How To Get Jobs In Developed Countries As a Professional From a Developing Country?
Part 2: How To Build Your Skills, Network, and Sell Yourself?
Jul 26th 2022
How To Build Your Skills, Network, and Sell Yourself As a Professional Based In a Developing Country.
Are you a professional based in a developing country? Do you dream of leveraging your living standards, getting a job in a developed country, and living on a decent salary that well represents your skills and talents? You are in the right place!
If you are interested in moving to another country for work, please check our article “How To Get Jobs In Developed Countries As a Professional In a Developing Country? Part 1: How To Sneak Into Another Country?” Here, we will touch other topics, such as self-education, building professional skills, applying for remote jobs, branding yourself, and building self confidence.
Online Education Has Opened To International Students… And Is Becoming a Standard.
Firstly, let’s briefly talk about the current state of affairs in international education.
Today, capitalism has sneaked into the education sector. Namely, education slowly moves online. Universities need to compete with independent educators, educational influencers, and private education firms. More and more content becomes freely available online. Online educators change business models and move from hiding behind a paywall to open, sponsored content and as soon as they possibly can.
In this situation, you can learn entire professions from YouTube or even TikTok! Or, take free courses from teams representing prestigious institutions such as Stanford or MIT via Coursera and other open education platforms.
Interestingly, in the developed countries, the interest in free online education is also rapidly increasing on behalf of university education.
Young professionals representing generation Z, also known as “boomers,” no longer believe in the role of the public education system in their life success and don’t trust higher education in general. They are eager to learn and start careers on their own rather than spending most creative years of their lives and often, getting in a massive debt, during the years spent at the university.
What does this mean in practice? Well, in terms of chances for learning and self-development, we are more equal than ever before. If you think that you don’t have enough options to get solid online education, perhaps you should browse more!
Businesses Worldwide Open To The Idea of Hiring Remote Workers.
Of course, the world pandemic substantially accelerated this process. But today, in the times of global village, remote teams slowly become a standard. Businesses are more and more welcoming to the idea of getting talent living overseas on board.
Sometimes, hiring experts living in developing countries is formally not possible. For instance, this is the case in Europe as the European Union is highly protective of European employees. However, nothing can stop businesses from taking you on board as a subcontractor.
There is a range of services that can be fully delivered remotely and learned by yourself — for free and from the comfort of your home. So, what are your options? To name just a few:
1. Coding & Data Science.
It has become easier than ever to learn how to code all by yourself —- even if you had modest beginnings in life. It is a matter of curiosity, diligence, and self-discipline rather than the traditional academic education. And employers don’t really care about academic titles.
There are certain exceptions, such as Google that requires at least a Bachelor’s title from job candidates — but it’s mostly because of the way computer science is taught at universities, how much time is spent on theoretical fundamentals of coding, and how this type of training specifically fits Google’s projects. In most cases though, recruiters will test your skills rather than looking into your academic curriculum.
If you think of software development for a living, you need to know that not every programming language is useful to the same extent — some languages have many more industry applications while others are dying languages such as Latin.
For the full list of programming languages that we can recommend from professional standpoint, please check our article “Top 5 Most In-Demand Programming Languages in the Today’s Job Market.”
Unlike coding itself, Data Science also contains the scientific part — as the name suggests. As a Data Scientist, you not only build pieces of code, but also try to understand real-world problems and build new solutions that can be tested in the real world.
For instance, you work on a new algorithm that interprets sound that will help in building more accurate hearing devices for people with hearing problems. Or, you analyze why the customer satisfaction tested on the clients of the company you work for is low, and how to improve the production process to improve these scores.
If you are naturally curious and eager to solve real-world problems, the Data Science career might be the right path for you and guarantee you an exciting professional life with a great future. However, the path to become a competitive Data Scientist is much longer than the path to start working as a software developer.
For a tutorial for how to start this career, please check our article “5 Steps To Build a Career in Data Science and Land Top Data Science Jobs.”
2. Graphic Design.
Graphic design is yet another way to put your step in the door and get a remote job. Your natural talent and work ethic matter much more here than any school. You can start by using the free Canva account and learning on your own or by taking some online courses.
For instance, Skillshare offers hundreds of courses in graphic design such as the “Graphic Design Basics: Core Principles for Visual Design” for beginners.
3. Web Design.
Web design is a marriage between coding and graphic design. To become a good frontend designer, you need to be strong at both. Again, Web Design is a type of expertise that you can confidently learn all by yourself, by building more and more complex projects and taking online courses.
For instance, you can find beginner-level courses “Beginning Web Design for Creatives, Visual Learners, and Everybody Else” and “Web Design and Copywriting: Build Insanely Effective Landing Pages With Old School Secrets” at Skillshare.
4. Content Creation.
Today, if you don’t exist online, you don’t exist at all. Businesses understand this very well and consequently invest in the public communication with their clients through social media activity or blogging. Therefore, a company blog and news section have become an integral part of every business.
