In the last months I have answered the same recurring question: How did you find a job in Sydney? This post is a attempt to have a guide to point to describing some components of my journey to Sydney.
To live abroad you have to at least speak English. So, if you can read this post it is a huge step. I studied English for 18 months and worked with it so I could develop it. Maybe I will create another post sharing how I learned English.
Component 1: Learn English
Push yourself to the excellence
One thing that I didn't realize before starting this process was: I'll compete with the bests of the world. If you are a good professional and can easilly find a job at your current town. Good for you. That doesn't mean all the companies around the world will want you. Even if you are at Google. The concept of good/excellent professional changes from company to company. So keep pushing yourself to excellence. Be prepare to compete with the bests.
Component 2: Push yourself to the excellence
Where to go?
I made a list of countries that I would like to live in: Canada, Australia, USA, Germany and Ireland. After some reflection, talks to my wife, and research time I put them in priority order:
I believe this is a MUST to everybody who wants to live abroad. You should know what you are looking for. If you don't have this PRIORITIZED list yet, do it now.
Component 3: Create a prioritized list of destinations.
Update your LinkedIn
I used LinkedIn to find a job here at Sydney. LinkedIn works, believe me. But there's no free lunch. You have to spend time on your profile. In the late years I started give and ask for recommendations in my network. I also spend time describing my work in each position that I had. I have seen some people who want to find a job abroad but their LinkedIn has no description of the work they did. Would you contract someone who cannot tell you what he did in the past. I don't produce a cv in Microsoft Word for years. I just keep my LinkedIn up-to-date and export it to PDF if needed.
Component 4: Give love to your LinkedIn
Search for positions
Every night, after my kids and wife went to bed I spend between 1 and 2 hours searching for available positions. I followed the prioritized countries's list and used keywords like: Java, Ruby, Developer, etc…
My method was:
- I should cover page 1 and 2 of search result
- I would only apply for companies that accepted either my LinkedIn profile or a PDF. I could not waste time filling forms.
- I wrote a presentation letter to every single position that I liked. This took some time but it was essential.
I'm pretty sure that I applied more than once for the same position. But I don't believe this is a big issue.
In two weeks doing it I had more interviews than I could handle. So after 2 weeks I stopped the search part and decided to see how the interviews would go.
The most important thing here is: Don't just seat in front of LinkedIn and randomly search for things. Develop a method, something that you can improve. For instance, during my first night of search I was filling forms. In the second night I skipped this companies and it improved my capacity of search. Follow a process and improve it.
Component 5: Create a method to search for available positions. Follow it and improve it.
I had to accommodate the interviews in my day. As I was able to work from home, I could organize to be at home for most of the interviews. But I remember that one day I had to do a interview during lunch time when I was at client site. The good part was that most of the interview were outside working hours.
I failed in most of the interviews. I failed for Amazon in Ireland. No company in Canada wanted to offer me sponsor (I believe they expected me to get the visa by myself). For USA the problem is the Visa, you have to apply in a specific time-frame. Pivotal, for instance, liked my resume but we would have to wait till February to apply for a visa. But Germany and Australia were promising.
I went to the final round with eBay in Berlim and DiUS in Sydney.
People at eBay liked me, but they decided to pick another person with more mobile experience.
The process with DiUS was working fine, slow, but fine. I was on vacation during the last interviews. I did the big mistake of going to a isolated island in Sao Paulo/Brazil. The internet was not that good and the only lan-house closed at 09:00 pm. But in the end it worked out. On 23/12/2014 I received the job offer.
Component 6: Organize your time and resource (e.g. internet) for the interviews.
This is the most important component: Repeat steps 1 through 6.
One point that I would like to highlight is: I was prepared to start the search for positions again. It was not a single time thing. I decided to live abroad and I was willing to iterate the search step until I find a position suitable to me. So if you fail as I fail in most of the interviews, be prepared to try again. Reflect about what is working well and what you would like to improve and do it. Don't give up easily.
I hope this can help someone someday.
After receiving the offer another journey begins. The Visa! But this is a topic to future posts. Peace!