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jlelandg's avatar

How would a long time ex-pat best market themselves after being abroad a long time?

Asked by jlelandg (3536points) October 15th, 2014

Hey Fluther! I’m back after a long absence. I’m wondering if anyone in the collective has an idea how one markets their skills to get out of the education industry.

I’ve lived in China for 8 years in the private/public English education industry. After 8 years abroad I’m found the desire to be a teacher in America to not be what I’m interested in-rather I find myself shifting towards youth recreation/entertainment/education.

I feel I’ve been quite successful while I’ve been here e.g. I’ve tripled my salary, have had a good deal of respect for being a quality employee everywhere I’ve worked, and learned the language to a decent yet probably not professional level; but I’ve always found the American job market daunting.

I’m married with a kid on the way and I’m looking to find some success back home starting in the fall. I need to start doing the things required to get the career rolling in the right direction.

I’m not asking for you to solve my life-rather I am looking for ideas of what one in my situation could do to get themselves up to speed in the American job market. Any ideas?

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6 Answers

Here2_4's avatar

Everything being online these days, you can be still in China (I believe you are from the way your details read), and shops jobs for the area where you plan to move. You can search occupational availability, real estate, transportation, set up a wish list for gifts for the baby, get on a daycare waiting list, all while calling out for Chinese delivery. (Do they deliver Chinese in China, or Burger King?)
A good daycare requires a lengthy time on a waiting list in most areas.
Your resume must be quite impressive right now. I imagine you have that current.
Welcome home, and good luck!

JLeslie's avatar

Consider looking into youth programs with churches and charitable organizations. Do you have a degree in education? A friend if mine was an accountant and became very interested in helping teens and at the same time he also felt a religious calling. He went back to school for an MSW and then spent time working with youth through a church program. I don’t think being religious would be any sort of requirement for a lot of churches though. Catholic charities tend to not care what religion you are, I would assume that is true for many religious charities.

Your resume is going to state the international experience you have, it can only help you get a job in my opinion. If you happen to live in an area with a large Chinese population it will help even more, but also any diverse city will welcome any international experience, because it shows you are open to different cultures and languages.

Another idea is working at a resort in charge of activities for the children. Resorts get kids from all over the world and international experience would be a positive.

the100thmonkey's avatar

You do it in the same way you market any skills gained in any country. Skills are skills.

On the business side, there is a lot of overlap between education, project management, human resources and the like.

You need to sit down and decide exactly what your skills are and how they relate to specific jobs in the areas you’re interested in. That will give you a better idea of how to approach the industries in general.

Given how big a market for US universities China is becoming, you could look into something like education administration and student care for international students, or possibly even international marketing for the Chinese market. Having a formal Chinese qualification would help a great deal, I suspect.

Just a heads up – my experience of moving back to the UK after 5 years in Japan was that the length of time I spent there counted against me. A very honest soul at an employment agency put it to me that I could have been in prison abroad for all they knew, and that because of the perceived problems with language and communication, many places would consider my CV unverifiable. I ended up going back into education and taking higher-level qualifications that ensured I could teach in the tertiary sector in the UK and Japan. It cost a fair bit, but was worth it.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I would consider establishing classes for newly arrived Chinese explaining American habits and customs. My lifelong friend recently returned from a 2 year stint where he fell into a lucrative line of work with Chinese companies, lecturing Chinese employees prior to their leaving for the states. He lectured on American history, customs and idioms, and was not one bit fluent. He was nevertheless very much in demand. Since his arrival, back, he has already been fielding requests for tutoring.

janbb's avatar

It might be a real edge for you if you look for youth/recreational jobs in Chinese communities. Then you could sell yourself as having a deep knowledge of Chinese culture and customs.

chinchin31's avatar

Yup try to find your Niche among the wealthy chinese families moving to the US. Then you can continue to earn well without starting over. Work for yourself as their private tutors.

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