Author Topic: [Career] How to go about finding work in Europe as an American?  (Read 1241 times)

anni

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**edit** see bottom of post for condensed resources from replies! thanks everyone!

Hello forums! I've been browsing and searching through these boards for a couple of weeks now and I have found a bunch of super helpful old threads about the logistics of working in Europe as an American. I understand well now that there are some major drawbacks - much lower salary and higher taxes being some of the most impactful ones - but I have been interested in finding work abroad since I left the US for the first time 3 years ago, and I am starting to really believe that it will be worth the tradeoff in the stash-building just to have the experience and enjoy it while I am young, if it's at all possible.

The pandemic is obviously going to make things challenging for all job-seekers for a long time, let alone international transfers. No complaints here; I am very fortunate to still be in work that I enjoy while building my stash. But I'm hoping there are some things I could start doing now to lay the foundation for an international move within a couple of years, and I would really appreciate any advice.

I have actually been actively looking for employment abroad for about two years now, but haven't been giving it my all and likewise haven't had much luck so far. Last year I got my first and only offer to work in a similar role in London. But it was at a ~35% effective pay cut before accounting for moving expenses, plus Brexit was (and is) still a huge question mark. So I turned it down. I don't think I would mind the pay cut as much if I were relocating to a less expensive city. I also interviewed online, by invitation, with a FAANG London office for another similar role, but didn't make it past the second round. I'm not super heartbroken about London, because I'd also like to learn a new language, but I often wonder if London might have been a good jumping off point to access jobs elsewhere in Europe.

I've also applied to four or five jobs at Berlin startup-ish companies that I found on LinkedIn. I visited the city for just a week a couple of years ago, but I was completely enamored within the first day. I tailored my resume and cover letters to match the requirements, but just got one "we would like to consider you for other roles in the future" rejection email and no other responses.

I'm only about 3 years into my career at this point, which I know doesn't make me a super attractive recruit, but I do have an MS and work at a reputable company with a small international presence. My experience so far is with relational data analysis (2 yrs) and product management (1 yr), and I am considering taking software engineering classes on the side (I think programming skills could help me advance at my current company in addition to making my resume more robust).

I have considered just waiting 4-5 more years and going abroad once the stash is a little fatter and money matters a bit less, but I just think I won't have the same experience at 31 as I would at 26, and who knows what might happen in the meantime to take the opportunity away.

So I think there are several approaches I can take to finding work:
  • Volume? Apply to every semi-relevant job I can find in cities that interest me, and be open to all of them
  • Quality? Bolster my skills and resume to become a more competitive candidate - I'm definitely out of practice at "marketing myself"
  • Be overqualified? Apply for jobs below my experience level, and also don't include my current US salary on my applications
  • Networking? I don't really have existing connections abroad (that's part of why I want to go!), but I could try asking my University's alumni services for leads. Or just start sending cold LinkedIn messages to people who work somewhere interesting?
  • Change companies in the US? I could try to move to a more global company within the US, get established as quickly as I can, and leverage that to get into a role abroad
  • Freelance? Almost forgot this one. It could be ideal, and there are certain freelance visas available (for now) for multiple years, but I'm not sure if I'd enjoy working in such a solitary manner and likely on an offset timezone from US projects.
  • Go back to school, but abroad this time? This seems the least practical and most expensive approach, but also the most fun.
  • Leap of faith? Alright, actually this one seems the LEAST practical, but also fun: move there temporarily and try to get a job on the ground.

I think the right answer is a mix of all of the above (or just the school thing), and my problem is really that I just haven't been trying hard enough because I have some analysis paralysis on finding "the right way" (plus the fear of giving up my cushy US career). If anyone has stories on what worked best for them I would really love to hear them!

I think my main challenge is going to be proving that my usefulness can make up for the costs of hiring an expat. Berlin is my ideal location (bike everywhere, very international and young community, rich with contemporary art and music, rich with history), but I have heard interesting things about the startup communities in Prague and Stockholm too. I'm sure other cities are also rising up to fill whatever gaps have been created by Brexit - any European perspectives on where to look and where my skills might be useful would also be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for reading!

