Marketing, IT, medicine, law, sales and accountancy are just some of the careers that could take you overseas and quite frankly, with last years summer the wettest since 1914, combined with the increase in the cost of living, it’s an ideal time to search for a job abroad. Amanda Akien goes in search of a career in the sun.
For the last five years magazines and countless television programmes have bombarded us with information on international property hot spots and how to bag that dream home abroad. Despite one British citizen leaving the UK every three minutes there is little information on how to secure work abroad. Two-thirds of all Britons who leave the UK do so for employment, according to the Institute of Public Policy Research.
Seeking employment in the UK is often a challenge, so considering a career move abroad is even more daunting. Simon Haynes Global Opportunities Manager, for Michael Page International, explains, “ask any recruiter, in any destination and they always say there is a shortage of quality people.” Michael Page have over 141 offices in 25 countries and as Simon states, “we will recruit, hire and place people in jobs in five continents.”
International recruitment consultancies are now helping those professionals looking to earn a serious income and develop their careers. Michael Page International is one of the world’s leading professional recruitment consultancies which have grown remarkably over the last five years.
The Michael Page website allows people to search by location. International placements are frequently updated on the website and applicants are able to search for international roles as well as set up job alerts. International vacancies are not just advertised on their website but sometimes in specialist publications such as Marketing Week, Accountancy, in national newspapers as well as job websites.
Work Experience or Career Move?
There are two types of people who seek work abroad; those combining work with travel and those looking for a long term career move.
To apply to Michael Page, applicants should have the necessary visas whether they are in the UK looking to go abroad or already in their chosen destination. Occasionally. there will be roles advertised which offer visa sponsorship. These will be aimed at highly skilled, specialist individuals and will be advertised on the website on an ad-hoc basis as well as in other publications depending on the role specification.
As Simon explains, “Working abroad in the professional capacity means that individuals will have to demonstrate that they are as talented, if not more so, than the local population, especially when it comes to securing visa sponsorship. As in any interview you need to demonstrate that you are the best person for the job.”
Every international placement is unique depending on the person, job title and role. With no hard and fast rule about finding work abroad, Simon advises job seekers to “consider what you want to get out of that lifestyle; is it a tax free salary or the opportunity to go surfing after work?”
Highly skilled workers may have their previous income looked at by their new employer; if you are considering a career move overseas continuous employment is a bonus. Whilst three months in Koh Samui might create a nice tan it may not make the best impression with an international employer.
Graduates often want to see the world and can combine this with work. If on a working holiday visa they may stop in Asia or Australia to gain useful work experience. Michael Page have seven Australian offices with two specialist global opportunities consultants in Sydney, sharing information between the offices which helps to secure work when returning to the UK. This long history of antipodean exchanges, thanks to working holiday or ancestry visas, has helped a global network of recruitment agencies.
Location, Location, Location
There are skills hot spots; UK accountants tend to apply directly for jobs in the Cayman or Channel Islands. According to Michael Page it is important to consider your industry, for example Perth in Australia and Toronto in Canada are locations which suit finance professionals with oil, gas and energy backgrounds. Although there are opportunities for marketing professionals these can be more challenging to come by.
Due to the increased growth of activity in Dubai designers and architects are now in demand. “In my experience Dubai is one of the more challenging destinations, as the lifestyle can be expensive. Moreover, Brits are competing against Indians and South Africans who can offer their skills and services cheaper to employers. On the plus side there are tax advantages and Dubai has a vibrant economy, with lots of opportunities,” says Simon.
There are multiple channels through which people are placed through; they can be recruited locally, via the office closely aligned by discipline, through their off shore or executive divisions.
If you are selected for an interview it’s quite likely that you will have a telephone interview in the first instance, followed by a video conference call. This can sometimes be arranged by the agency at one of their UK offices, or a firm’s office in the UK if they have one. It’s less likely you will whisked away for an international interview.
Once you secure your offer, check it carefully to see if you’ll be able to live as you expect on the salary, as the cost of living may be different. Find out if the company will pay relocation costs, and if they pay for occasional flights home. Like any other job offer, consider the holiday entitlement as you may want to frequently come back to the UK.
If you’re taking a partner, consider their needs as well. Leaving friends, family and present jobs is a huge upheaval; what you would do if either of you disliked the job or lifestyle? Bear in mind what you would do if you were made redundant overseas, would you have enough money and a place to live if you had to move back?
Although younger, childless people often relocate abroad, making the move easier: shipping furniture, opening bank accounts, paying foreign tax, redirecting post, canceling direct-debits, renting out flats, selling houses all have to be considered.
International recruitment is changing all the time so stay ahead of the opportunities. Social, economic and political issues also effect employment abroad and visa applications. Monitor the situation in the country you wish to work, as skill shortages in countries are constantly changing due to demographics and government polices.
Frequently visit the home office websites and foreign government websites, listen out in the press for changes in the points system for visas, as skilled worker lists and quotas constantly change.
Finally, try to visit the country before you agree to move there, any excuse!
Moving your Career Overseas
• Pay attention to specialist industry magazines, as these are places where Michael Page and employers sometimes advertise overseas roles.
• Apply to international companies in the UK for a UK based job as they are likely to have overseas opportunities such as placements and secondments. Plus they arrange everything from visa sponsorship to finding you accommodation. If you have a family they are likely to provide education and medical cover for them too.
• Look out for international business seminars, sometimes held by recruitment agencies to attract high caliber professionals to overseas opportunities.
• Arrange the appropriate visas and work permits before applying to Michael Page. This is not the case if you see a vacancy advertising visa sponsorship or you are in the country you wish to work with the appropriate visa.
• One way of experiencing life overseas and build up income, is to do contract work in different cities, organisations and countries. This sometimes leads on to full time employment if you prove yourself to an employer, and you have the skills that they require.
• If obtaining a visa is likely to be a problem; opportunities within Europe are growing.
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