Jobbatical gets international job seekers

I’m spending some time these days trying out a lot of HR Tech. I’m in search of user-friendly, forward-thinking job search tools for my online career courses.

Jobbatical has been on my radar for over a year. Since I teach people how to build global careers, I frequently include their job postings in my weekly newsletter.

There are no shortage of job search platforms for job seekers to use. Nearly all have international location filters. But here’s what makes Jobbatical so good: they understand international job seekers.

Here’s what makes the exceptional:

Visa sponsorship is front and center 

The top question on any internationally mobile candidate’s mind is work authorization. Right after, who’s hiring, they’re asking “Will the company sponsor me?” Jobbatical puts that information front and center. LinkedIn, the global jobs platform, still doesn’t do this.

Company overview with tags for more exploration

The country tags make it easier to explore additional open positions in the country. This easy-to-find feature is ideal for international job seekers who have specific geographic goals. It also facilitates exploration, ideally getting people to spend more time with your content. Given that most people searching for work online are in an exploratory phase, this little feature can make a big impact.

jobbatical geo tag

Introduction to the city and cost of living comparisson

When a job seeker is considering moving their life across the world they need more than a job description. Instead forcing users to find expat information on another site, Jobbatical provides a quick glance at living costs and often a city guide. This makes it easier for international job seekers to envision their new life, not just in a new role but thriving in a foreign country.

Overall, Jobbatical’s UX is solid. They offer international job seekers a seamless yet delightful exploratory search experience. Career platforms, especially the ones that serve universities, should take a cue from these guys.

International Student Career Outcomes: Recommendations Aplenty

UPDATE: Thanks for your emails! If you’re interested in career services support for international students, check out Get Hired: The US Job Search for International Students. For $29/month, international students get access to online career training courses designed specifically for them.  

I’m breaking from my usual posts on algorithms taking over our lives to share insights from the new report by WENR: Career Prospects and Outcomes of U.S.-Educated International Students: Improving Services, Bolstering Success. If you’re new to working with international students it’s worth the full read to better understand your international students’ career ambitions. If you’re a career services director the data can help you build out a stronger international student engagement strategy and support your training efforts. I work with international students through my company GlobalMe School. I’ve got recommendations aplenty to add to this report. So fair warning: #longread ahead (or at least longer than what I normally write. I’m a proponent of lazy blogging)

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Working abroad: not just for the elite

One of my fav podcasts, Game Plan, just did a show on living and working abroad. Their guest, Suketu Mehta, discusses his op-ed in the New York Times, Go East, Young American, and why more Americans should consider the expat option.

“You can have a car, an apartment, and live a middle class life if you are entirely unskilled. I see lots of American security personnel and fire fighters in the countries I go to around the world. It’s still mostly for the elite, but there’s more and more of these non-elite jobs that are opening up for Americans and Americans are going abroad to take them because they’re drying up in America itself.”

During the interview, Suketu covers a range of expat topics, from quality of life (i.e. not being an American workaholic), affordable healthcare, lower salaries and the unfavorable U.S. expat tax policy.

I spent the majority of my twenties finding ways to live abroad. The expat life was the reason I chose to do my graduate program abroad (that and it was cheaper and more international than anything I would get in the U.S.). I’m stateside now but I’m still dreaming about it. Podcasts like this are fabulously motivating.


Higher education leadership needs more cross cultural training

I’m a huge fan of Erin Meyer, a Senior Affiliate Professor in Organizational Behavior at INSEAD. Her research and book, the Culture Map, helped me greatly when I was building career workshops for international students. Even with a background in cross-cultural communication from my graduate studies (and numerous international experiences) I learned so much from her book about the assumptions I made when communicating with international audiences. I learned about the expectations I developed based on my cultural background and how it affected my interactions with international students.

Whenever the topic of cross-cultural fluency comes up, many reference the work done on value differences by Hofstede. No doubt Hofstede is a major contributor to cross-cultural communication but Erin Meyer brings a practical framework and insightful storytelling that should convince everyone to make cross-cultural communication a priority in their organizations.

I wish I could assign her videos to higher ed leadership and faculty. The videos could be a catalyst for discussing faculty expectations of international student participation in the classroom and how departments interact with (and support) international students on-campus.

For example, as Americans, we are a low context society, which means we say what we mean, we repeat our common points, and everything can be taken at face value. If you’re an American and advising students from high context cultures, like China and Saudi Arabia, there’s a chance you’re missing the nuances and subtleties students are trying to communicate to you. There’s a chance you’re not picking up on non-verbal cues. And it’s likely they’re trying to read between the lines of everything you say, even though there’s no meaning to find there. The potential for miscommunication is always high. If this makes you scratch your head and wonder how that is, watch the video below to challenge your assumptions on how we communicate with students.

Now think about the challenges faculty have around classroom participation. Most of the discussion puts the blame on students from educational systems in which students don’t challenge professors. The thinking is that students don’t participate because they don’t know how. Part of that is true. But there’s another reason they don’t participate: American faculty can’t recognize when students want to share their thoughts because they can’t read the air.

The video below expands on this topic, the concept of reading the air. When I watched this the first time I had a huge aha! moment. I’ve experienced similar confusion when I first started presenting to international executives and students. Since then I’ve worked on reading the air. It’s not easy and feels really uncomfortable since it forces me to leave silence during my presentations (and no American presenter likes that!). I always wonder if I’m misreading people. And it’s challenging when it’s not a single culture, as international students as a whole are not homogenous. But as I watched this, I couldn’t help wonder how many faculty are familiar with this concept.

We tend to think international students are the ones who need cross-cultural training and orientation to American culture. After years of working with international students, I’m convinced that higher education leadership are the ones who need it the most. It’s a wonder that with all the talk of internationalizing higher education the topic of cross-cultural training doesn’t make the priority list.

If you agree, share this with your dean, provosts, and anyone else who’s pushing to recruit more international students.