In case others with similar questions find this thread, here are some old threads I found about the subject:

Expats in Europe? (Feb 2013)
European mustachians, what's different from US? (Mar 2014)
Move to Europe? (Sep 2018)
Moving to Germany (Feb 2019)

Also, I found this interesting program from NATO that I might have to look into next year. I don't know that I would be a competitive applicant, but it couldn't hurt to try: https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/175210.htm

Other suggestions from replies:

« Last Edit: July 05, 2020, 04:00:53 PM by anni »

Christof

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Re: [Career] How to go about finding work in Europe as an American?
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2020, 02:22:23 PM »
Speaking the language might be an issue. Even though younger people usually know English that doesn‘t mean they are comfortable doing so all the time. Even in startups English is only spoken when there is someone who doesn‘t speak the language. This is different from writing which is far more often done in English. That means you need to find companies that are already diverse, that is startups that are not in their early stage.

Christof

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Re: [Career] How to go about finding work in Europe as an American?
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2020, 02:28:30 PM »
Oh yeah, definitely don‘t include your US salary. If I would receive an application for a position that requires only a few years of experience and it includes a current salary of $70,000 or more, I‘d put that application down right away. I wouldn‘t imagine that this person could be happy and productive at a much more typical salary of 30,000€.

Less than 80,000 persons in Germany have an income above 250,000 Euros. Germany has a population that is more than a quarter of the US‘ population.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2020, 02:36:30 PM by Christof »

anni

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Re: [Career] How to go about finding work in Europe as an American?
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2020, 02:37:51 PM »
Speaking the language might be an issue. Even though younger people usually know English that doesn‘t mean they are comfortable doing so all the time. Even in startups English is only spoken when there is someone who doesn‘t speak the language. This is different from writing which is far more often done in English. That means you need to find companies that are already diverse, that is startups that are not in their early stage.

Thanks! Yeah, I think I have not considered this challenge well enough. I have focused on medium-size tech in Berlin for this reason, or else US-based tech companies that are expanding into European markets and specify English-OK on their listings! Many companies like this list local language lessons as an included benefit, but I understand this could be targeted at other EU residents rather than Americans.

I try to use Glassdoor to establish pay expectations for myself/to include on job apps. I have learned that my US salary would be ridiculous for someone my age by European standards.

maizefolk

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Re: [Career] How to go about finding work in Europe as an American?
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2020, 02:43:36 PM »
Just in case others with similar questions find this thread, here are some old threads I found about the subject:

Expats in Europe? (Feb 2013)
European mustachians, what's different from US? (Mar 2014)
Move to Europe? (Sep 2018)
Moving to Germany (Feb 2019)


I am afraid I don't have helpful answers to add but wanted to thank you for digging up these threads. I just asked a question very similar to this in the forum earlier today. Thank you!

Paul der Krake

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Re: [Career] How to go about finding work in Europe as an American?
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2020, 02:52:30 PM »
If you're serious about moving, you need to forget about trying to match your US tech industry salary. It's just not going to happen for someone with a single digit career length. Outside of a few very limited areas (London, Zurich), the salary range is massively reduced. I have heard of EU expats pulling 400k in the Bay Area going home and being offered 80k at home. Such is life in the land of social democracy.

If FIRE is your main goal, you should stick it out stateside until you have more substantial savings.


Christof

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Re: [Career] How to go about finding work in Europe as an American?
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2020, 02:57:25 PM »
I try to use Glassdoor to establish pay expectations for myself/to include on job apps. I have learned that my US salary would be ridiculous for someone my age by European standards.

In Germany you do have other benefits, though, compared to the US:

- unlimited sick days
- between 20 and 30 days of vacation
- protection against being fired
- free or cheap childcare (in the range of  few hundreds)
- healthcare paid as a percentage (around 8%) of salary. If you loose your job, you pay less for healthcare instead of even losing it.
- labor laws that protect employees
- in Berlin: Cheap rent, if you can get an apartment.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2020, 02:59:25 PM by Christof »

lemanfan

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Re: [Career] How to go about finding work in Europe as an American?
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2020, 03:07:35 PM »
Cutting out a couple of details:

So I think there are several approaches I can take to finding work:
    • Leap of faith? Alright, actually this one seems the LEAST practical, but also fun: move there temporarily and try to get a job on the ground.
    [/b][/list]

    , but I have heard interesting things about the startup communities in Prague and Stockholm too. I'm sure other cities are also rising up to fill whatever gaps have been created by Brexit - any European perspectives on where to look and where my skills might be useful would also be greatly appreciated.


