Episode 02- 100% Horizontal
Many of you are reading this because you are interested in moving overseas for work, so in this episode we will cover a little of our pre-departure preparations, CV and portfolio strategies and our top travel tips!
Moving to another country with no friends, no job, no place to stay is quite daunting, but thanks to the internet physical distance is much less of a divide than it once was. Facebook is the traveller’s best friend! Setup as many contacts as possible before you leave because the wider your network, the more chance you have of meeting the right person and getting a job! One of the reasons we chose Denmark was because we knew a few architects there, so we were able to reach out to them and setup some coffee dates.
Talk about your plans to move- you will be surprised how many times someone will have a friend living in your destination city (although it might be a different story if you were moving somewhere like… Djibouti!), and don’t be afraid to ask if they can put you in contact. Friends, colleagues, exchange students, family friends… tinder dates, whatever! Whether they are in your field of work or not, meet as many people as you can. You never know where that magical connection will come from!
By the time we left the country, we had made contact with 6 or 7 architects in Denmark, and another handful of ‘friends of friends’ to contact when we arrived.
The other thing you need to do is to get your portfolio and CV prepared. Depending where you are moving, printing costs may be an issue (it is super expensive in Denmark!), so planning this in advance is key. Before leaving Sydney we had submitted a lot of unsolicited applications online, but have not had any luck. Remember that many of the big firms are likely to receive hundreds of applications a day, so your chances are slim to land a job this way.
No joke! There have been days when Hassell has received well over 100 that day, so you can see how easy it is for your email to get lost in the ever-expanding inbox. Sometimes you just gotta’ be there and put in the legwork to get your foot in the door!
When pulling together your portfolio, think about what projects best describe what you are about as a designer; you want to capture the attention and imagination of your audience, as well as showing them what you are capable of. Also try to tailor this to the kinds of firms and positions you are applying for.
OK Mr. ‘Well travelled’, you promised some travel tips. What would you suggest?
1. Check your luggage weight! Flirting with the check-in attendant might earn you a few kg in leniency, but you don’t want to be throwing away items in the airport.
2. Pack a fresh T-Shirt and underwear in your hand luggage- If not for your own sake, for the person sitting next to you!
3. A flight with a long stopover might save you some cash, but 8 hours in any airport is painful. If you do, try to get access to a lounge- food, drinks, and a place to lie 100% horizontal are invaluable.
The Emirates business lounge in Dubai has showers that you can use, and you can skip the queue when boarding. It costs about $130 AUD each for 4 hours access.
4. Make friends with the cabin crew. Even if you can’t get a free upgrade, a cheeky drink before take off is always welcome.
5. If you have trouble sleeping, take advantage of the free drinks on long-haul flights. The combination of alcohol and altitude put me straight to sleep after the 6th cocktail. It’s the best way to make a 16-hour flight feel like 2!
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