Finding a Job Abroad
If you are not a developer this post might not be fully applicable to you. However the things that helped me might help you too.
I was not so keen to move abroad with an on-site opportunity from India, given the overhead of onsite-offshore coordination is a pain. Getting a resident visa for countries like Australia, Canada etc. and finding a job after moving in was another option. I didn’t prefer that either, as ending up in a foreign country without a job didn’t look great to me, especially with Gautham. So the only option left was to find an employer who recruits internationally and move in with a sponsored work visa. There are a lot of companies that are looking for people across the world and ready to sponsor for the visa . Since there is more money and effort involved in the whole process of recruiting internationally, I have felt that companies look for something more than just passing an interview process. Here are a few things that helped me find such an employer and things that I could have done better.
There needs to a place other than Home and Work, where you spend time and this is often referred to as a Third Place. It could be your blog, stack overflow, msdn forums, GitHub, podcast, YouTube channel, social media pages etc. For me primarily it is this blog and then GitHub and a bit of msdn forums. Having a Third Place increases your chances of landing a job and also acts as a good ‘Resume’. I feel a resume is not worthy these days, as you can put whatever you feel like in that and needs to be validated through an interview. A blog, forum profile etc cannot be faked and always speaks about your experience.
There is no reason to believe in a Resume, it can always be faked - but a history of events, posts or articles is hard to be faked. A resume should self-validate.
A resume, if at all it needs to be there, should be just a highlight of all your experiences, with relevant links to your ‘Third Place’. This also helps keep resume short and clear.
Social media is a really powerful to connect with different people, especially Twitter and LinkedIn. These are good channels to establish relationships with different people from different geographies. It’s good to follow and start general conversations with employees of companies that you wish to join. Try to get involved with any tweets, messages, open source projects that they are also involved in . With time, once you become known to them, either you can reach out to them for an opportunity to work together or they themselves might offer you one. Don’t try to fake it or overdo this, as it can affect you adversely. Do this only if you are genuinely interested in what they do.
For me, I landed an interview with eVision, through one of my Twitter contact, Damian Hickey. it just happened that we followed each other and he worked for eVision, and I found the company interesting. Just a message to him and 2 months later I was in Amsterdam attending an interview with them and an offer for employment a week later. But I ended up not joining them because of the visa getting delayed for a long period as I was not fully ‘travel ready’ (more on this below). But I enjoyed every bit of the time I spend with ’Team Tigers’ in eVision.
Readify was another company that interested me. The company itself took pride in its employees and values a lot in their Professional development. The different people that were part of the company was another reason that I like Readify - MVPs, Book authors, Pluralsight authors, bloggers, musicians, photographers - name it and there was a person with that interests. It is also one of the best consulting companies in Australia. The recruitment process was straightforward and all started with the knock-knock challenge, followed by a series of interviews. Everything just fell in place and on time and I ended up joining them and moving over to Sydney Australia on a work visa. Readify is still hiring and if you are interested and find yourself a match send me your profile (for no reason but to earn me the referral bonus) - if not head off to the knock knock challenge.
Good developers are in great demand and ‘Good’ is relative - you have a place out there all you need is to reach out!
Look out for companies in LinkedIn or StackOverflow Careers who sponsor visa and follow their recruitment process.
As I mentioned above one of the reasons not to take up the offer at eVision, was because of the visa getting delayed for a long period. Since all my documents are from India, I had to get all my documents attested and Apostille’d, which takes around a month’s time. Added to that neither I nor my wife had a birth certificate (as it was not so common thing in my place when I was born). So I had to first get all the documents and then get them apostilled, which was not to happen in at least 2-3 months. Even if you have no interest in moving abroad,get all your travel documents and keep them ready. Most commonly asked for documents are
- Birth certificate
- Education certificates
- Work Experience certificates
- Marriage certificate (if you are married)
One of the biggest challenges that I faced while making the move, was to get around the currency conversion and to ensure that the same standard of living can be maintained once I move across it. Sites like Expatistan, Numbeo etc. help give an idea on approximate costs. But what’s worked for me more is to not use the actual currency exchange rate, but to find a ’Personal Exchange Rate (PER)’ and use that to compare.
Personal Exchange Rate is your Disposable Income in Home Country/Disposable Income in Destination Country. Multiply costs of items in destination country by PER to see how it compares to prices in your country.
I moved over to Sydney last year around the same time. It was difficult to adjust in during the initial days, but soon it all started to fall into the rhythm. It’s been a year with Readify and at my client and I am enjoying the new experiences.