    Swede here.  If considering Sweden and working directly for a local company, do note that for various reasons its often a bit of a hurdle for a Swedish company to hire someone from outside of EU, not that it's impossible but it requires some diligence.  E.g. the company have to advertise the job in all of the EU through official channels before the contract signing (in order to "prove" that they didn't find anyone inside the EU who was suitable) and the actual work permit and residency application must be done from your home country after you have a written job offer from the employer. It has sometimes taken MONTHs to get the paperwork done, but the time goes up and down (the refugee crisis messed up the administration).  You can get a permit for two years at a time, and after five years in the country you can apply for a permanent residency.  The first period you must remain in the same occupation (but not with the same employer).  Mistakes by the employer in the beginning (e.g. starting a mandatory insurance a week too late) may have you kicked out upon the next renewal.  If doing this, try to find en employer with experience, or who consults a specialist firm to assist with the expat formalities.

    Official info here: https://www.migrationsverket.se/English/Private-individuals.html

    When it comes to the stash .. again, do your homework.  In most places in the EU, the salaries are lower than in the USA, and much much lower than in the Bay area, and the taxes probably takes a bigger cut than you're used to.  There will probably be much less to spare between after tax salary and living expenses.  On the other hand, at least in my country there are some things that will get cheaper once you're here, e.g. health insurance costs.

    Language may be a problem, but not at all companies.  Most university towns have some sort of startup community but it's biggest in Stockholm. The Malmö / Lund area in the south of Sweden is also interesting and very close to Copenhagen. The science park in that area have a company list here: https://ideon.se/our-companies/

    And also do note that Scandinavia is on the same latitude as Alaska.  Long days in the summer, very short days in the winter.  Not everyone can appreciate those long winter nights. :)

    anni

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    Re: [Career] How to go about finding work in Europe as an American?
    « Reply #8 on: July 01, 2020, 03:13:40 PM »
    If you're serious about moving, you need to forget about trying to match your US tech industry salary. It's just not going to happen for someone with a single digit career length. Outside of a few very limited areas (London, Zurich), the salary range is massively reduced. I have heard of EU expats pulling 400k in the Bay Area going home and being offered 80k at home. Such is life in the land of social democracy.

    If FIRE is your main goal, you should stick it out stateside until you have more substantial savings.

    Thanks! Yeah, I have learned in my career searching that a big pay cut is inevitable. Like I talked about, I know it would put me behind, but I'm already ahead for my age and I think I would be happy to pause FI pursuit for a couple years for the right opportunity. The biggest challenge might be trying to come back and request my previous pay levels after a year or two making less. But maybe I wouldn't even want to come back ;)

    lemanfan

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    Re: [Career] How to go about finding work in Europe as an American?
    « Reply #9 on: July 01, 2020, 03:20:49 PM »

    So I think there are several approaches I can take to finding work:
    • Volume? Apply to every semi-relevant job I can find in cities that interest me, and be open to all of them
    • Quality? Bolster my skills and resume to become a more competitive candidate - I'm definitely out of practice at "marketing myself"
    • Be overqualified? Apply for jobs below my experience level, and also don't include my current US salary on my applications
    • Networking? I don't really have existing connections abroad (that's part of why I want to go!), but I could try asking my University's alumni services for leads. Or just start sending cold LinkedIn messages to people who work somewhere interesting?
    • Change companies in the US? I could try to move to a more global company within the US, get established as quickly as I can, and leverage that to get into a role abroad
    • Freelance? Almost forgot this one. It could be ideal, and there are certain freelance visas available (for now) for multiple years, but I'm not sure if I'd enjoy working in such a solitary manner and likely on an offset timezone from US projects.
    • Go back to school, but abroad this time? This seems the least practical and most expensive approach, but also the most fun.
    • Leap of faith? Alright, actually this one seems the LEAST practical, but also fun: move there temporarily and try to get a job on the ground.


    And after talking about the downsides.. the more actionable then?

    From your list, I'd say that I'd focus on a mix of volume, quality and networking.

