Moving house can be a daunting experience, and moving country even more so. The list of logistical concerns is long and the list of worries even longer. Will you fit in? Will you find work? Will you make friends?
I recently had this experience moving from Canada to Melbourne, and learned so much in the process about myself, job hunting and the Australian labour market.
Being a career coach, I knew that I would need help securing work effectively. Regardless of how confident I was in my own CV writing, interviewing, and networking/research abilities, these skills wouldn’t amount to much if I failed to understand the needs of potential employers. Seeking advice from other qualified professionals is a good idea, and keeps knowledge current.
I spoke with colleagues in the recruitment world, researched Aussie organisations I could see career progression with, and became more and more active on LinkedIn to gain greater insights. After several rejection letters, a very long flight, and finally a delicious Melbourne flat white, I started to gain traction in my search and secured many interviews and offers in my first week in the land Down Under.
I was relieved! Having worked for over 7 years in the job search space, I knew a job hunt could take months, even when a job seeker makes all the “right” moves. I want to share some of my key takeaways from this experience. Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss job search tips, and learn about how we can help you in any employment transition, be it if you are new to this country, looking for a new role, or have joined a new team. Here are my tips:
1. Get Curious – Explore job titles and employers similar to your own and look for the similarities and differences. While many structures are similar, there are variances in titles and expectations of competency and experience. Manners of application will vary slightly as well. CV formats, cover letter expectations and interview styles are all subject to cultural influence and will vary from country to country equally as much as industry to industry.
2. Learn the Language – Not purely the spoken language, but more so the industry jargon, regional slang and how achievements are described and measured. These subtle communication tools will go a long way in seamlessly delivering your message to hiring managers. If you are new to Australia, it’s often a good idea to learn about AFL!
3. Be Open Minded – Economic influences will impact how much and what kind of work is available country to country. Have a realistic and informed expectation around the amount of work in your field, at what seniority level and the standard salaries. Don’t judge a role by its title. You may unknowingly overlook a great opportunity.
4. Find a Pro – Connecting with a recruiter within your field, a mentor within your network, or a coach to suit your needs will not only provide support and information, but also guidance on how best to channel all your efforts and resources toward your desired outcome. Not to mention peace of mind that you are on the right track.
5. Phone a Friend - Friends, family, and colleagues can be your closest circle of influence for networking, they are also a great support system. A job search is hard, regardless of where it takes place. Take time to check-in with someone who cares about you and share how you are doing/going or feeling/travelling (North American VS Aussie phrasing). Even a break for a day from the hustle of applications and searches can be a way to recharge and reset.
There are my top 5! The list could easily reach 100, but when it comes to switching countries, these 5 stand out. Take it from someone who has been there, these work, but they are just part of a diverse tool kit. Get in touch with us to take control of your career transition today!