I’ve worked with job seekers from more than 180 countries. I have yet to find a job seeker whose home 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 during a job search should be an innate part of your 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 everyone 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 give you 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 is an excellent start. Get your profile up and start searching profiles by using keywords, 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 the ExpatWoman site. 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 fellow alumni. 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, try to search for alumni who have lived in your destination country.
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, 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 to make contacts in the future. This is the heart of “guanxi.”
How do you make contacts around the world? Share your strategies, ideas, and suggestions here!
WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW TO GET CONNECTED?
Passport Career provides more detailed career information and extensive resources about networking, finding a job, internship, alternative career opportunities as well as information on writing CVs, cover letters and interviews. If your organization, embassy, university/college, library, or other institution would like access to our country portfolios (15,000+ pages of expert content for 80+ countries and 250+ cities) to share with your students, employees, spouses/partners, and others managing a national or international career transition, please contact us (or email firstname.lastname@example.org) regarding a free, live, online demo and details on how to obtain a license to access Passport Career.