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Overseas Moves on Rise

Editorial Team

Job search here going poorly? If you’re thinking of opportunities abroad, you’re not alone. USA TODAY reports that more Americans are finding jobs overseas. Hot markets: India, China, Brazil, United Arab Emirates and Singapore. “It suddenly looks like there may be better opportunities outside the U.S. It is a phenomenon we haven’t had before,” says Manpower CEO Jeff Joerres.

With the U.S. job market at a high unemployment rate of 10.2% around 2009, more Americans were exploring job opportunities abroad. This trend was seen as a reversal from the usual pattern of foreign workers seeking jobs in the U.S. The demand for overseas employment rose significantly, with about 500 clients of the top U.S. staffing company Manpower looking for jobs abroad, up from a few dozen six months prior.

A survey conducted by Korn/Ferry, a talent management company, showed that 54% of executives were likely or highly likely to accept a foreign post, up from just 37% in 2005. The most attractive job markets for these individuals were countries like India, China, Brazil, Dubai, and Singapore. The sectors that were in high demand internationally were engineering, computer technology, manufacturing, investment banking, and consulting.

Even though the global recession had affected Asian economies, they were seen to recover faster than the U.S. For instance, Contact Singapore was actively recruiting global talent to foster innovation, especially in fields such as digital games. Steve Watson, chairman of an executive search firm, shared his observation that more people were showing interest in positions abroad, like the CEO role for a Dubai manufacturer that he was recruiting for.

The article also shared the story of Charles Wang, an industrial engineering student who had worked as a project manager in Dubai and planned to return there for a permanent job after graduation due to a lack of good job opportunities in the U.S. In MIT’s Sloan School of Management, the percentage of 2009 graduates getting jobs overseas rose to 24%, up from 19% the previous year, indicating a direct correlation between U.S. economic conditions and the rise in international job seeking.

The global job market is vast, and opportunities are not limited to your home country. If you’re struggling to find a job locally, consider expanding your search internationally. This could also give you a chance to experience a new culture and broaden your perspective.

The international job market might require different skills compared to your local job market. For example, if you’re interested in working in a country where English isn’t the primary language, learning the local language could make you a more attractive candidate. Building relationships with professionals in your field of interest abroad could lead to job opportunities. This could be through attending international conferences, participating in global webinars, or joining global professional groups on social media platforms.

Before deciding to work abroad, it’s crucial to understand the economic conditions, job market, cost of living, and cultural norms of the country. Speaking with career advisors, mentors, or individuals who have experience working abroad can provide insight and guidance. They could share their experiences, the challenges they faced, and how they adapted to working in a different country.

Programs such as study abroad, international internships, or volunteer work can provide valuable international experience that can be appealing to employers. Working in a new country can come with unexpected challenges, from understanding local business customs to navigating a new public transportation system. Being flexible and adaptable is a crucial skill when working abroad.

Ensure you understand the legal aspects of working in a different country, such as visa requirements, work permits, and tax implications. It’s essential to research this thoroughly or consult with a legal professional to avoid any legal issues. Remember, while working abroad can provide exciting opportunities, it also comes with its own set of challenges. It’s crucial to thoroughly research and consider all factors before deciding to take your career international.

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