Thanksgiving is around the corner reminding us to get together and reflect on what we are thankful for. As a German and vegetarian, the traditional version of Thanksgiving is not really my turf. However, it’s a great time for reflection and creating awareness of how lucky we are despite the daily stress we might have.
Overcoming the cultural barrier
HOW TO OVERCOME THE CULTURAL BARRIER WHEN APPLYING ABROAD?
Differences between the Expat and the Expat Partner
TIP 1: MAKE YOURSELF VISIBLE
No matter where you are going you will most likely do not know many people and hardly anyone will know you. Try to make yourself as much visible as possible by signing up to as many job portals and networking events as possible. Put yourself out there and try a different version of presenting yourself and your skills to get a feeling how your own culture differs from your host culture and how to adopt.
TIP 2: MAKE THE MOST OUT OF YOUR INTERNATIONALITY
The fact that you are coming from a specific country adds a new skill to your CV. You are fluent in that language and have a deep understanding of the culture and communication tactics as it’s your home country. Some Expat Partners don’t stress where they are coming from, but there is a particular strength in owning it and put it as a skill on your CV.
TIP 3: GET A FEELING FOR THE FOREIGN JOB MARKET
Nothing is as devastating as applying for hours and hours just to not hear back at all. Gather some information on the internet about the labor market situation and some industry insights. Most of all, try to speak with people that are actually working in the area you want to apply for and learn how they did it. In some cultures, networking is more important than others. Also, have a piece of knowledge about how hard it is for locals to land a job will give you some peace of mind to start with!
Overcoming the cultural barrier is a HUGE topic, and there are many different approaches to tackle it. If you want to find out more about this, check out my career guide for Expat Partners to prepare yourself for that great adventure of living and working abroad.
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