Top Job-Seeking Tip: Be Willing to Relocate (Including Overseas)

Don Tennant

I had an interesting conversation last week with a representative from Kaplan University, which offers online degrees and distance learning programs, about job-seeking tips for 2010 college graduates. At the top of her list was being willing to relocate. My own addendum to that is being willing to relocate overseas.


Betsy Richards, Kaplan's director of personal brand strategy, told me that not a single student has asked her about employment opportunities outside of the U.S. She suggested the fact that what we hear in the news about what's happening overseas is typically negative might have something to do with that. But when I pursued the issue, she stressed that students should definitely not avoid going overseas:

There are opportunities that are overseas. In my experience what happens is an IT graduate gets an entry-level job, for instance, with Siemens-I actually worked with a student that this happened to. She accepted the position, and six months later they transferred her to Germany. So there are international opportunities, but usually within a company that's based in that country but also has operations in the United States, or vice-versa.


Richards added that Kaplan has seen an increase in enrollees in its School of Information Systems and Technology, despite the fact that students in general are often dissuaded from pursuing a career in IT due to concerns about job availability. She attributed that in part to the maturity of Kaplan's students, whose average age is 35.


Richards' other job-seeking tips for 2010 grads:


  • Take a good look at small companies. "The big deal right now is the number of small, entrepreneurial companies that are opening. And they're hiring."


  • Leave no stone unturned. While it's painful to admit, the perfect job will likely not fall into your lap immediately.


  • Don't rely solely on your school's career center. While they'll provide tremendous support, go to both big and small job boards as well as niche sites. Follow professional organizations and career help websites via Twitter.


  • Never discount the value of the smallest networking connection.


  • Find jobs that need to be filled, and fill them. You'll broaden your skill set, but most importantly, you'll join the professional world, which will bring you one step closer to finding career satisfaction.


  • Think broadly, but honestly about your skills. You want to think creatively, but realistically about what makes you desirable as a job candidate and where you might fit.


  • Consider job openings that fit your skills but may not require your exact major or resemble the career you pictured for yourself.


  • Gain experience in your desired field. Consider an internship, part-time or even volunteer work in your field.

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Jun 14, 2010 9:26 AM Sick Dog Don Sick Dog Don  says:

The best solution for college graduates to get jobs is to stop importing all the cheap H-1B workers and the H-1B visa program immediately. Our graduates are and million of workers are unemployed because of guest worker scams. There no need pitiful advice from you. Tenant ! you need to get a real life and shut your stinking advices off the net. Nobody is going to listen to your stupid advice... Go away... We don't need your sympathy..

Jun 19, 2010 11:09 AM JJM JJM  says:

I agree. I have worked for several different companies that had "foreigners" working there temporarily. They weren't even citizens. Think about how many citizens were without jobs because of it. It's like excluding your child from dinner because the place at the table is already taken by a stranger. It's completely unethical and there's nothing anyone can say to rightfully justify it. It goes to show how crappy America really is and it won't get any better. It just gets worse. This country was built on the misfotunes of others and it will continue to thrive that way. My advice is for all the smart people to leave this place and live in a better country. Our leaders are dumbing down the culture anyway.

Jun 21, 2010 11:51 AM Joe Gott Joe Gott  says:

I'd be willing to go overseas, is overseas means Kauai. Seriously, it's difficult to find the riht kind of employee mindset in America these days. Too many come in with what appears to be a "you owe me" mindset, rather than "I like to work hard for my rewards" mindset. Those who do tend to come from a country that has not had the opportunities that Americans have had and enjoyed for years until now.

Jun 21, 2010 6:55 PM yoyome yoyome  says: in response to Joe Gott

What you mean oversea ? why don't Tennant go to Somalia or India for jobs ? Tennant supports H-1B cheap workers coming to US to take American jobs and he turns around telling us to move oversea !! What a hypocrite ??? Will your guys listen to his advices ??? I don't understand this clown "Tennant" at all. One day he pro H-1B abusers and another day he told people he hate the H-1B abusers.. He needs to grow up and make up his own mind..

Jan 13, 2012 7:54 PM Sarah Bernheim Sarah Bernheim  says:

Working overseas is truly a great opportunity because it can open a lot of opportunities for you. When you are living in a new environment where you get to deal with new people, you tend to discover more about your abilities. Working abroad will make you grow more as a person as it will really challenged you a lot. I attest to this as I am an overseas worker too. My best advice is to grab this type of opportunity.


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