    For the quality part, perhaps focus on bringing some of that silicon valley product management magic.  We have some very qualified programmers here in Europe, but very few of the top IT companies and unicorns are started in Europe... so having some of that magic touch and Bay Area startup culture could be a selling point towards employers as I see it.  At least this applies to the case when you go for a startup-ish company. 

    And by the way, that magical EU database where all jobs must be advertised?  It's here:  https://ec.europa.eu/eures/public/homepage

    LinkedIn is probably better chance of success, but it couldn't hurt to look around Eures.  If you do consider Sweden and applying locally, feel free to PM me if you want me to dig up some contacts.  My network is however shrinking in this area at the moment, so I might not be the best source of hot leads... :)

    anni

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    Re: [Career] How to go about finding work in Europe as an American?
    « Reply #10 on: July 01, 2020, 03:23:07 PM »
    Language may be a problem, but not at all companies.  Most university towns have some sort of startup community but it's biggest in Stockholm. The Malmö / Lund area in the south of Sweden is also interesting and very close to Copenhagen. The science park in that area have a company list here: https://ideon.se/our-companies/

    And also do note that Scandinavia is on the same latitude as Alaska.  Long days in the summer, very short days in the winter.  Not everyone can appreciate those long winter nights. :)

    Thank you so much for the information! While working in Europe, I would expect to build my stash very little. For me, I think the life experience it would be worth the monetary tradeoff. Maybe I'll regret it when I'm older, but then again maybe I'll regret not going sooner! :) Anyway, I just wanted to share a funny story about your last point - I met some very nice entrepreneurs while in Stockholm three years ago. They said: "For the first half of the year, everyone is talking about the holiday they're planning, and then for the second half everyone talks about the holiday they took." They definitely did their best to talk me out of moving there 😅

    lemanfan

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    Re: [Career] How to go about finding work in Europe as an American?
    « Reply #11 on: July 01, 2020, 03:35:20 PM »
    Anyway, I just wanted to share a funny story about your last point - I met some very nice entrepreneurs while in Stockholm three years ago. They said: "For the first half of the year, everyone is talking about the holiday they're planning, and then for the second half everyone talks about the holiday they took." They definitely did their best to talk me out of moving there 😅

    What can I say... We love our country eventhough it doesn't always sound like it :)

    I know you write your location as Virginia which is not really a neighbor to California... but there seems to be something very different in the business culture between Europe and the USA, and bringing your culture might be something that actually attract some employers. 

    And then there is all the differences within Europe... I always get uneasy when negotiating with Danish people or Catholics.  But I do appreciate the thoroughness of the German-speaking peoples.  Catholics speaking German?  Oh dear... ;)

    Christof

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    Re: [Career] How to go about finding work in Europe as an American?
    « Reply #12 on: July 01, 2020, 03:42:58 PM »

    LinkedIn is probably better chance of success, but it couldn't hurt to look around Eures.

    For Germany it might be helpful to have Xing account (www.xing.de) which is like a German LinkedIn. There must be something similar in Sweden, too.

    Which reminds me... Countries in Europe are very different. Consider a European who wants to work in North America and can‘t quite decide between Canada, the US, Mexico, and Cuba.

    lemanfan

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    Re: [Career] How to go about finding work in Europe as an American?
    « Reply #13 on: July 01, 2020, 03:47:56 PM »
    For Germany it might be helpful to have Xing account (www.xing.de) which is like a German LinkedIn. There must be something similar in Sweden, too.

    For high tech jobs, I actually think LinkedIn is the best way in Sweden.   At least that's the main channel that my previous company uses for good results.  :)

    anni

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    Re: [Career] How to go about finding work in Europe as an American?
    « Reply #14 on: July 01, 2020, 05:32:52 PM »
    Thanks for the recommendations! I also found https://berlinstartupjobs.com/ a while ago, though haven't applied through there yet. I think trying to bring something that exists in the States, like HelloFresh, for example, to life in Berlin would be a very interesting challenge.

    @Christof I hope I don't sound like I'm grouping all of Europe together! I do want to look in a few different cities at once just to help my chances of finding something new. I have been fortunate to spend a little bit of time in a lot of big cities across the EU and met many local entrepreneurs while traveling, so I hope I have learned a little bit about which places might or might not be a good fit for me. The differences between nations were still much more complex than I had imagined. At a smaller level, even Berlin seems incredibly different from any other part of Germany (I've seen that the city even has its own work visas).

