to their countries.

I decided to be proactive; I did not wait until I graduated. I worked very hard to find internships during summer time and in my last semester, I did everything to find a job. Not just a job with an ordinary company, I need a company which could sponsor my H1B visa.

It was very hard to find a company which could give me sponsorship in Human Resources mainly because at that time I could not offer any unique skill sets which would make companies hire me over Americans. You know what I did I sucked up and got a job in Business Development – revenue and business expansion. I will be very honest with you: I HATE sales! However, I saw the sales opportunity as a door for my global career and I took it. Most of the time, companies are open to exploring work visas for positions correlated to revenue generation and market expansion mainly when they don’t have the right expertise.  However, I had to prove my skills to the company consequently they could give me sponsorship. Nobody will sponsor you without seeing a huge value on you! Sponsoring someone is very time consuming and expensive, you need to add a unique value to be worth it. I had 6 months before my OPT would kick off, 6 months to prove my value to the company and I had to sale 2 million dollars. I thought ahead and realized 6 months would not be enough, sales was new to me. You know what I did, I extended my MBA to buy myself time. Most of the universities, give you more flexibility in the last semester and you don’t need to be fulltime as an international student. Can you see it? I found a way of “manipulating the system”! Nobody will tell you that!

I did not follow the path that everyone follows, first study, then you graduate, and then you get a job. I thought ahead. I worked so hard under sales, I was the only one who achieved the target, and the company sponsored me. After it, I had the attention which I needed inside the organization, I took advantage of it and I  proved that I was even better in HR than in sales and little by little I moved to what I love to do, HR.

If you see your professional field is not hot for a global career, you need to figure out something else, find a niche that is so specialized that sooner or later; markets and countries will need your expertise. Don’t do what everyone else does! Of course, don’t give up from what you love to do, just do it better, add skills, expertise which no-one else has. For example, I realized that I had a disadvantage in HR. As a foreigner, I was always behind with my knowledge of the USA labor laws, other HR professionals were more senior than me and born in the USA, they knew how the system works. I realized that my strengths were different, and I could take advantage of being a foreigner, speaking different languages, having a cross-culture mindset, and a passion for global business. These skills set are rare in certain local job markets. I decided to specialize in Global Human Resources. I took the Global HR (GPHR) and SPHR certifications; only approximately 800 professionals have these certifications together. Got the point now?!

I hope I was able to give you concrete examples of how to be proactive and beat the challenges you will face while trying to build up a global career. I think you got a feeling how hard is to get a job abroad now, correct?! Don’t be discouraged! That is not my intention! You can do it! However, you need to be realistic and stop believing it is a matter of having access to jobs and companies outside your local network.

I will make a confession here from the bottom of my heart. Many professionals who want to build up a global career approach me with one question: can you find me a job in this country…? Or even worse can you get me a job in this country..? I get sad when I see these types of questions! You need to work hard to build up a global career mainly outside your country. It is not a matter of applying for a job in another country. The immigration scenery is changing more and more, you will need to put time and effort into it. Even if I give you an easy solution for your global career, trust me if you are not ready to own it by working hard, it will not happen. Now, if you are, I am here to help and support you!

I hope all the mistakes discussed here open up your mind to see how different is to build up a career in your home country from a career at a global level. You will need mostly three things to support you on this path: 1) information (knowledge how things are different), 2) professional orientation (having information is not enough, you still need help from someone who is specialized in global career to link the dots and guide you in all the stage of your global career – job search, participation in selections and career development) and 3) international network – help you to create the right strategy to access right jobs, companies which are open to international hiring. I really wish you all the best! Good luck!

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