Having said that, there is a lot of room for international talent in the realm of digital content creation. From media communications, through writing informational content, creating infographics, to copyrighting — you can choose your own area of expertise to best utilize your talents. If you enjoy photography, you can even monetize this by shooting stock-like photos for your clients!
For more, this career path is a relatively safe direction to choose. Content creation doesn’t go anywhere — now after the pandemic, every business wants to have online exposure. Having a good content creator who consistently produces good quality content on the team is gold.
Moreover, good content is not easy to reproduce by AI, especially when it comes to using humor or metaphors. Therefore, as a content creator, make sure that you invest time and effort in developing your own style, that you put your own touch into what you do, and that your creations are something more than just putting together encyclopedic, dry information.
Branding and PR are related to content creation. However, this area of expertise is more focused on strategizing and channeling the communication from helicopter point of view to achieve the desired effect long term.
A branding or PR expert usually creates a branding / public relations strategy and works with a team of content creators to put this strategy to life and make sure that the company doesn’t fall into major pitfalls when it comes to branding — such as copying another brand, becoming greedy or controversial, or trying to win too wide or too narrow target group.
So, if you feel like a type of a strategist who knows how to win people’s hearts and engage them in the company vision, you should try. Especially smaller companies that don’t have the budget for working with major branding companies, might be interested in collaborating with an agency operating from a developing country.
6. Online Marketing.
One could talk for hours about online marketing — who doesn’t need it today! Roughly, online marketers can be divided into two categories: SEO experts and online campaign creators.
A SEO expert is someone who knows how to optimize a website so that it captures as much organic traffic as possible. Google’s whole business model is based on advertising: it charges businesses between 1—20 dollars per click for putting them on the top of the search list for a certain search keyword.
The charged amount depends on the keyword. For instance, keywords related to finance and education are generally more expensive than keywords related to gardening or weather.
In general however, businesses would need to pay tens of thousands of dollars per month to gain organic traffic that generates valuable leads. That’s why SEO experts are so valuable to them.
A SEO expert analyzes traffic on the website, finds proper keywords to secure maximal organic traffic in the desired area, as well as optimizes the website so that it naturally pops up high in the Google search engine, without the paid advertising. He or she is also responsible for optimizing the website parameters so that it loads fast and is functional.
On the contrary, the online campaign creators create paid online campaigns via major platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram. They need to track complex metrics, including the origins and the demographic of the site visitors, the CPC (cost per click), the CPA (cost per client acquisition), the customer journey, retention rates, etc.
They also need to test multiple versions of the same ad to find the most efficient one. This requires analytical thinking and strategy. In many ways, running online ad campaigns is an analytic job rather than a marketing job.
Online marketing often has bad press as a kind of manipulation, while in fact, it is a form of marketing as any other. It can be a fascinating job that gives you lots of personal freedom and an opportunity to work with multiple interesting brands. To learn more about digital marketing, please check our article “White Collar Jobs in Digital Marketing: Hot or Not? On 5 Biggest Myths around Digital Marketing.”
7. Video Editing.
Today, visual content is often more appealing to the audiences than written word. Plus, people want to buy from people, not from businesses. No wonder that businesses are eager to pull off their own YouTube and TikTok channels and let their own CEOs speak to the camera, searching for engaged followers and leads there.
Of course, this requires a professional editing job. If you have a creative mind and you enjoy video editing as such, you might be willing to create an agency offering video editing services. The demand for such services willingly grows in time.
8. Remote Management.
Today, brands not only delegate coding but also, project management. At the end of the day, for remote teams it doesn’t matter where their team leader is located.
If you feel like you are a people’s person and a natural type of a leader, you might be willing to consider going for online project management certificates such as, for example, the free Google Project Management: Professional Certificate at Coursera, and applying for remote jobs.
Define Your Core Competencies.
In the process of becoming a respected expert, your personal branding will be crucial. What are you best at? In your online communications, your pitch needs to be clear.You need to be sure of what your craft is, and openly say it to your leads.
We tend to be proud of skills that took us the most effort to acquire, but often, these are not our biggest talents. What is easy for us, can be extremely hard for others! If you are not sure what your strongest side as a professional is, you can ask your coworkers, friends, and family and listen to their fresh view of yourself. They might surprise you!
Put Yourself on the Map.
Make sure that you are present online and that your personal branding is consistent. Namely, be consistent with how you introduce yourself on various social media. In the Western culture, we use to put our given name first and our family name last. So, if you wish to work with brands in the Western cultural circle, you might adjust to this convention.
Also, it is preferable to use the same (preferably professional) profile photo to be easily recognized across multiple platforms. Remember that we don’t have the ability to easily differentiate faces of people ethnically different from us. So, if you use the same profile photo, you make yourself much easier to recognize for people overseas.
Of course, it is also crucial to set a professionally looking, full LinkedIn profile, and learn how to efficiently network on LinkedIn so that you can get the best out of it. It is entirely free of charge — your success on LinkedIn only depends on your diligence.
