Tuesday, 2 April 2013

A Different Approach

This is not the typical international jobs and careers book that is primarily an annotated listing of various organizations hiring international professionals. Several books, including our Almanac of International Jobs and Careers and Jobs For People Who Love Travel, already approach the subject in this manner. If you are primarily interested in getting a listing of such organizations, you should consult these other books.

On the other hand, if you are interested in understanding the structure of the international job market, learning about job search strategies and techniques appropriate for navigating this market, and exploring a few important job and career options not normally dealt with in other books, then this book is for you.

We approach our subject in terms of the major problem we see facing both international job seekers and career counselorshow to best deal with the issues of motivation and job/career objectives in a highly fragmented, segmented, decentralized, and chaotic international job market. In other words, how can we best advise those whose motivations and goals are not compatible with the standard career planning model as well as conventional job search methods?

Our solution to this problem is what occupies the remainder of this book. The solution is threefold. First, the chapters that follow take as a given the fact that many international job seekers are first and foremost oriented toward an international lifestyle which may or may not involve "making it" in the traditional sense of making money and achieving career success in the form of advancement up organizational or career development hierarchies.

Therefore, the career planning and job search methods must be adapted to the motivations and goals of these individuals rather than require that international job seekers adapt their motivations and goals to the implicit goal-oriented and cultural requirements of the methods and techniques. They must accommodate individuals who by nature may be restless, adventuresome, entrepreneurial, and motivated by a sense of mission and seemingly unrealistic dreams.

Second, we attempt to bring some logic to the structure of the international job market, which by definition has few boundaries and which lacks a coherent structure for processing job information. We do this by addressing many myths and realities relevant to understanding international jobs and the international job market; discussing the structure of this market in terms of the types of jobs and organizations hiring international specialists; and pointing job seekers in the direction of key resources for locating job vacancies and organizations hiring for international positions.

Third, we address two areasthe travel industry and starting one's own international businessnormally absent in other international books. These are important job and career options for individuals who desire an international lifestyle but who do not want many of the hassles involved in living abroad long-term, who continually face job instability and unpredictability, and who prefer working for themselves.

If you are restless and are motivated by the desire to travel as well as live and work abroad, or wish to establish a domestic base from which to occasionally travel abroad as part of your job, the travel industry and owning your own international-related businessbe it consulting or import-exportmay be perfect career choices for someone with your particular mix of motivations, skills, and experience. These chapters are especially relevant to individuals who already have international experience but wish to permanently return home because of their age and family situations.

Indeed, we find many people who have lived and worked abroad for 10 to 20 years want to continue working in the international arena but not in the same manner they have in the past. For many, it's time to settle down, own appreciating property, and ensure their children will be attending good schools back home. The travel industry and starting one's own business may be excellent international job and career options for such individuals since they enable them to continue working in the international arena but from a home base. In many respects, these two job and career options may be ideal solutions to the questions of motivation and objectives for many international job seekers.