Career Advice - Looking to Work Abroad or Internationally


(Julianne Johnson) #1

Hello All,

I hoped to seek career advice from all you experts. In short, I’ve just hit my 5 year anniversary with my current company and always said that my next step would be an international role or role based overseas.

Do you have any recommendations of organisations or even recruitment companies that may specialise in such a move?

I’m currently based in Northern England and I don’t speak another language fluently which I appreciate will limit my options. I’d love to work in Europe, Asia or Canada.

Yours faithfully,
Julianne :slightly_smiling_face:


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(Sachin Bhalla) #2

Hi Julianne,

Have you considered the UAE? I worked there for a while, and it really is a great place to continue a career internationally, especially with being from the UK. It’s safe, the money’s good, the weather is great, and you make a lot of international contacts that can only help further your career. Also, a company will (in general) have all your visa sponsorship stuff, and in some cases accommodation, done before you land, so the transition is quite smooth. The caveat is that you are (for the most part) stuck with the company you work for. Some companies have 6-month to a year of a non-compete clause built into the contract. You can move to a different position at a different firm, but the process is usually long and can be costly. I know a few firms that ask you to leave the country “for some time” while everything gets settled. Check out Naukri for a whole bunch of positions. As I’m sure you can appreciate, the events industry in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Muscat, and Doha is quite large. You might be spoiled for choice :slight_smile:

Canada is a good option, too (but I might be biased because I’m Canadian). Only issue is that the beginning is quite a struggle, especially in a place like Toronto. Companies here work you pretty hard, and rents are pretty high. Also, you’re usually on the hook for any expenses related to a work visa, residency, etc. That being said, once all that red tape stuff is done, you are completely mobile throughout the country. If you’re in event planning, however, I’d recommend sticking to one of the bigger cities. Montreal, for one, is great…and contrary to popular belief you don’t really need to speak French to live there. As far as online resources for work in Canada, I’ve found indeed.ca, monster.ca, and glassdoor.ca to be the best. I think they all exist in the UK as well. Recruitment companies that hire international people do exist here, but their focus is on cheap labour (and I wouldn’t recommend going through them at all as they’ve been getting scammy recently).

I’m rambling because I’ve spent 98% of my professional career working abroad (Japan, India, Poland, Oman, the UAE, the UK…).

Hope all goes well for you. I can try to help you with any other questions you might have, so feel free to write back!


(Belinda Booker) #3

Great answer @promoterGO I’ve thought about UAE in the past, but I settled on Spain in the end because of the ease of relocating here (in terms of paperwork, cost and close vicinity to the UK). I don’t speak much Spanish but I am freelance, working mostly with UK clients. I can go back for any important meetings. There are so many English speakers here in Marbella that it’s actually very easy to get by and pick up work. If you were interested in Spain @JCJulianne, there are quite a few English wedding planners, so there could be opportunities there or you could always set up on your own, if you’re feeling brave!
Otherwise, perhaps look for an opportunity with a bigger event agency that organises events internationally, like Zibrant, Jack Morton, DRP, Smyle, Banks Sadle, CWT etc. They would give you amazing opportunities to travel. You should attend some industry events like EIBTM in Barcelona later this month, or Confex in London (26 Feb) and try to network. Maybe join an organisation like Meetings Professionals International (MPI) and go to their events?


(GJ Cyrus) #4

Hi @JCJulianne

There’s a cool music event that happens every year in Southern France in Cannes called MIDEM:

That was the first event I ever went to where there were truly ppl from all over the world in the music industry. With that being said, not sure how relevant it is specific to booking but I imagine that would be a good place to network with others in the industry. Plus, everybody is happy and partying in Cannes so a prime time to connect when everybody is in a good mood.

I’ve been to CMJ, XLIVE and while I enjoyed those events, I found there were very few, if any, international contacts with the exception of a few here and there.

Lastly, if there is a specific country you think you’d like to live/work in, maybe research that country to see what events they have. For example, let’s say you wanted to be in America, then SXSW and XLIVE come to mind.

Hope it helps,
Good luck!
GJC


(Julianne Johnson) #5

Thank you so much! this is really helpful. The UAE does sound great so I’ll certainly add that to my search pool :slight_smile:

If if have more questions along the way, I’ll be in touch x


(Julianne Johnson) #6

Thanks Belinda, these are fab tips! I’m going to look into those organisations and events now to see what kinds of role I’d be good for.

Thanks! :slight_smile:


(Julianne Johnson) #7

Thanks GJC, That’s a brilliant new way of searching that I hadn’t thought of :slight_smile:

I’ve got loads to get started with thanks to everyone :slight_smile: xxx