Finding the Overseas Job

One of the most frequently asked questions on sites about working overseas is how to actually find a job.

This is not surprising as it isn’t an easy thing you’re trying to do. You are usually trying to convince someone that it is worth their while of employing you, with the added inconvenience of the visa process (assuming you don’t already have the right to work in the new country) and the time that takes, possibly footing some of the relocation expenses and a whole raft of other things… all over getting someone from across town, or the next state, or at worst, the other side of the country.

It’s tough. Most sites I’ve read recommend that you pack up your life, without the certainty of a new job, head over to your target country and door knock for as long as your tourist visa will allow you.

Given this advice, I count myself very fortunate. For me it all happened very quickly, over 2.5 years…

I work in a specialist IT field, with a particular product set in that field. In June 2008, I responded to a job advert, on a website dedicated to the product set – a user forum, for a company in the US that specialises in consulting and training with the same stack. Things were looking promising enough following a couple of phone interviews. But after a few weeks my potential employer got somewhat worried about the economic landscape, and didn’t want to bring me over to the other side of the world unless he was certain of ongoing work.

Fair enough. And then the GFC hit. Probably a good thing we hadn’t moved at that point.

Then in early 2010, the same company advertised again on the same forum website. So I got back in touch with them and we started talking once more. But things went quiet again (I know now in hindsight, that the urgent requirement at the customer stopped being so urgent).

But then out of the blue, 6 months later, they got back in touch with me, all ready to go, with an offer to fly me over to the US to meet with them and also with their customer that I’d be working on site with, at least initially. Basically a 6 day on-site interview.

And the rest is history… well, current events…

So in answer to the question “How did you find your overseas job?”, I established an industry connection and kept in touch over an extended period of time. But, compared to the stories I’ve read of others, I feel I had it very easy.

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