    Edit: Also, Virginia is pretty different from California, but I think over the last decade or so this area (surrounding DC) has started to grow as an East Coast version of Silicon Valley (or at least the companies here try to attract similar talent). Facebook, Google, Amazon etc all have offices here so those skills are becoming more widely in-demand. Not as many startups though.
    « Last Edit: July 01, 2020, 05:48:11 PM by anni »

    anni

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    Re: [Career] How to go about finding work in Europe as an American?
    « Reply #15 on: July 01, 2020, 05:53:32 PM »
    @lemanfan I have a question, from the Swedish recruiting perspective: when roles ask (for example) for "5+ years of professional experience with data analytics," in the US this would not deter me from applying even though I only have 3-4 years experience. These rules always seem flexible here. But I wonder if it would be seen as rude or like I was wasting a recruiter's time to do this elsewhere.

    Dave1442397

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    Re: [Career] How to go about finding work in Europe as an American?
    « Reply #16 on: July 01, 2020, 06:25:14 PM »
    If you have any ancestry that would give you a path to EU citizenship, then go for it. That would make things so much easier. My daughter can get an Irish passport and work anywhere in the EU - she's thinking about going to college in Spain :)

    anni

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    Re: [Career] How to go about finding work in Europe as an American?
    « Reply #17 on: July 01, 2020, 06:47:31 PM »
    If you have any ancestry that would give you a path to EU citizenship, then go for it. That would make things so much easier. My daughter can get an Irish passport and work anywhere in the EU - she's thinking about going to college in Spain :)

    I wish! That's wonderful for your daughter though. I think great-grandparents is the furthest back any country goes for citizenship by descent, and we were all American that far back for better or for worse. It would be awesome to earn EU citizenship through working long enough, but that's not necessarily my goal.

    Paul der Krake

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    Re: [Career] How to go about finding work in Europe as an American?
    « Reply #18 on: July 01, 2020, 09:56:07 PM »
    You should absolutely do some research into whether your new country will allow you to eventually become a dual citizen. Some allow it, others allow it sometimes with varying restrictions (looking at you Germany), and some don't at all.

    Becoming a citizen from a member state of the EU will grant you the ability to live, visit, or retire in any and all of them, whenever you want, for whatever reason, granting you access to the largest population pool in the developed world. Plus access to other countries in the EU's sphere of influence, and a handful overseas territories and dominions around the world.

    Russian oligarchs literally pay hundreds of thousands of euros for this privilege. Combine it with your US passport and you're instantly at the top of the food chain for unencumbered travel and world access.








    Christof

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    Re: [Career] How to go about finding work in Europe as an American?
    « Reply #19 on: July 01, 2020, 11:18:36 PM »
    I think trying to bring something that exists in the States, like HelloFresh, for example, to life in Berlin would be a very interesting challenge.

    Funny you should pick HelloFresh as an example. HelloFresh is a German company that was founded in Berlin almost a decade ago. Later they expanded to the US, mostly by buying competitors. The first companies that delivered meal kits were founded in Sweden almost 15 years ago.

    Other startups  from Europe that turned into billion dollar companies include Spotify (from Sweden), Teamviewer (from Germany) or zalando (from Germany).

    Berlin based investor Rocket Internet is famous, though, for doing what you said. They look for successful business models around the world and create their own version. Zalando, for instance, started as a European copy of Zappos.

    I hope I don't sound like I'm grouping all of Europe together!

    No, no, no! What I meant to point out is that my own perspective which I can bring into this thread is very much limited to my own country, Germany. Within Germany it's also limited by the states that I lived in or know about. After the war the US served as a blue print how to structure Germany. We are a federal republic of 16 independent states each with a different legislation.

    That perspective is probably true for most Europeans. I personally know a lot more about the US than I know, for instance, about Bulgaria, even though Bulgaria is a member of the European Union and my passport allows me to live and work there.

