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Finding Work That Works For You

While abroad, the major focus for many students shifts to finding work-specifically work that matches ones own skill set. Finding work opportunities is-- quite interestingly-- comparable to a detective’s work. You will always look for information about potential employers; who is hiring the personal now or might be hiring in the near future, and so on. Finding work would have been a much easier task had an actual job market existed. But unfortunately, it is not so.

One quality that often characterizes people who want to work abroad is determination, in this case, to make it to another country. If you’re going to move to Australia, New Zealand or Canada, or any other country, this quality is often a prerequisite. Searching for work abroad can be a challenge, especially at a time when you are dealing with the additional hurdles of a foreign language and unfamiliar customs being far far away from home.

But then, determination is not enough to be a staple on its own. Typically, those who succeed in finding work abroad have a strategy to make it happen. How do you turn your determination into results?

Both job seekers and employers must use a variety of methods to find one another. There are many ways to find employers who are actively looking for your skills. Here are few of them:

  • Attending workshops and taking other learning opportunities.
  • Registering with private employment/placement agencies.
  • Contacting executives search firms.
  • Posting your resume on employment related websites.
  • Watching for “jobs available” signs in windows of local business.
  • Approaching employers directly and asking about job openings.
  • Paying attention to news reports about new projects, and thinking about the types of works that will be generated and where.
  • Meeting people in fields that interest you by doing volunteer work.
  • Spread a word among all your friends that you are looking for a job

Although different methods of finding work exist, the most successful job seekers find work through personal contacts, which in other words is your network, and through approaching the employer directly. That is because most employment opportunities are never advertised or posted electronically. They are the hidden job market.

So how do you find out which employees are looking for workers, and which new work opportunities you might qualify for? By using a combination of work search methods listed previously, but concentrating on networking and contacting employers directly.

Why most work opportunities are never advertised?

Put yourself in the shoes of a busy employer. If employer advertise a position, he will have to spend a lot of time reading applications and interviewing people. It is much easier to wait for a motivated job seeker to come to him, and ask his employees and colleagues if they know of a qualified, reliable person who is looking for work.
If he can find someone suitable this way, why bother advertising the position.
Contacting employers directly...

There are five basic steps involved in contacting employers directly.

  • Identify potential employers: The yellow pages list local employers, but there are other resources that may contain more information about them. For example, most medium size and large size employers have websites that describes their products and services. These sites also include information about company structure and hiring practices.
  • Choose appropriate ways to contact them: You can contact employers in person, over the phone, by mail or email.
  • Identify the specific person you should contact: Salutations like “Dear Sir/ Madam” or “To whom it may concern” are not very effective. No matter what methods of contacts you use, address a specific person.
  • Make Contacts: Visit, phone, send letters and e-mails, the more experienced you become at contacting employers, the easier it gets.
  • Follow up: Most importantly, follow up your contact with the employer. Do not feel shy to contact. But do not over do either!
  • If the thought of contacting employers scares you, then just ask yourself a question “What will happen to you if you contact an employer? The worst to happen will be that he says a NO. Remember, it is already No right now.
  • Writing a resume should not be your first step. Before you can write a effective resume, you need to know what skills the employer is actually looking for. How many of those skills do you possess?

Moving to another country for education, and then trying to sustain your interests and a little extra money on the side can be and should be a memorable experience that prepares you for the greater life ahead. Make it so, and you will find out things not just about this new country, but also about yourself that you never knew!