It happened. I have been hired for a communication job in Melbourne. And what a journey that was.
Graduated from two master’s degree at good Belgian universities and with a fair amount of ambition and enthusiasm I thought finding a job would be easy.
But of course, I did not choose the easy road here and had some things working against me.
Having studied communication sciences and loving everything about it, I was determined finding a job in this field. However, being a non-native speaker, with no working experience, no permanent residency and no network, it wasn’t easy.
I have put together some tips and advice for finding a job as a graduate overseas. I am not an expert, but it is what helped me.
The road getting there was hard and I would like to share my five major frustrations.
- Not knowing anyone
I never realised how good my Belgian network was. You don’t think about it when you are just living life, making friends at uni, meeting people through same interests, joining the student newspaper or doing an internship, that these relationships help you later on.
Looking for a job in another country made me realise that knowing people is important. Because through your network you find the interesting job openings.
Without this, you need to become a pretty good investigator to find the good jobs. And applying for publicly available jobs means the competition is murdering. It will be ten times harder to stand out of the crowd.
- Not being an Australian citizen
It makes me angry, but it’s a reality to deal with. Lots of jobs ask specifically for Australian citizens or permanent residents. Even though I have a visa allowing me to work without restrictions and indefinite in time.
- Not having experience
This is something every graduate looking for a job is frustrated with. Recruiters want to hear about your previous experience to get the job, but how will you ever get experience if no one gives you that chance.
I found it often surprising that people with experience were applying for entry-level positions. This shows how many people were looking for a new job.
- Endless processes
Looking for a job is exhausting and disappointing and can take forever. For every interview I spend time and energy on preparing, researching the organisation and answering key selection criteria.
Then on to a second round of interviews, completing tests, meeting the team. And with every step I would get more enthusiastic about the job and wanting to work for this great company.
But more than once, after all these tests, I heard nothing back. No email, no phone call, nothing. Running out of patience I would contact them to hear that I did not get the job.
And after weeks of investing time, you often don’t get feedback about how you did. “You did great, we loved you. But we chose the other candidate,” is useless feedback.
- Accepting rejections
Being rejected over and over is not only bad for your ego, it affects your mood, self-worth and the willingness to move on and keep on looking. Taking in rejection after rejection is hard. But it is necessary to remember it is their loss, not yours.
What are/were your frustrations when looking for a job? Leave them in a comment or message!
Looking for some tips on finding a job overseas, read them here.