    Hence, even if you ask broadly about Europe, because you have the flexibility to pick the country you want, my contribution can only cover a small part of what you asked for.

    lemanfan

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    Re: [Career] How to go about finding work in Europe as an American?
    « Reply #20 on: July 01, 2020, 11:51:34 PM »
    @lemanfan I have a question, from the Swedish recruiting perspective: when roles ask (for example) for "5+ years of professional experience with data analytics," in the US this would not deter me from applying even though I only have 3-4 years experience. These rules always seem flexible here. But I wonder if it would be seen as rude or like I was wasting a recruiter's time to do this elsewhere.

    I would say these requirements are flexible in Sweden too, most of the time.

    mozar

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    Re: [Career] How to go about finding work in Europe as an American?
    « Reply #21 on: July 02, 2020, 09:46:21 AM »
    If you are making a lot of money now and enjoy your job I would build the stash for a few years then take a sabbatical. Go to Europe and it would be a lot easier to apply for jobs while you're actually there.

    MrThatsDifferent

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    Re: [Career] How to go about finding work in Europe as an American?
    « Reply #22 on: July 02, 2020, 03:13:38 PM »
    I’ve only seen 3 ways people pull this off generally: 1. You get lucky with a company you work for that sends you overseas; 2. You fall in love, get married, get a visa to work and find work; 3. You go to school and leverage connections there. Personally, I’d focus on 3. If you want to live and work in Germany, you need to speak and understand German. So that should be your number 1 priority right now. Check out Rosetta Stones free 3 month offer to students (they don’t verify) and italki dot com for tutors. Then start research German postgraduate schools because many are cheap or free. Move there on a student visa, study, make connections, learn the language and culture and work out if it’s for you. Investigate expat groups. Get your teach English as a second language certification and have a back up career you can do while you find the right role. It’s all possible but it won’t happen overnight. You have to put in the right effort. School also provides the easiest and safest way to transition to a foreign place because they have an infrastructure that will support and look out for you. Don’t dismiss that option if you’re serious, it’s by far the quickest and most reliable.

    freeat57

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    Re: [Career] How to go about finding work in Europe as an American?
    « Reply #23 on: July 02, 2020, 03:23:04 PM »
    One idea would be to identify a further degree or certificate that might enhance your career and then find a European university for that study.  It will be easier to find contacts from within a European university. 

    JoJo

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    Re: [Career] How to go about finding work in Europe as an American?
    « Reply #24 on: July 02, 2020, 03:27:57 PM »
    Get a corporate job for a European company, do what you can to network with others who work there, and watch for openings.  I got a job offer in Switzerland that way. 

    ROF Expat

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    Re: [Career] How to go about finding work in Europe as an American?
    « Reply #25 on: July 03, 2020, 10:11:22 AM »
    Working in Europe is generally a pretty tall order for people with no existing connections, especially if you don't speak the national language.  Most European countries will have regulations that require that employers seek national or EU citizens before accepting other international hires. 

    Normally, I would suggest that you work for an American or multinational company with operations in Europe, but there are no guarantees of opportunities in Europe, and even if they exist, you might not get one of those opportunities for a long time.  There are US Government agencies that could use your skill set, but there's no guarantee that you'd go to Europe, and if you did go there, it would be for a limited time.  The NATO program you referenced looks very interesting.  I think there might well be a demand for your skills, but you should expect slots in the program to be very highly sought after.  Even though the requirement is only for one NATO language, my guess is that many competitive applicants will speak both French and English and perhaps other languages.  You could look at UN jobs.  There are various UN Headquarters in Europe, particularly in Geneva and Vienna.  Those jobs tend to be very competitive and might require that you have two UN languages.   I think your best bet might be the the earlier recommendation of US Government jobs in Europe.  the Department of Defense might have openings appropriate for you.  This would get you into Europe with a fairly high salary, no requirement for speaking German, and no visa/work permit issues.  You might have to have or be able to get a security clearance, though. 

    Zamboni

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    Re: [Career] How to go about finding work in Europe as an American?
    « Reply #26 on: July 03, 2020, 02:17:25 PM »
    Thank you for this post and the links in the responses.

    ctuser1

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    Re: [Career] How to go about finding work in Europe as an American?
    « Reply #27 on: July 03, 2020, 02:27:24 PM »
    OP,

    Your background would make you a good candidate to explore consulting roles for the likes of PWC, Deloitte, E&Y, KPMG etc. All of them have very nice "secondment" policies you can use to explore working abroad, including in Europe.

