Questions for Esther – finding a job overseas

In a monthly feature that first Esther Clerehanappears in EncoreEsther Clerehan answers agency and career questions. 

Dear Esther,

I’m just about to start out in the business (assuming all things go well and I can find a job post AWARD school) and was wanting to know a little bit about working overseas. It’s been a dream of mine to work in places around America and Europe – particularly New York – but I don’t have any real idea of what would need to be done to secure a position over there. Should I be looking to join an agency in Melbourne that has international offices, or is that not the most important thing right now?

Thanks, International Man of Mystery


Dear International Man of Mystery,
Working overseas is a common goal for many Aussie creatives and these days there’s a lot more job traffic back and forth between various countries. You still need to be pretty determined to do it successfully.

If you have no claim for a European or American work visa, you will most likely require a sponsor.

To qualify for sponsorship you usually need a degree, several years’ expertise in your chosen field, and recognition of outstanding skills. This essentially translates as awards. And that means big, golden ones.

Your employer needs to ‘prove’ to the immigration department that your skills are unique and couldn’t be sourced locally. Effectively, you are taking a local’s spot. But it cuts both ways.

Transfers within networks are not common, but possible, if a network really wants to keep you. Occasionally your account expertise might need to be exported to another region to solve a problem. But I wouldn’t choose an agency on the off chance that it has a branch in New York.

As you are just starting out, the best thing to do is to keep your eyes out for the international competitions like Young Lions, Young Glory, etc.

Enter as many as you qualify for (and have the time to pursue), while you are building the foundations of your career. At this stage, it won’t matter whether you are with a multinational or a local, independent agency. Keep striving to do good work and find a partner who shares your ambitions.

Esther Clerehan is a creative recruiter for the advertising industry. This column first appeared on lifeatthebottom.com

Encore Issue 33This feature first appeared in EncoreDownload it now on iPad, iPhone and Android tablet devices.



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