Making your mark overseas
In an industry where the majority of employment opportunities are global, Oil and Gas professionals have a fantastic chance to gain experience across multiple countries. Working overseas can add real value to your career and it is an increasingly popular move in the sector. If you’re considering working overseas, here are a few tips on how you can really make your mark:
- Be flexible with location. There’s a common trait for many candidates looking for a role abroad to be picky with location. It’s important to bear in mind that this move is for the benefit of your career rather than for a vacation, and you could be limiting your options by dictating where you would be happy to work. If you make it clear to your recruiter that you’re open to working in any location, you’re more likely to see success.
- Be realistic. Perhaps one of the biggest challenges for recruiters looking to place candidates is in the expectations of the candidate versus the local talent availability. Remember, the experience you can get in international roles will be hugely valuable in your career progression, but the culture and expectations will vary across borders. If you’re unsure what is and isn’t realistic for your job opportunities, seek advice from a specialist recruiter.
- Highlight your niche skills. If you’ve trained and worked as an expat before, it’s likely that you will have developed a niche skills set which might be limited in supply for the area you’re looking to move to. Consider what your key ‘sell’ is and look at where the global opportunities would be for you. In the oil and gas sector in particular, many of the key international locations are in need of senior level skills, so be sure to highlight any.
- Demonstrate the value add you can have. There’s clearly a trend in improving cost efficiency across the globe so make sure you can outline the added value employing you would bring to the company.
- Tailor your message to the area. Make sure you do your research in advance and demonstrate how your skills fit in with the gaps in the area and perhaps in the company itself.
- Show you are able to develop a team. Companies will want to demonstrate how they are growing the skills of the local talent market and its current workforce. If this is something you have previous experience doing make sure you highlight this in order to gain a competitive advantage.
Working as an expat in any country will add real value to your career development, but remember that the market is getting tougher, particularly for Western talent. To really compete with the growing local talent, you have to build your personal brand and messages. If you follow the tips above you’ll be better placed to compete in a global market – but remember, if you are unsure of any move abroad, make sure you speak to a specialist recruiter for advice.