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3 Essential (But Often Overlooked) Things to Examine When Considering a Career Abroad

In today’s globalized world, it has never been easier to find a job in a different country and then to prepare the necessary logistics quickly to make it happen.

Researching potential jobs or companies and understanding visa requirements are fundamental steps in this process, but some other measures tend to be disregarded even though they can dramatically improve your chances of landing the appropriate job for you.

Read on to discover three essential (but often overlooked) things to examine when considering a career abroad.

1. The Potential for Growth

When choosing to start a new career abroad, it is highly suggested that you also think about the bigger picture involving the location you are selecting — particularly if you are interested in starting your own business one day.

One of the best ways to start to comprehend a country’s business environment is to look at the 2018 Legatum Prosperity Index which ranks countries around the world in nine categories – Economy, Business Environment, Governance, Education, Health, Safety & Security, Personal Freedom, Social Capital, and Natural Environment. 

This tool is valuable for those who are considering picking up their lives and relocating to another part of the world. The Index provides a comprehensive yet holistic view of global progress and of where particular countries stand in comparison to the rest of the world.

2. Work Culture

One of the most challenging aspects of opting to work abroad (and the main reason that people end up moving back home) is adjusting to work culture in a new locale. Every nation has a different approach to work and a distinct philosophy regarding work-life balance.

Whether you are looking for investment jobs in Dubai or teaching contracts in Australia, when considering a career abroad, it is crucial that you take into account what the prevailing work culture is like in your prospective new home. Think about how that fits into your concept of work-life balance as well.

According to the Legatum Prosperity Index, the United States takes the top spot in the Business Environment pillar, with New Zealand and Canada following in second and third place, respectively. When calculating the rankings, the Index takes into account a variety of factors including business infrastructure, accessibility to credit, investor protection, and the flexibility of the labor market.  This tool can assist in surveying a country’s level of prosperity and the quality of life that its citizens can obtain.

Obviously, you have to be open-minded when you move to a different country. One of the main reasons why it is such an exciting decision to make is because things are going to be different from what you already know. That being said, a little self-awareness will go a long way in guiding you to a place where you can adapt to positively.

If you are unsure about the work culture in a particular locale, reach out to locals or other foreigners who have expertise there and ask them for their opinions and experiences.

3. Resume Refinement

No matter where in the world you are looking to build your career, having an up-to-date and presentable resume is vital for securing a job. As your resume is usually the initial impression a potential employer has of you, it needs to be crafted in such a way that it makes a favorable impression.

When applying for jobs abroad, it is even more critical to ensure that your resume is demonstrating both your skills and accomplishments as well as your unique selling point. After all, generally, for a firm to hire someone from abroad, they need to recognize what you bring to the table that someone who is already based more locally can’t deliver.

All employers want to hire people who have excellent communication skills, outstanding analytical capabilities, and a clear potential to become a leader. Therefore, to make your resume stand out while applying for jobs abroad, make sure you are highlighting the skills you have for that particular market.

According to the research conducted by the Legatum Institute, a country’s labor market flexibility “measures the ability of businesses to adapt to new challenges by hiring people they need, or to losing people and positions they don’t need, without being impeded by costs and regulations.” European countries such as the Netherlands, Germany and Norway are dealing with fewer regulatory barriers than ever when it comes to hiring and firing talent. This makes them attractive markets for anyone who is looking to work abroad.

Depending on where you are applying for a job, you may also be required to demonstrate your oral and written skills in the local language. Additionally, illustrate your cross-cultural abilities, as well as your aptitude to work effectively in a team.

Have you ever considered starting a career abroad? Have you done it? If so, let us know of crucial pieces of advice you have or what you wish you would have known before making the move. If you are considering it, what are the challenges or difficulties you are currently facing? Let us know in the comments below.

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