Finding work that feels purposeful and impactful might feel like a luxury or unrealistic; particularly for someone that just relocated to a new country (and culture) without a network. Jaime Gennaro from Practica Consulting tells us how building a network and finding a career you love can happen anytime and anywhere, no matter your circumstances.
Moving to a new country without a job and without a way of meeting new people can be scary and lonely. The reality is that it doesn’t take a lot of time to build a network and to find a job, but some people rush the process. They end up taking the first job that comes along and spending time with people they don’t really like, rather than finding a community that they feel connected to and work that aligns with their passion and spirit.
It’s a beautiful thing to get a fresh start in a new country. Let’s talk about how you can love your work, love your new community and thrive in your new home.
Reframe your storyIt can be easy to beat ourselves up about work, or our lack of work, especially if we see people around us having the success that we want but are struggling to find. If you are currently unemployed and feeling bad about it, try to reframe the story you tell yourself. Be careful not to make unemployment mean something negative about you.
Focus on all of your accomplishments (you moved to a new country for one!), focus on what you enjoy about your days in this new place and focus on your talents and skills. Make lists of these accomplishments and talents so that they are at the tip of your tongue the next time you’re in an interview or talking to people about the kind of work you’d like to find.
Talk yourself up and tell your story of bravery and risk in moving to a new country. Take this time to focus on your passions and dreams so that you are fuelling your creativity. This will help you look for (or invent) the kinds of jobs that could leverage your passion.
Find a networkThis is the fun part of moving to a new place – finding those magical souls who you are supposed to meet! Stop trying to network in stuffy seminars and conferences. Trying to network at a seminar where you have to force awkward and uncomfortable conversations is not where you will find your people or the kind of work that you enjoy. You will find your new community connected to your passions.
Do you like photography? Join a photo club. Enjoy writing? Go to a spoken word night. Your “networking for work” doesn’t always have to be connected to work conferences and workshops. Sometimes the best jobs come through recommendations from friends. Sometimes we meet the hiring manager of an advertising agency at an expat bowling night. These types of events are also more fun, so you’ll be relaxed and better able to chat about your talents, past work accomplishments and passions.
It might feel counterintuitive to attend fun networking events when you’re looking for work, but fight the urge to sit in front of your computer writing resumes and connecting to people on LinkedIn and go out and connect with them in person. Even CEOs are known to go out and have fun sometimes, you might just meet them on their rare night out.
Get supportMoving and finding a new career is tough, it can take a lot out of you. Getting support doesn’t mean you’re a failure – it means you’re ready to take back your strength so that you can make positive changes in your life. Hiring a professional career coach or joining a class can be just the thing to help you find a new community and learn new tools to help you move to the next level in your career.
Jaime from Practica Consulting is a career coach who works with expats to help them have the belief and confidence to go after jobs that feel purposeful and impactful. She’s helped many new arrivals to the Netherlands land jobs (or start businesses) that align with their values.
She also loves connecting people and through her online courses has created a community of expats in the midst of career change and entrepreneurship who support one another. Sometimes all you need is a little focus, encouragement and a solid plan to get from where you are to where you want to be. If you want to join her community, consider joining one of her online courses.