Linking your expat work experience with an ongoing career back home

Published:  28 Jun at 6 PM
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At least a third of Australian expats returning to the home country are having difficulty finding suitable employment.

Recently released research indicates some 33 per cent of expatriate Australians who’ve headed back home can’t find suitable jobs, with many forced to take work at a lower level than their qualifications suggest. Given that many expats leave the home country to further their careers, coming back and downsizing job-wise as a necessity is depressing at best and an unsubtle invitation to get straight back on the next plane out at worst.

Research also showed the three best ways to find work in Oz involved using a recruitment company, online searches or personal contacts. For those deciding to go overseas for new job opportunities, a relaxed attitude is recommended, even if the wish to travel is simply to find adventure in faraway places. For those actually planning a career, they should realise that international work experience involves far more than simply being away from home for a time as it’ll have a relevance with employers once they return to Australia.

Working out what skills are needed for an overseas position is the first step to finding your dream job, as is realising you’ll need to stay there for as long as it takes for employers to recognise your adaptability, staying power and motivation. Also, you’ll need to prove you’ve learned a lot from the culture of your host country as well as from the organisation itself. Putting social goals at the head of the list when deciding on a new job overseas is a major mistake, but picking a location which gives you unique experience will help when you’re job-hunting back home.

Daring to be different and refusing to follow the herd is the best way to establish your individuality, as exposure to diverse work environments will help your chances of bagging a worthwhile job once you return to Oz. For many employers, returning professionals are real assets as they’ve developed new skills overseas they’d never have had a chance to explore had they not become expatriates. Linking your hoped-for future career back home with your experiences overseas will ensure your return will result in success.
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