I know, this is a repeat of previous blogs – I’m shamelessly using previous topics – But, hear me out.
This time it’s different – and I can tell you why.
Before we moved here, and the blogs that mentioned things like: 1 Year Before – Career Discussion, Create a job plan, and Start applying for jobs. These are all still kind of relevant to the move, especially since they have quite a bit of foresight in them – but they are very US-based on the method.
After a year and a half of living abroad, I know a lot more in-and-outs than I did before a have to think differently. For one, we aren’t locked to an area anymore. When we were moving to York, I had to find a job within public transport range to our home (which we didn’t have yet), because of Brad being in school full-time. This limited my options to take jobs where I may have had US connections or US-owned companies abroad.
That’s not the case anymore – which makes this whole experience a lot less stressful.
I mean, it’s still ridiculously stressful – If I don’t sort this out, we are stuck taking out a loan and traveling back home, with all of our things in boxes to rebuild – again. However, instead of that breaking me down – it oddly gave me a second wind of motivation. I know what’s at risk, and unlike the first time where “We are moving now, regardless and we can’t back out,” – I can solve this.
Because I can fix anything. I get paid to solve issues, I do it in my personal life and dammit, I’ll do it again – because giving up is for squares.
Now, the critical tips I want to give to others in a similar situation are all big task:
- Think Big: I know, I’m talking like Trump now with the “Bigly,” – but it’s critical that you avoid small fry everything. Small companies are great – but they are not likely to take a risk and bring on an American full-time. Big companies are global; they need people from around the world in various offices and even if you only secure a job with them back in the States, you have a better leg to stand-on to request a transfer back abroad in 3-5 years.
- A small caveat to this logic. I said the word “likely”. If you are an agency kid, with a ton of experience and you find a medium-sized agency, which can sponsor – Still try. They may turn you away, but keep in mind – A lot of times you will see descriptions mentioning “Managing US clients,” or “US Experience required,” and nothing is more qualifying than literally being American.
- Don’t be too picky: Listen, desperate jobs go poorly. I’m not going to pretend like every job I’ve taken was carefully selected or taken in pure chaos – but sometimes, your dream job is simply just the role giving you your dream – Living abroad. That’s much more critical than hunting after a place that offers free breakfasts, an on-site gym and trolley*.
- *That was an actual job listing I saw, and I was worried I was looking at a hotel, instead of an employer. I mean, I appreciate a comfortable work environment – but when you don’t have to worry about offering healthcare standard, companies get crazy with perks.
- Pick from the World: Unless you are literally bound to the one country you are currently living in, look broadly. Like I mentioned in Next Steps…, we are going to start looking at roles in Ireland and Canada. Ireland is preferable, because we are eager to stay in Europe – but if you are young (relatively), no children and laid-back – Take the risk. You will get better responses and you might be lucky and someone offer to pay relocation.
- Keep in mind with relocation, you need to be good at your job. You can’t be 2-3 years post-graduation asking for someone to help you out. They might, if they are kind – but you need to be a bit grizzled and veteran, to get perks. You may be – which is great – but don’t go in asking for them if this is your first job out of Uni.
- Don’t be afraid of language barriers: We were pretty set on only applying in native English speaking countries until this past weekend. It’s that fear of getting a job and not speaking the language of most of your coworkers. But, even in markets like Germany, France and Sweden, they do have jobs geared at English-speakers and will provide language courses on the job, to help you obtain the skills.
- Read the listings carefully however – Some of these roles require dual-language skills and they will not be keen to receive a bunch of CVs from someone who is English-only.
- Also, these are skill-based things. Coders are in demand, regardless of country and region – but Sales Managers, not so much. Make sure before you try for this that you qualify for the role, you are comfortable with the language requirements and don’t get your feelings hurt when you don’t get a call back – They may just want a native and that’s completely fine!
- Keep track: I mentioned my spreadsheet before, but it’s just as critical now as it was then. I have to apply through a lot of recruiters, because larger companies usually use 3rd parties to refer individuals in. This is often better than applying independently through their sites, because it’s like having a referral – except, they are paying for it. However, because of this – I have on my spreadsheet alone 15 “Digital Project Manager,” “Recruitment Agency,” “Leeds/York/Manchester”. I keep track of them by date – linking to the LinkedIn page and all other identifying information so when I get called (or rejected) I can note it properly. Nothing is more embarrassing than applying for a role and not knowing who they are when they reach out.
- Constantly apply for roles: I wish I was kidding. I’m up to 120 job applications in the past 30 days. I track responses, rejections and statuses in a spreadsheet and add new ones as I go. I do this for the reason I said above, but also so I’m not surprised.
- You may never hear back on multiple roles. Keep an eye on the “Closing Date,” and add 10 days to the end of it. If you don’t hear a response by then, consider yourself not proceeding forward for the company.
- If there is no closing date, I now follow a 2 month rule. After my blitz of applications when I first came to the UK, I realised some companies just need a bit more time. It may be because I was bottom of the stack or they just wanted time to compile CVs, internal discussions/approvals and then start reaching out – but 2 months is the max. After that point, assume you were not going forward.
- If you see a role that you are 80% qualified for – Still apply. This is something that us as women painted as being famously bad at. It’s what get’s brought up every time someone tries to claim the wage gap is a lie, because Women don’t put ourselves out enough. Regardless of if that is true or just people bashing women for whatever reason – Be bold. You have a mission and you need to complete it. Make sure you apply constantly to relevant roles – regardless of locations. Try to make sure they can sponsor, but don’t avoid applying for something because of the unknown – trust me, a recruiter will tell you if they can’t put you forward because of a visa.
Anyone else gone through this have any pro-tips? I plan in the end of January building a full analytic report based off the number of jobs applied for, response rate and all of the other goodies. For anyone else who has done it, what was your magic number to get responses?
Let me know in the comments!
The featured image is of the Temple of the Four Winds on the land of Castle Howard, from this past weekend.