How to Get a Job Abroad

May 11, 2023
Are you thinking about moving to another country?

Moving abroad is exciting! Imagine all the new adventures you will have, the different lifestyle you will experience, the people you will meet, all the new things you will get to learn about yourself and the world…. The possibilities are endless!
Truly, relocating has the potential to change your life and, once that travel bug bites you, it’s difficult to go back. After all, if you’ve done it once, why couldn’t you just do it again? Of course, you can! From London to Milan, New York, Dubai, Singapore, Shanghai, Sydney and beyond, the world could be your oyster – even with a serious career!


Here at The Happy Mondays Co, we get asked that question A LOT! So today, we will answer the most frequently asked questions we get on this topic and share with you our top tips for finding a job abroad.

Q: Is it possible to find a job before moving or should I wait until I’m there?

YES! It’s absolutely possible to land a job before moving – particularly if you have significant experience or expertise in a specialist or niche field, industry or company, or if you can impress with - and demonstrate - your previous successes and high performance.

Companies are becoming more efficient in their hiring strategies, and it’s no longer just about finding a person for the job but finding the RIGHT person for the job. Companies are willing to spend, sponsor visas and search out top talent in order to make that happen. After all, the financial impact of making a bad hire is significantly higher than sponsoring somebody who will add value and deliver results.

Q: But what if my experience is less niche?

If your background is a bit less niche, particularly in markets like Singapore or London, your chances of finding a job can increase when you’re on the ground. However, this shouldn’t stop you from preparing yourself as much as possible before you land in your new city, so that you can hit the ground running.

Because, whether you’re in a specialist field or not, it’s key to make an impactful first impression that absolutely demonstrates that you are the right person for the job.

To make the right impression you need to, first of all, define what you’re looking for and understand your new job market. Based on this, refresh your personal branding, including your CV and LinkedIn profile, to make sure they are strongly aligned to the new environment you’re moving into.

Plus, do your research: what does ‘top talent’ look like in this new location? How do others working in those roles you aspire to stand out from the crowd? Use these insights to design your strategy to tackle this new market. For example, expat job seekers in Bangkok often find roles by rocking up at the offices of the companies they want to work for and directly speaking to relevant people. In contrast, doing this in London would be viewed as inappropriate and those companies would probably think you’re a bit crazy…

Also don’t forget to leverage your existing network to make those all important new connections in the new city and don’t forget, overall, the key is to tell a strong story of who you are as a professional, what have to offer and why you’re perfect for the opportunity.

Q: Should I rather try to get an internal transfer? How do I go about that?

As with everything, there are pros and cons. Before you go down this route, the critical thing to ask yourself is what do you want out of this move? What do you want your new life - and work life - to look like? Does transferring to your existing company fit in with that vision - or could it? What will your needs be as you settle into your new country, and how closely are they aligned with either transferring internally or taking the leap to new possibilities, including the associated risks? Explore this in depth, as it will assist in making a decision that’s right for you.

If you’ve decided that you do want to continue the journey with your current employer, speak to HR as early as possible. Let them know that you’re intending to move and get an understanding of how a transfer might work. Keep in mind though, there are often no guarantees of a role, though companies will do their best to create them for high performers they don’t want to lose. Transferring may result in a change of role, so it’s key to get this information as soon as possible. The earlier you really understand what’s feasible, the better.

However, if deep down inside you know that it’s time for a change, please be brave and make that change. Don’t waste this opportunity! Try to find your Happy Mondays!


We hope this has been helpful for you to figure out your next steps and to make that move a reality.

Remember, the key to landing your new job is to first define what you are looking for and what you really want. Based on this, learn how to communicate your value and have a clear and compelling story. Lastly, learn how to tap into the hidden job market in your new city, because many of the best jobs never make it on to job boards. So, don’t waste your time!

Still need help figuring out your next step? Get in touch and let’s discuss!

9 out of 10 of our clients land their Happy Job in 3 months or less - irrespective of their visa status. If they can do it, so can you!

Good luck!

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