Working while studying English in a foreign country
Many students work part time to finance their studies. If you are planning to do this is it important to be familiar with the legislation and economic
environment of your chosen country. Even if you learn as much as you can before you leave, by the time you arrive the job situation might have changed
making it harder to find a job. With increasing competition in the job market it is important to be prepared before you leave and also ready to adapt once
you get there.
It is important to remember that looking for a job overseas is going to be different than at home. Employers will not be as familiar with your
qualifications or background. Some employers will feel more comfortable hiring a native English speaker. It is important not to limit yourself to a
particular industry or rely on your usual methods of finding a job. Preparation is important and you should start long before you leave. Do as much research
as possible on the kinds of jobs available in the area where you will study. Try to find out where other students find work in the local area, especially if
there are industries where a lot of foreign students work. If you intend to look for work through employment agencies you should send copy of your CV with
an email explaining your skills and availability before you leave. When you have arrived you can resend the email and CV with updated details like your new
phone number and contact the agency by phone. Contact as many agencies as possible, but do not rely only on agents to find a job. Add your details to a job
seekers website listing your skills. If your details are already listed on a job seekers website, make sure to update your location.
It is also important to use as many contacts as possible in your job search. You can use local websites for expatriates from your country to research the
current job market and find contacts who can advise you. These contacts can provide information and contacts who can explain how they found work.
Many websites will tell you that there is a certain convention for writing resumes. While this may be true it is much more important to have your CV written
correctly. It is astounding how many students will print hundred of copies if CVs without doing a basic spell check or having a proper translations of their
qualifications. Although there are certain conventions for who a resume is written in any country, in reality, there are many different styles of writing
CVs but if you are applying for a job in an industry that employs a lot of foreign students an typo is not acceptable. If you do not have the capability to
spell-check your resume before you leave, it is better to wait and invest some money in an internet café that has a spell check. Also, double check with
your teacher, homestay family and contacts before sending off your CV. Do not rely on one person. Also remember that no matter how good your CV is most
times for unskilled part time work, finding a job is a matter of timing. If you really need a job it doesn't hurt to go back to the same places and hand in
another copy of your CV. Sometimes when a sudden vacancy arises the CV on the top of the pile will be the first to get the phone call.
When you do hand in a CV be polite and friendly to everyone. You never know who the influencer is in a business. You may have had a long day and been
refused a hundred times, but you have to walk into every potential employer with a very positive attitude and be super nice and friendly. If you walk in
looking tired and dejected the next person who walks in acting friendly and positive will probably get the job.
When to look for a job
If you are serious about finding work it is important to remain motivated. Start your job search as soon as possible. Starting early will give you a better
idea of the local situation. If you send your CV to local agencies and they are immediately responsive that is a good indication that there is a demand for
your skills. If you receive no reply it is safe to assume you will have to broaden your search. The more information you have about a place, the more
capable you will be of finding a job. Just because you hit a few hurdles when you began looking for a job does not mean you should give up. If you remain
interested in finding a job you will be more likely to talk about it and in doing so will receive advice and information form the people you meet.
Where to look
Plain and simple, you have to look everywhere. Your dreams of finding a job in a multinational financial organisation or fashion house might not come true,
at least not straight away. Just because you have a university degree in comparative anthropology does not mean someone will hire you in this field. If you
want to work in your ideal job, stay at home and work there. If you want to learn English accept that you might have to work washing dishes or cleaning
toilets. Once you accept this fact, you will find it much easier to find a job. If you are as capable as you think and have faith in yourself you will
hopefully be able to move on to a bigger a better job if you keep looking. If you are hired by an agency to do part-time work and the agency receives
positive feedback, they are more likely to rehire you for the kind of job you actually want.
Do not underestimate the value of friends. People in your school will know other students who have been in the country longer than you and will be able to
provide you with very good advice on where to look and job vacancies.
Don't presume finding a job will be easy, but if you stay positive and open minded you have a much better chance of success.
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