The idea of working abroad - whether short-term or as part of your longer-term career plans - appeals to many people. Whilst it presents lots of opportunities and advantages, there are additional factors to take into consideration.
Where do you want to go?
You need to have a clear idea of the countries which interest you. If you are unclear, it will be very difficult to do the necessary research required to be successful. Be aware of cultural differences and differing application methods. You should also look at visa/ work permit regulations and the practical implications of travel and relocation.
When do you want to go?
Are you hoping to work abroad temporarily, or is this part of your long-term career plan? There are hundreds of different options, from completing an internship or fixed-term position, to relocating to another country for a couple of years or even permanently. Some multinational companies may also provide the opportunity to work temporarily in other offices around the world. Spending some time considering and defining your priorities and preferences means you are more likely to be successful.
What do you want to do?
Equally important is to have some idea of the type of work you wish to do and in which employment sector. If you are seeking work at a graduate or professional level, you are much more likely to be successful if you are focusing on a few options and therefore able to sufficiently target your applications.
What to consider
The clearer your objectives are, the more likely you are to be successful. Consider the following questions:
- How competitive is the job market in your chosen field?
- Do you have the necessary skills including the required language skills?
- Are your qualifications recognised in your target country?
- Do you need relevant work experience?
- Is a further qualification necessary or advantageous?
- Are your prepared to work at a lower level initially?
- If so, what are the chances of progressing?
Find out more
TARGETjobs: working abroad - Tips for working in different countries and answers to your working abroad queries.
Prospects: working abroad - Information on what to consider, the various options and vacancy sources.
University of Leeds Global Community - Get to know students from over 140 different countries and get an insight into different cultures by coming along to the Global Cafe.
Global Graduates - Advice on taking advantage of global opportunities, including articles from students about their experiences.