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International career: tips for working abroad

You always like to be on the go, foreign languages ​​are no problem for you and you like to meet new people? Perfect, these are the ideal prerequisites for your international career. Here you can find out what you need to know in order to be able to work abroad. So: stay tuned!

Dubai, New York, Shanghai: The dream of working abroad

Nearly 1.9 million Germans work abroad (source: Germans abroad). Germany is one of the most important countries of origin for skilled workers. Highly qualified workers are particularly in demand: at 9 percent, they emigrate twice as often as the average German population.

Another 15 percent of Germans would also like to emigrate, but only four percent of which turn their dreams into reality. If you are not completely convinced either, in the following section you will find good reasons why you should take this step.

3 reasons why you should start an international career

If you work abroad, you can gain valuable (life) experience that will help you further in your professional and private life:

  1. Expand intercultural competence: Get to know other cultures, make friends around the world and look at the world with different eyes.
  2. Develop language skills: Take the opportunity to learn a whole new language and apply your foreign language skills in practice.
  3. Enjoy application advantages: Advance your career by participating in important projects and maintaining international contacts.

German expats are in demand in these sectors

In particular, managers, academics and well-trained specialists from these industries are in great demand abroad:

  • Economic and financial sector
  • Architecture and engineering
  • IT and math
  • Education
  • Healthcare
Are you ready to start your career in Dubai?

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But even if your industry is not listed here, you shouldn't let yourself be stopped from realizing your dreams. In the next section we explain how this works.

How to find a job abroad

Once you have made the decision to work abroad, things have only really started. With these tips you can successfully start your international career:

1. Going abroad as an expat

If you are already working in an international company in Germany, you may have the opportunity to go abroad without changing jobs. It is best to ask your supervisor or your HR department what options you have and where exciting projects abroad are waiting for you.

2. Apply on your own

Of course, you can also apply directly for a job abroad. Use your professional contacts or search for suitable job offers on the Internet. To ensure that your application also works, we have put together the most important tips for you in our article Application in English, CV in English and Cover Letter in English.

3. Opportunities for schoolchildren and students

It is best to start cultivating international contacts as early as possible. After school, for example, you can first travel around the world in the sense of “Work & Travel” or work as an au pair. But even during your studies you can work abroad, complete internships or even study there. To finance your studies abroad, you can use a scholarship for students, for example.


Essential skills for an international career

In addition to the skills that are generally required in your job, there are a few other requirements for your international career.

  • For example, you should be fluent to speak English and, if necessary, also master the language that is spoken on site. In many international companies, however, English in the workplace is perfectly adequate.
  • But not only the language is important in order to be able to integrate well in a foreign country. Notice the everyday customs in a country. Did you know, for example, that in China it is rude to point the sole of your shoe at someone? You can find more such etiquette tips in our article "International Business Etiquette - Dos & Don'ts".
  • In addition to language skills, you should also be culturally open and yourself get involved in new things can. This is the only way you can get the best out of your job abroad: Gather lots of new impressions, network quickly and gain valuable intercultural experience that will also help you advance in your job.


Working abroad: 3 tips for your international career

So that your international career is a complete success, we have summarized the three most important tips for you:

Tip 1: Strategic career planning

If you have high ambitions and it is clear to you from the start that you want to pursue a career abroad, you should start your strategic career planning at an early stage and ideally lay the foundation for it during your studies.

Tip 2: prepare your stay properly

After you have found a job abroad, further preparation is the be-all and end-all:

  • Apply for a work permit and visa: As an EU citizen, you do not need a work permit within the EU in most cases. You can even work in Switzerland without any problems. If you want to travel to other countries, it is best to inquire about the deadlines to be observed six months in advance.
  • Take care of a global health insurance and social security: Find out from your health insurance company whether and for how long there is global insurance coverage. You should also think about social security abroad. For example, you are often not entitled to social benefits.
  • Start looking for an apartment early: Searching from a distance is not easy, but it is worth it. So you can concentrate fully on your new tasks when starting your job and don't have to worry about a roof over your head. In some cases, companies also help new hires with the search.
  • Get a credit card or open an account on site: In times of online banking, a German account is often not a problem when working abroad. However, you should make sure that you have the opportunity to withdraw cash and inform yourself about fees. So you can weigh up whether an account on site is cheaper after all.
  • Put money back in case of an emergency: Life abroad is not as expected and you want to go back to Germany? It is best to put enough money back to make ends meet in an emergency.
  • Find out about financial support opportunities: Especially during your studies, you can use various scholarships and funding programs such as the foreign student loan to study abroad at low cost.

By the way: For example, if you work in Dubai, your employer will be very involved in finding you an apartment or making sure that you get a valid driver's license. You can find out more about this in our article Working in Dubai.

Tip 3: Network on site

When you are finally there, it is important to get the most out of your stay abroad. Get to know interesting people and expand your network, which will help you to take the next steps in your international career. You can find more tips on how to do this in our article Networking Successfully: 7 Tips for Your Business Networking.


Did you know already?

AVANTGARDE Experts is also active in the United Arab Emirates. B. Interesting job prospects in Dubai in the field of event and project management. In our article Working in Dubai, Roman Lude, Managing Director of AVANTGARDE Experts in the UAE, tells you what you should know about preparation and what makes life as an expat.

Regardless of whether you have already decided on a country or are still looking for inspiration - in our job exchange you will find many job offers from both start-ups and international corporations.

In our magazine you will also find helpful tips on CVs in English and cover letters in English - so you can advance your international career quickly.

Credit: Cover picture: VladTeodor / iStock, picture 1: Delmaine Donson / iStock, picture 2: vm / iStock, picture 3: martin-dm / iStock, picture 4: Merlas / iStock, picture 5: skynesher / iStock., Picture 6: Darcey Beau / Unsplash