Travelling and experiencing a new culture can enrich your outlook on the world. The experience adds a touch of adventure into your life, especially when it means having to communicate in a foreign language. It can be challenging getting to know new people, learning how to navigate your way around social norms and streets that all look so similar to you. Finding a job abroad when you have no experience is especially hard. It’s a big enough challenge that you may find yourself reconsidering whether you want to go abroad at all. But having no work experience isn’t and should not be the end of your dreams of working and living abroad. Here are some tips on just how you can find work.
This is a strange one. Empathy? Yes, you need to show empathy. Empathy means having understanding of what the other person is going through. It means showing a recruiter that you get their needs in a deep way, you know what their pain points are, where they are struggling, and just as importantly, you have clear ideas about how you can help. Many people make the mistake of being selfish or egotistic in the way they look for work. By this I mean, they assume that by showing off their accomplishments they will get work. No, you won’t, because to a recruiter in a company that receives lots of applications, there are likely many applicants with just the same or even better attainments than you. You need to sell yourself, sure. But think of your attainments and your skills as having an asymmetric value: you can’t get a job without them and without selling yourself, but having them won’t do that much toward getting you a job. What stands out for recruiters is the candidate who understands the organization and can zero in on its pain points and show just how they can heal that pain point. It’s by establishing empathy and a connection with the recruiter and the organization that you will stand out. So treat job hunting as if you’re a therapist and research as much as you can about prospective recruiters so when you approach them, they immediately see the value that you can add. This will give you an edge even over people with superior CVs.
Now that we have established the importance of having an empathetic approach to job hunting, we can get to selling ourselves. When you sell yourself, you have to take a tailored approach. Adapt your pitch very specifically to the recruiter’s needs. Sell yourself according to what their particular pain points are and how you feel you can help them. Nobody knows you, nobody knows your talents. To the average recruiter, you are one of many interchangeable potential employees. You need to demonstrate just what you have to offer, by highlighting your past achievements and skills, but always in light of the recruiter’s pain points. Because you don’t have any work experience, what you want to do is show how your academic experience and other activities have prepared you to take on the work you’re applying for. If you've been working in nature, you could highlight your work in wildlife removal.
Make an appointment with worry
You need to get to an interview feeling confident that you have a powerful value proposition for your recruiter. If you have done your homework, understand the company you are applying for, and have clear ideas about how you can add value to the company, you should already feel some degree of confidence.
For many people, however, worry and fear still stalk their dreams. Don’t run away from these emotions. Listen to them, lean in. They’re telling you that you really want this job and that you know it would mean a lot. That’s not a bad thing. Don’t treat them as negatives. Research suggests that we are better off having a tryst with our emotions than feeling them.
When you are in a psychological state like worry, it can be hard to shake the emotion. It rolls around in our minds and requires our earnest attention. If you avoid these feelings, they will grow and attack you just when you most need to feel and look confident. At the same time, you don’t want to spend all your time feeling worried or anxious.
So, try dedicating time to analyzing your emotions and breaking it down using cognitive behavioral therapy techniques. These techniques will clear away your worries by showing you just why you need not worry. You’ve done the work, you’ve left nothing on the table, and you have made many applications and odds are that eventually you will get work. Your job right now is to keep going.
These techniques work not just for people moving abroad to work, but for innovators looking to start businesses in the United Kingdom, or founders penetrating new markets. They are universal principles that will always serve you well.