Leaving your country and moving to another for work is never easy: you face different culture, a different way of life, perhaps different language and many other things that you might not be used to. When it comes to Turkey, a lot of people originating from Great Britain, Germany, Netherlands and other western countries tend to move there due to low costs of living. The most popular job, particularly for the native English speakers is, naturally teaching English and other related jobs. Like everywhere, competition is tough, but these five tips can make your life change easier to assimilate.
1. The language
One of the biggest obstacles expats face is not being familiar the language of the country they are moving to. Especially this can sometimes be a language that is completely different than your native. Therefore, it is always advisable to have at least a basic knowledge the language of the country in question. At the beginning you’ll have plenty of questions when it comes to directions to go, or any other regarding basic matter and sometimes the nearest person might not be speaking English. English is usually good enough to deal with basic needs (and survive) in some countries. In the survey conducted by EF Education First among 44 countries, Turkey was in the bottom five when it comes to speaking English as the second language. The is not just in Turkey, but in many countries a large part of the population outside your workplace does not speak English and perhaps outside your workplace you’ll have more complications trying to do basic things like shopping or using the public transport. I remember my first couple of times trying to use subway in Berlin and ending up going into a wrong direction. Plus, it's always a plus for you as a candidate to have such an asset as the language of the country of stay.
2. Use professional social networks
It is not always easy to find a job as an expat. You can be a perfect candidate in one while not even considered for a position in another. Therefore, it is highly recommended to register and supplement a professional online profile. Online profile will work for you in representing your skills and expertise in a unified way. LinkedIn is the most widely used worldwide but each country can have one "preferred". For example, in Germany the social network Xing is the most used in labour issues. When it comes to Turkey, LinkedIn is still the most popular when it comes to building your professional online profile.
3. Customize your CV
As in terms of preferred networks professionals, each country has a "standard" default what a good resume. For example, in England it is a practice not to attach a photo on your resume; however, in Germany it is almost necessary. On the other hand, in US the standard format for a resume is completely different than in Europe. One thing to have in mind, in the end, it will always depend on what prompted the company. And combined with your online professional profile, it should give the best representation of your skills and expertise in a way that is considered a standard in the country in question.
4. Find information about the place before you go!
At first, it sounds logical, but a good search of what life in the country of destination can help a lot in the first days or weeks in your new city. Also keep in mind that not all countries or companies have the same standards for their employees: either in terms of dress code, punctuality, schedule breaks. Be sure to ask all the questions before you get to your new job not having misunderstandings.
In addition to a search by Google on how the labour situation in the country concerned, it is always more advisable to find and ask expatriates who have been or currently are in the same situation as you. Most likely you have the same questions or problems they have had so that you can be better prepared. It may also be helpful to finding a job since according to statistics from the Labour Department of the USA, 70% of jobs in this country are found using networking. A site where you can find all expatriates in the world is InterNations. In addition, there are also guides and blogs about life, employment status, etc. of many destinations worldwide.
The InterNations’ goal is to fundamentally make you feel as part of a community you arrived in. It is made for all of those who have started or thinking about starting a new life abroad, making it easier for expats to adapt.
Check for them if you are planning to move to Turkey and find fellow expats in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir or Bodrum. Who said it was difficult to make friends abroad?