This article is based on a true story. My own.
The decision to move to Toronto from Bucharest was not an easy one. There was too much uncertainty: a new continent, a foreign language, a different culture.
All my wife and I had was the ambition and desire to succeed.
Nine years later we couldn’t be happier with our decision. Our family got bigger and we made some great friends. And we both work in our chosen fields.
This two-part article is dedicated to marketing professionals looking for temporary or permanent work in a new country. I encourage you to subscribe to updates so you won’t miss the second one.
I will start with the things that matter most when choosing to work abroad. And all are non-Marketing related.
The biggest obstacle in finding a job in a new country is the language barrier. This is valid for any career you want to pursue, but even more so in Marketing.
Marketing is all about communication. Even entry level marketing jobs require good verbal and written communication skills.
So being able to communicate clearly and concisely is a must. When learning the new language, pay close attention to the terminology related to your chosen field, in our case Marketing.
How did I overcome this obstacle?
My previous education and work experience was a big help.
I started using English during my university years, mainly to translate marketing books for my research projects. I had no plans to move to Canada at that time.
As a bonus, my entire marketing career had an important international component, so communicating in English was a must.
My advice: the better you master your adoptive country’s language, the better you will succeed. But don’t wait to get there, start today.
The Ability to Integrate
I am talking about social integration.
The ability of a new employee to integrate into an existing team is a highly sought-after skill. You, as a foreigner, will invariably have a lot o prove (and improve).
It’s only natural: we are part of a new society, in most cases radically different from the ones we grew up in. We have to be able transfer our professional skills, but also to adapt socially and culturally to the new environment.
I personally spent a lot of time reading as much as you can about my adoptive country, Canada: its history, culture, values, society.
Another great way to understand the new socio-landscape is to connect with people as much as possible (not social media socializing, the old fashion face-to-face conversations).
Make as many friends as possible. Don’t be shy, engage in conversations, even if your language skills are not great.You would be surprised how many people are willing to help you succeed.
There are many non-profit or governmental organizations that can help with your integration. In Canada, many of these programs are available free of charge. Make sure you take advantage. If nothing else, you will practice the language and make new friends.
Unless you have a job ready for you when you move, finding one is emotionally draining. When looking for my first Marketing job in Canada I experienced everything: optimism, doubt, frustration, and pure happiness.
You will probably be tempted more than once to give up trying:a job below your qualifications, the frustration of being rejected for no obvious reason, the thought that your inability to get a job is because you are an immigrant, the doubt that you are just not good enough for the job,etc. Been there, done that.
“How important is luck in all this?” you ask.
In an article describing his experience finding work in London, graphic designer Iancu Barbarasa said it best:
“Luck plays an important role as well, but just as inspiration has to find you working, luck has to find you looking”.
The winning attitude: believe in yourself and keep trying. One day you will succeed.
- Focus on learning the official language of your adoptive country, including Marketing specific terminology
- Be prepared to adapt not only professionally, but also socially and culturally to the new environment
- Don’t give up, and one day you will be successful.
Part 2 of this article will contain some practical advice on how to find a Marketing job in a new country, based on my personal experience.