What’s Next? Working Overseas

March 9, 2015 by Curtin CEL Team

What’s Next? Working Overseas

The immense diversity of the Curtin student population means that ‘working overseas’ will mean very different things to different people. For this reason, we’ve divided this post into two parts – ‘Students Seeking Work Overseas’ and ‘International Students Seeking Work in Australia.’

Regardless of what you’re looking for, remember this is just a starting point. If you’re considering working abroad, research and planning will be your best friends…

Students Seeking Work Overseas

Research will inform many of your decisions and due to the countless variables depending on destination, there are no easy answers. An excellent place to begin your research is Going Global (via ‘Quick Links’ in CareerHub). The international career and employment resource will provide you with access to over 10,000 country specific pages, with information regarding:

  • Job Search Techniques
  • Work permit / Visa regulations
  • Resume writing guidelines and examples
  • Employment trends
  • Salary ranges
  • Networking groups
  • Workplace culture and interviewing advice

If you make the decision to move overseas, make the most of the experience and immerse yourself in the culture. Adapting to your environment, learning the local language and building relationships will help you to develop personally and professionally and will be crucial in helping you get through challenges when they arise.

We love this blog post, 17 Things That Change Forever When You Live Abroad, check it out for some inspiration.

Extra Resources

  • For current, official travel information, visit Smart Traveller
  • For international volunteering opportunities, visit Projects Abroad
  • For advice and different points of view, try checking out blogs such as The Daily Muse

International Students Seeking Work in Australia

Just as finding overseas opportunities can be challenging, finding work in Australia as an international student presents its own set of obstacles. Here’s some quick tips to help you prepare for work in Australia:

Initial Research & Planning:

  • Research your workplace rights and obligations, your taxation responsibilities, and your visa conditions.
  • Consider your short-term and long-term goals – make sure you have clear objectives as this will help inform your job search.
  • Research the local job market – identify large and small employers who could have opportunities that fit what you’re looking for.

Working on Your Job Application:

  • Give some thought to the skills and attributes you can offer these employers – even if you don’t have local experience, your additional skills and attributes are your unique selling point. Think about how you can highlight strengths such as multi-language ability; awareness and experience living in other cultures and countries; adaptability and flexibility in adjusting to difficulties and challenges; strong work ethic and motivation; independence; and, willingness to relocate.
  • Learn more about the varying stages of the job application process in Australia and develop your skills by attending a workshop or completing modules via Curtin Challenge.
  • If you’re struggling to get local experience, consider avenues such as volunteering, joining clubs and societies, community groups, travel tours, Toastmasters public speaking clubs, etc.
  • If English is your second language, do your best to ensure your written applications are accurate – use Spell Check and ask a trusted friend or tutor to read over your resume. You can also have your resume reviewed at the Curtin Careers & Employment Centre.

Developing Communication & Interview Skills:

  • Communication (both verbal and non-verbal) is sometimes the biggest obstacle international students face when looking for work in Australia. Workplace norms and expectations vary internationally so understanding how to conduct yourself and communicate effectively in an Australian workplace will help make you a valuable candidate. Immersing yourself in your group uni projects, social activities or volunteering opportunities will be the best way to learn first hand about cultural ‘norms’ in Australia.
  • Check out Employability skills and workplace culture in Australia for an in-depth insight into Australian workplaces.
  • A job interview will be your first opportunity to demonstrate your communication skills – maintain eye contact and try to speak clearly and confidently. Take your time to listen, consider your answers and ask questions.

Remember, for anyone seeking work overseas, you may have to look at opportunities that you’d ordinarily feel over qualified for to get your foot in the door. Try not to be disheartened, getting local experience is your first step to reaching your goals. Need help planning your adventure? Get in touch via careers@curtin.edu.au or (08) 9266 7802, we’re happy to help.

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