To learn more about how to start on LinkedIn and how to network on LinkedIn like a pro, please check our articles “10 Steps to Create an Effective LinkedIn Profile” and “Top 11 Rules For Effective Networking on LinkedIn.”
Lastly, it is highly valuable to create a personal website for yourself or for your business, and set a Google Business page for your professional activities to start collecting testimonials. After all, your own website is your own plot online — while a LinkedIn profile is like building a house on someone else’s plot.
Start Somewhere. You Can Start Small, It’s No Shame!
To get your first clients, you can consider joining platforms such as Fiverr or Upwork. On these platforms, you can post any gigs and then adjust your offer to be able to make the most out of your time. In general, these platforms are good to start, experiment, gain experience, get some leads, and collect testimonials for your services.
But as soon as you get a chance to run from there by exporting your clients beyond Fiverr and working with them on a regular basis, you should do this. The point is: on Fiverr, you compete with other sellers on the price while on platforms such as LinkedIn, you compete on the brand and quality. It is always a better option in the long run.
Also, focus on a few strategic clients and make sure that they can give you real recommendations — not just five stars on Fiverr and a thumb up, but they will also pick up a phone and call their contacts to vouch for you and find you next clients. A few strong recommendations will take you further than many random ones.
Polish Your English!
In the process of developing your online career, also make sure to polish your English! Many professionals in developing countries are wonderful software developers, graphic designers, or engineers, but their English does not feel natural and that makes them waste lots of opportunities.
So, develop the habit of using Grammarly to polish your text before sending it out to the client, and practice written and spoken English — especially if you are planning to work as a content creator or a social media representative. It is definitely an investment worth taking and the sooner you start, the better for you.
Learn About Work Culture In Other Countries.
Are you willing to work for a company in the Western culture? Well, it would be good to learn about the working culture in their country — to know what the expectations are. There are major differences in mentality between countries.
For instance, Germans and Swiss are known for their principled attitude to deadlines and hierarchy. When the boss tells you that the report has to be on their desk on Friday noon, it has to be there on Friday noon, not at 1 pm. The Dutch leave their employees more autonomy, which sometimes means no guidance. And yet, they still expect the work to be done on time.
Americans are known for the attention they pay to following the rules — especially the rules related to safety and to team diversity. If you don’t follow procedures strictly enough, you will be on your way out. On the contrary, Mediterranean nations are known for the loose attitude to both deadlines and rules, which can result in chaos.
Overall, before you work with a client in a distant part of the world, it is good to browse and read about the local work culture, and if possible, also the culture of this specific company. If you are not sure about specific rules and expectations, just ask! Many professionals representing developing countries are not asking enough questions. Asking questions is perfectly fine as it is a sign of team spirit.
Learn The Art of Selling Yourself in the Recruitment Process.
There is a difference between being a strong professional, and appearing like so in the recruitment process. To get good gigs or get hired, you need to learn how to make the best impression on clients and recruiters.
To learn more about passing interviews with flying colors, please check our other articles “7 Magic Spells: How To Enchant the Recruiter at the Job Interview,” “Before a Job Interview: How To Conduct an Informational Interview,” and “Don’t Blow Job Interviews! Red-flags In Recruiters’ Eyes.”
To get a comprehensive knowledge on how to land jobs and contracts, please check also Natalia Bielczyk’s book “How to Navigate in the Job Market and Shine in the Job Interviews.”
Don’t Fall Into the “Easy Money” Trap.
Many professionals based in developing countries have a wrong imagination about life in developed countries. They believe that life here is easy, and people live on a good standard without doing much. Well, thesis not true.
Although the purchasing power is higher here, we still need to put in lots of effort to stand out and secure a good quality life for ourselves and our families. The truth is, we all need to pedal really hard to get somewhere in life. There is no such thing as easy money — regardless of what your favorite YouTubers and other influencers might say!
So, while looking for a better life, don’t fall into the “easy money” trap. You might encounter lots of scam online, promising you big gains without work. Blockchain scam, financial pyramids, trading bots… There will be lots of temptation, so keep your eyes on your prize and focus on gaining real craft and building a real career.
This article is all about investing in yourself and developing skills necessary to start. Getting jobs in developed countries. However, next to investing in yourself, it is also worth investing in assets such as real estate.
We live in a global village now — in the next few decades, the prices of soil and real estate are likely to equalize across the globe. If you live in a developing country, you can profit from that!
Conclusion: Keep on Learning!
Lastly, the world is not just. If you were born and raised in a developing country, you don’t have the best starting point. In order to make it, others need to be good — while you need to be great. So, keep on learning! The starting point is the hardest; while you find out what you’re best at, and start getting clients, the rest is just persistence. Good luck!
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Please cite as:
Bielczyk, N. (2022, November 14th). How To Get Jobs In Developed Countries As a Professional From a Developing Country? Part 2: Build Your Skills, Network, and Sell Yourself. Retrieved from https://ontologyofvalue.com/how-to-get-jobs-in-developed-countries-as-a-professional-in-a-developing-country-part-2
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