Get Globally Connected!Posted on February 11th, 2009 3 comments
I’ve worked job seekers from more than 180 countries. I have yet to find a job seeker whose country doesn’t use some form of networking to find employment opportunities. Whether you call it “networking” in the United States, “guanxi” in Hong Kong, or “reseautage” in France, it’s all the same thing: Making connections!
Making connections is a part of daily life in most parts of the world. We can’t survive alone—nor would most people want to. It’s natural to connect with others who share similar interests, which is why networking on a job search should be an innate part of your job search strategy.
However, many international job seekers struggle with networking when they are moving to a different country. Although this may seem to be a challenge, it’s one worth taking on! Let’s take a look at three steps you can take to develop your global contacts:
STEP 1: Reach out to your current network
Write an email that you can send out to all of those in your current network. Let them know that you are planning for your transition and would appreciate any support they can offer with regard to developing any contacts in your destination country. Perhaps they work with someone else who might have a contact there. The contact does not have to be in your career field. Initial contacts can be anybody who can connect with you to give you any information about the job search in your country.
STEP 2: Get connected virtually before you go!
There are endless ways to connect virtually with people around the globe. LinkedIn at www.LinkedIn.com is an excellent start. Get your profile up and start searching around the profiles by using key words, such as your country name and your career field. Reach out to others on LinkedIn. You’ll be surprised at how responsive most people are!
Get involved with online groups related to your destination country. You’ll have to do a bit of sleuthing to find some of them, but many leads can be found on ExpatWomen’s site at www.ExpatWomen.com. This is an excellent site that provides outstanding resources for anyone launching an international transition.
STEP 3: Contact your alumni office for country contacts
Many countries—including the US and UK—have alumni offices for university graduates. Some secondary schools also keep track of alumni. Alumni are excellent resources for job search support. Most alumni are delighted to connect with and help out a fellow alum. Contact your alumni office or alumni coordinator and ask them how you can find out if any alumni are living in your destination country. This goes for fraternities and sororities as well. Also, if there is a database you can search, search around for alumni who previously lived in your destination country, if that information is available.
Getting globally connected becomes easier with some creative thinking and resourcefulness. Online social networks are powerful when used appropriately and reaching out to others for networking purposes is becoming more common now that people spend less time in any one job. Remember, however, to build a powerful, global network, you need to maintain it by nurturing it. Stay connected with the people who offer you support and let them know how your transition is going. Chances are they may need to lean on you for making contacts in the future. This is the heart of “guanxi.”
How do you make contacts around the world? Share your strategies, ideas, suggestions here!
3 Responses to “Get Globally Connected!”
These seem important aspects of networking to remember when attempting to receive support; that it is, above all, necessitates a balance of both giving and taking. Following through with connections also insures that others will not only remember you, but also that you are available for a returnable favor. I haven’t really been introduced to virtual networking; needless to say, I will be trying http://www.LinkedIn.com.
[...] 3. Network/contacts. It may be challenging to develop a network from scratch, but there are many ways to build an effective network within a month or two. You’ll need to research to find out what networks exist. You may find formal networks, such as Chambers of Commerce. Or, you may find online networks through Facebook or LinkedIn or on many of the expat websites. Or, you may find informal networks, such as a women’s group, or expat sports club. Making contacts is critical to an effective, international job search. Check out our guidance on developing your network on the blog post Get Globally Connected! http://www.passportcareer.com/blog/get-globally-connected. [...]
[...] Are you looking for a job in another country? As RPCVs, you know how important it is to know the cultures and immerse yourself into the community. The same goes true for a global job search. Yet, you may find it difficult to network if you are unaware of the networks that already exist in different countries. You can find more information on my other blog that focuses on global job searches. The article to read is “Get Globally Connected!” and can be found at http://www.passportcareer.com/blog/get-globally-connected. [...]