My husband and I recently moved to a new country – having lived in the same place our entire adult lives, we wanted to live in a big city to explore all it had to offer. We now live in a truly international city with a population of more than 3 times our hometown. My husband found work very quickly so while he worked, I set up our new home. That kept me busy for a few weeks and after that, I started job hunting myself.
My occupation has an image of prestige and status in society, although not always necessarily accompanied by a high salary. There is generally a hierarchical structure in most organisations within this industry and many would say that it is quite a cut-throat environment to work in, not only because of its long hours but the stress that it brings. It is also a male-dominated industry, especially the higher the ladder you climb.
I must admit that there was a time when I wanted to change careers. I found it hard to thrive in the industry (not because I am female, although that may be a factor) but because I felt that I was not assertive/aggressive enough. So during my time of self-discovery, I came to realise that I really did enjoy my area of specialisation, and that it was actually the company culture that was not the right match. So on that basis, I decided to stay in the industry and set out searching for a work environment that fostered the right kind of culture that suited me.
It has been a few weeks since I first met with a recruiter and had my CV sent to a few potential employers. Time seems to go by so slowly when you are waiting in eager anticipation each day for some good news. The feedback I have received is that there are not many employers in this market who require my area of specialisation. However, some recruiters were optimistic that I would be able to find work within 6 months given that there are not many candidates whom I would be competing with if a job in my area did become available.
Some family members have suggested that I should widen my scope to look outside of my area of specialisation as there are many more generalist roles in the same industry to which I could apply my skills. Other family members have criticised me for not having an open mind to trying new things such as working for a local company, rather than an international company.
I feel that they do not understand me – I enjoy my area of specialisation so that is one certainty I have that I am not willing to compromise. My husband has been extremely supportive of me and happy to support our family until I find a job I like. As for the difference between a local company and an international company – there is a big one! For example, generally speaking:
(1) local companies predominantly use the local language whereas international companies use English.
(2) local companies do not care about establishing rapport or getting to know you, they just want the work done whereas international companies care about whether you fit into their culture/team.
Surely there are people like me who are also hoping to find the right job with the right culture, nice colleagues etc? For me, it isn’t all about how much money I will get paid, but the quality of work and the company culture also rank high on my list of priorities.