    Getting a job in these companies as an "experienced hire" (i.e. not out of college campus) is generally easiest with networking - in case you choose to pursue it.

    Kwill

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    Re: [Career] How to go about finding work in Europe as an American?
    « Reply #28 on: July 03, 2020, 04:52:59 PM »
    I'm an American living and working in the UK. I didn't really plan that, just applied to every job for which I was qualified and ended up here.

    The UK is introducing a 'graduate route visa' for international students who finish a degree in summer 2021 or later. That would allow you to work for two years after graduation. You could potentially do a one-year master's degree and then stay a year or two to work. If flights ever start up again properly, it could be very convenient to travel Europe and nearby countries from here. In the past 4.5 years, I've been to Ireland, France, Spain, Morocco, Norway, Roumania, Bulgaria, Italy, and Germany. In the post-Covid world, though, I suspect it won't be that easy and inexpensive again, so that would be a factor if travel is a goal.

    Why Europe specifically? I can't help thinking . . . Why not Tokyo? Why not Seoul? The world is so big, and there are lots of places where English is not the main language.

    If you're most interested in Germany, though, learning German sounds like a good idea. It should make you more plausible as a candidate. I'm using Memrisefor Japanese and Korean, and I've tried iTalki as well.

    anni

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    Re: [Career] How to go about finding work in Europe as an American?
    « Reply #29 on: July 05, 2020, 04:16:23 PM »
    Thanks for all of these great resources and suggestions! I have starting adding some of them to the first post as it seems others are arriving here with similar questions. Thank you so much.

    Given the pandemic, I think (if I'm lucky enough to hold down my job) I'll keep working and saving up for another year, spend a little bit of time learning German and networking, and then take a sabbatical to actually go to Berlin and focus on the job search. Here's hoping (?) the US can adequately prevent massive virus spread and I'm even allowed to go overseas next year... If not, well, we all have bigger problems than my little job search...

    The trouble with recruiting at a US company and hoping for an international 2nd year placement is... that's basically what I was banking on with my current job, but as Brexit developed, the (formerly awesome) opportunities dried up last year. Given the uncertainty we are all facing, I feel like that is even more likely to happen, even with Big 4 firms. Next time, I'm hoping I can just get an overseas offer right out the gate to mitigate that risk.

    Rosy

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    Re: [Career] How to go about finding work in Europe as an American?
    « Reply #30 on: July 06, 2020, 07:19:26 AM »
    Boots on the ground is as good an option as any and it gives you a feel for the pulse of a city like Berlin.

    You know how they say the best jobs are not advertised?
    I moved to the states when I was 19 and back to Germany when I was 35, so all my work experience was in the US. The local unemployment office only offered me the bottom of the barrel unsuitable jobs partly because it was a tough job market at the time.

    So I decided my best bet would be Frankfurt, the closest big city. I cold-called every single company in my field of expertise - right out of the phone book from the train station.
    It is how I landed one of the best jobs of my career.
    It happened to be at the European headquarters of the same American/international company that I had worked for in the states and paid exceedingly well.

    Just go for it and yes, get dual citizenship - it is a huge ace in the hole for life.

    snowball

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    Re: [Career] How to go about finding work in Europe as an American?
    « Reply #31 on: July 08, 2020, 10:38:46 AM »
    It's a big world...Do you really want to work in Europe specifically, or is it more a desire to work somewhere abroad for the sake of adventure?  Wondering how much thought you've given to that, and if you might want to give more serious consideration to other parts of the world as well.

    I always wanted to work abroad, so I did a stint in New Zealand on a working holiday visa in my twenties, and now I've been in the Middle East for the last few years.  I didn't have a grand plan to come out here specifically.  I was open to working almost anywhere (that wasn't war-torn), and applied to jobs in a few different countries - this is just where I happened to land.

    I've done a lot of very interesting travel while based here that I never, ever expected to have the opportunity to do, and that has been awesome.  Morocco, Jordan, Oman, South Africa...various countries in Europe too.

    Of course, everyone is different, and Germany does seem like a great place to live in many ways, so I can see the appeal there.  :)