Struggle to Become Professionally Relevant in a New Country

If you have been following my blog, where I often talk about my journey of motherhood, you know I have moved to two different countries in the last three years. In the process of building our lives in a new country, I have lost myself, found myself, and lost myself again. Therefore, I have decided to change my perspective on the whole situation of ‘losing myself.’ It is now about becoming ‘Relevant’! 

Today let’s discuss the professional struggle women face when they immigrate to another country. It is challenging to stay professionally relevant when life is moving at its own pace, and you are having a hard time catching up. 

Living in first world countries is excellent, especially if you come from a developing or an under-developed nation. One sees all the possibilities, and it gives them the courage to dream big. But dreaming is not enough. Take account of what will happen to your professional growth or how relevant your professional experience is? 

My Journey

In India, I was doing reasonably well professionally. I had more than ten years of news industry experience. People knew me, they knew my caliber, and they knew my potential. I was respected for my work ethic and enjoyed a vast network. When I decided to give up my career in India and moved to New York City with my husband, I thought to myself, “How difficult could it be?” I have worked with some of the best names in the Indian news industry. I am a hardworking individual. I am not afraid of learning new things. I am sure I will get something, but I didn’t realize it will take a lot more effort than I’d anticipated. On top of it, I took a baby sabbatical, which I will never regret. But, irrespective of what people say, it takes a toll on your professional growth.

If you are planning to move to another country, here is a list of 10 things you should be prepared for professionally. If you are a woman with a creative background and have moved to a new country with no native work-experience, then this post is for you.

Things to keep in mind

  1. Check if you have the required work permit or work visa. Every country has different rules. Ensure you have all the documents in order and commence your job hunt.  
  2. Don’t shy away from taking professional help for creating your resume. Each country has its preferred style/language when it comes to resumes and CVs.
  3. Your communication skills might be excellent, but the native format of written and verbal communication is different. You can lose a lot of opportunities if you don’t work on that from the start.
  4. Glassdoor is the perfect site to check how much salary you can expect or reviews of the company that invites you for an interview.
  5. Finding a good job takes time. Creating a network from the start takes time. It takes a lot of patience and perseverance to start anew. Be prepared to struggle and prove yourself in a new working environment. Somedays you will feel like a fresher out of the college. Don’t lose hope! Start working on your LinkedIn network even before you move. E-connect with recruiters on LinkedIn will help you find a suitable job faster.
  6. Check if your qualification is relevant. There are several websites and universities which offer free credential evaluation services. Do you need to study further? Do you need a certification? Answer to these questions will help you plan a course of action to ease job hunt. 
  7. If you decide to study further, try to find out the colleges you want to enroll in and the eligibility criteria for taking admission in those colleges. Find their fee structure, scholarships, and plan of action to pay the college fee.
  8. If you don’t have financial means to study in the country, then be prepared to start at entry-level positions. This is irrespective of what your domestic profile was. Especially for creative professionals, because traditional professionals like engineers, IT, accountants, etc. with experience in multi-national companies don’t have to worry a lot. 
  9. Are you willing to do ‘survivor jobs’ until you find your first break? From working in a coffee shop to a mart, there are a lot of job opportunities. These jobs can help you pay for your tuition fee or give you some financial freedom till the time you get the job in your area of expertise.
  10. As the saying goes, “Every penny saved is every penny earned.” Till the time you don’t find a job be cautious and mindful of your expenses. It is easy to get lost in the glitz and glamour of cities like but New York or Toronto. Life is beautiful here, and to experience this kind of life has a big price tag. Patience and perseverance is the key to making big. 

 I am yet to find my dream job, but I wanted to share my struggle. Hopefully, it will help someone out there. Readers will have better information while planning their move. I hope I soon get a chance to share my success story as well. Till then, “Try and try until you succeed.” 

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