Starting a career in a new company is always frightening and sensible. Changes generally make us anxious and insecure.
Uncertainties about the future and the new environment are typical and can be addressed, even if you are starting a new career abroad.
An international career is an incredible opportunity that everyone should have access to. We gathered some answers for you in this guide to help you with some of your most common doubts and insecurities!
Am I ready for an international career?
Truth needs to be said here: we are never entirely prepared for the incredible opportunities given to us.
Your professional growth will involve risk, and if you want to change, you will need to seek new things in life that you are not entirely.
As we say to companies: there are no perfect professionals that will help you with all your necessities 100% of the time.
The most important thing that companies seek in a professional is to be eager to learn and take the steps necessary to achieve what you want.
So, the best way to discover if you are prepared is by doing a Market Test. Go with your heart open to new opportunities. You will probably receive negative feedback, but there are great chances of growing and getting one than expected.
Market Test: the freestyle way
First things first: we do not recommend this method, but we are going to explain it to you =P
The freestyle approach is a counter-productive method: you will apply to every job that interests you on every platform and every seniority level.
The problem with this method is: we are not gathering data on top of these applications, making you confused and even forgetting about the companies (something that most HRs don’t like).
Market test: the data driven approach
The data-driven approach is simple: you open up a spreadsheet and start gathering data about all of the opportunities you are applying.
- Checkout job posts
- Whenever you find an interesting job post, choose to apply to those that the companies has most of the cultural aspects that you want/look for
- See if you have some of the requirements for the job (most of the times we won’t have 100% of them, but something between 70% to 100% is acceptable for HR terms)
- Apply to the job and go fill the missing info in your profile
With your spreadsheet open, copy and paste the links of the jobs you applied for, companies’ names, skills required, and other information you might find interesting to keep for posteriority.
Having this dataset on your computer will allow you to create a study roadmap enabling you to approach other positions that you might be interested, and require the same amount of effort.
Imposter Syndrome on technical professionals
How to deal with Imposter Syndrome
We are aware that technically being prepared for the position is not enough. Sometimes we are unsure about our skills, and we judge ourselves as unworthy of an international career. But how to deal with this?
Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer for the Imposter Syndrome (if you wind one, share with us in the comments), but we can help you boost your confidence with some simple steps.
What is Imposter Syndrome?
Imposter Syndrome happens when, through an altered perception, we judge that we don’t have the potential, are capable of achieving something, or even when we don’t recognize our skills as worthy.
Most of the time, Imposter Syndrome is related to social, family, or learning processes.
If you want to prove your skills in a particular language/framework/technology, you should test them. You can do this by:
- Participating into online coding challenges (hackathons, Coding Advent, HackerRank and etc)
- Working on side projects with people that are interested in the same technologies as you
- Comparing your previous results with your current self (this will give you a sense of progress) and compare with other people inside your area
Whenever you have a roadmap and know where you are going, it’s easier to see progress and not get drowned by the bad feeling that this syndrome gives you.
These strategies can be dull at first, but they will give you a sense of purpose and generate security in your mind.
Change of Mindset
Changing how we approach knowledge and skills can make you move to the next level faster when you have that basic knowledge of your area.
We always think that everyone hired for a particular position knows what they are doing precisely and that they have all of the necessary skills.
One of the things that I’ve learned in my career is we are constantly learning about our job. I always need to Google how to use certain Python functions in a particular manner. The two more significant issues are:
- thinking that you know everything and you shouldn’t learn anything new
- thinking that your leadership has all of the knowledge and that
Remember that while you are developing yourself, every new step you take will take you to a new and more significant challenge than the one you had before. This way of thinking will lead you to an exponential career.
English Level (or any other language)
When we talk about international careers, most people will get stuck on linguistic barriers. There will always be some doubts regarding the English/French/German or any other language fluency level.
Most of the time our insecurities are about accents, perfect grammar, and if you have all the linguistic knowledge, you need. At least for English-speaking positions, the fluency level required is not as high as you think.
The image above shows the CEFR (a.k.a. Common European Framework of Reference). Most of the time, when you reach your B1 level in that language, you will be able to communicate efficiently enough to have a job.
B levels allow you to be an independent communicator. After getting into the B1, you already have the basic knowledge to communicate effectively internationally.
C levels are considered advanced and enable you to have most of your day-a-day conversations using the language. You are already considered an experienced user of the language and fully autonomous, talking in different settings and even debating with other people.
Getting started in an international career is far from being scary, as we thought at the principle of this post. With some preparation, planning, and courage, you will achieve this new level in your life, giving you a path to success.