How to Start an International Career
The combined triple-force of advancing AI in the job market, virtual employment, and globalization have broadened what is possible when it comes to starting our careers. And if you are somebody who is looking for an international career, it is a great time to be young and recently graduated. There is no longer any reason to be limited by your geographical location, or the limitations of your local public transport. Your job search can be broad, exotic, and without any parameters. And if there are parameters, guess what? You can work towards overcoming them all. You can start an international career today.
Yes, there is pragmatics involved in such a bold decision. But they are all manageable. In this article, we will guide you through what it takes to start an international career, how to facilitate overseas career opportunities for yourself, and some options to get the ball rolling.
International Careers Vs Working Abroad
There is a difference between starting an international career and working abroad. As with all other aspects of your life goals, it depends on what you are aiming for. Are you a traveler, or are you serious about launching your life abroad? Are you telling yourself “I want to work abroad” or “I want to build my life and career in X country”? It is important to define these goals, even if just for yourself. Both are important, but once you have decided, you can plan accordingly.
To work abroad generally tends to apply to the situation when you need to tide yourself over with some reliable income while traveling the world – not necessarily a career. Yes, an international career can begin this way, but it doesn’t necessarily work that way unless you plan for it. Differently, the endeavor toward international careers means starting a new career in a different country, setting your shop up there, and living there indefinitely. There are numerous benefits to foreign careers – they expand your horizons, broaden your mind, and open opportunities up on a global scale.
Practicalities & Constraints
At Everytalent, we believe in laying the cards on the table in an open and honest fashion, so let’s address the practicalities and also the factors that can constrain people from following up on this international dream. Because there are always going to be hurdles with a change this big. But hurdles are worth leaping over if they lead to something better for you. So, is it the careers that matter most, or the place? For some people it is the former, others the latter. But for many it is a case of longitude and latitude – both come into play in a heavy way.
Firstly, there are visa and passport limitations to consider. When it comes to this, start with where you want to go. What are the restraints? What do you need on your passport to unlock this location? And what must you do to achieve this? If you can logistically list all of the factors that need to be addressed, then you will have a much more specific idea of what to do and will be able to deal with each element one by one.
Counterbalance this with your industry. Which is the one you want to break into? Consider the most affluent locations on the planet in regards to that industry – discount none, the possibilities are real. If landing at the first most affluent seems too impractical, then what about the second? If not the second, and so on.
If you get blocked by a legal stipulation that is particularly hard to fight, look at the cards on the wall again. Can this issue be overcome, or is the particular country not viable? If so, what is the next best location?
How To Start Your International Career?
The level of international career opportunities that can be ignited remotely is vast. In fact, according to research conducted by the Owl Labs experts, 18% of people work remotely full time. With this, you can get your foot in the door of any industry from the convenience of your home. Moreover, you can also create a portfolio this way (in a manner that fits your often not forgiving post-graduate schedule). If you conduct yourself well for two or three years, and you assert your endeavors in the right areas, you can potentially land in jobs that relocate you overseas. It takes a bit of putting yourself out there, but many have achieved it. Practicalities come as a result, but a job offer will often give career-seekers the jump start they need to start making those plans. To that end, you should look at the ways that you can work remotely, and some amazing platforms to get started with.
If you are still in the midst of your studies you can begin a career abroad by opting to study abroad. It’s a great experience and a terrific way to get the feel for a certain place in a noncommittal way.
It’s the most opportune way to find the best international career for your goals, especially now that there are more opportunities to study abroad than ever before. In fact, according to OECD Library, 4.3 million students study abroad worldwide, and over the course of the last 3 decades, this number has increased.
It’s important to address the elephant in the room. That the opportunities for studying abroad are much more affluent in some countries compared to others according to detailed studies by Nafsa. However, no matter where you are such opportunities do exist. So if you can, seek them out and try to break into an industry that way.
In contrast, there are other ways to launch international careers.
Internships are a common way that graduates and career-seekers alike will jump ship and experience what other countries have to offer. Using your academic achievements, find a business that is recruiting for internships, get in touch and show them your value and interest. Make sure that it is a vocation that works with your current goals – show your worth, maybe even prove it with your portfolio. Remember that the internship is the first step. Use this time to find more permanent accommodation, and survey the land for career possibilities.
To give you an example of the advantages in this regard; consider how many online MBA courses will offer you internships and even entire semesters abroad. That means that you can broach an international career entirely through online means. In recent times, there has been an increase in these kinds of opportunities. Take a look, grab the horns.
Connect With Professionals Virtually
The numerous virtual platforms at your disposal give you the means to make introductions with international influencers in your industry – be that over LinkedIn, Twitter, or through Everytalent. With a professional introduction, you can make a small first impression that can lead to work. Do a great job, and that can lead to more work, and it can snowball from there into something more permanent. You need to find businesses that cater to international careers. Do some research, find where others in your industry have started in this regard, and see if you can replicate that path. If it appeals to you, that is. You can even ask the influencer if they have anything they need working on, or if they don’t, whether they know somebody who does. In this instance, it is more effective if you can provide a body of work or a portfolio, to demonstrate your value.
This points to being prolific, which is always the case. The more you do, the easier it is to make those initial connections. This is chiefly because you gain skills and experience through using your academic training, but also because of the confidence success gives you. But with a prolific nature, you will also expand your network, which means that others can vouch for you, give testimonials, and recommend you to other influencers. This goes a long way towards securing your first position in a new country if this is your goal.
Above all, just keep plugging away with your international dreams in mind and you will eventually get there. Like many endeavors, it isn’t going to be easy. But there is also a lot of time to sort it out. There may seem like an unapproachable pile of logistics, visa details, and professional connections to make, but if you just spend a small amount of time on it each day (30 to 45 minutes even), you will make a dent in it without realizing you have come so far. Also, don’t rush. Just because you’re at a certain age, that doesn’t mean that time is slipping away, or that you should be achieving certain goals by now. There is no time limit, the goals can be reassessed at any time, and this is still the beginning of a long and fruitful journey into your future.
Also, when you are performing the search for that start in your career, remember to include platforms that are inclusive of international careers. Everytalent is one such platform. It takes a complex assessment of your personality, skills, and goals in order to give you relevant results. You can then action those results at your leisure.