Many of our Next Station candidates have already started their new jobs abroad! It's the perfect occasion to talk to a view of them and find out, how it is to work abroad and start a new life.
This time we met Kim who was looking for jobs in France and is now working in Paris. We're happy that she decided to share her experience with us and hope that you enjoy this little interview.
Hey Kim, could you introduce yourself to our readers?
I'm oficially "Made in China" ;) but I already lived in London and Nancy. Right now I'm working as a marketing intern in Paris (mainly digital marketing). I'm passionate about fashion, antique, art, skincare, and technology. The words that describe me the best are motivated and persistent.
When did you move abroad for the first time? Where?
In 2016 I moved from my hometown in central China to Nancy, France. That was my first time moving abroad and also leaving my hometown. There was an exchange opportunity from my university to study for one year in Nancy with a double-degree program and it was absolutely a fabulous experience! Since then I've decided to stay longer in France and moved to Paris after finishing this one-year exchange.
What was your motivation to move abroad?
I was tired of my hometown and wanted to escape from people that all have the same mindset, same aesthetic opinion… and of course to get independent from being nagged by my parents ;).
You’re living and working in Paris now, was it hard for you to find a job in your profession? How long did it take?
It is EXTREMELY hard (from my experience) to find a job in Paris, especially as I don’t speak or write fluently French, don’t have much work experience and I’m not a EU citizen (there are tons of visa regulations about the working permit). There are plenty of marketing jobs available but it seems still difficult to get one. Well… it’s been about 1 YEAR AND 2 MONTHS that I've been trying to get a CDI ideally (since November 2018). I have been working in different short-term jobs and internships to accumulate my experiences and to support my living. Then it took about 2 months to find the internship in my current company (thanks to the help from Next Station), which has a CDI opportunity at the end of my internship contract if I work well! (Highly motivated!)
To be more specific of how hard it was for me to get a job (including short-term, internship or any type of contract): I forced myself to spend at least one hour on job-hunting every day. I made different versions of CVs for different types of jobs and a new Cover Letter for each application that required one. I have gone through the official website of all the companies I liked, searched for all the job titles I am interested in on LinkedIn and applied to all the jobs I found, optimized my LinkedIn account, contacted alumni, went to career fairs… I could get an interview for around 1000 applications… So… Next Station really saved my life!
How is it like to work in an international environment? What values do you see in international teams?
It is just wonderful to work in an international environment. The communication is much more efficient and transparent. It is fun and interesting to talk to everyone because they all have different backgrounds and experiences. The most important thing is that an international team is more open-minded! I feel very welcomed and included.
In your eyes, what is the most difficult aspect of moving abroad?
Is there anything you’ve learned about yourself after living abroad for several months?
• I learned that Paris is not as Romantic as I thought… ;) (kidding) • I learned that the Media and news in any country is biased and we need to think independently. • I thought I wouldn't miss my family but I learned that I actually do miss them sometimes. • FREE TO BE MYSELF HERE.
I’m sure every expat misses their family from time to time. What do you do if you get a little bit homesick?
Take some holidays to go back sometimes or inviting my parents here and travel around Europe with them.
Thanks a lot for sharing these insights with our community! I have only a few more questions about your experience with Next Station. How was it like to work with Next Station? What did you like, what could we improve?
It was great, especially that Next Station helped me to get this wonderful internship in the art sector! The only thing I would suggest to improve is that you could let more people know about you by having some advertisement and more introduction about Next Station.
What do you mean by more "introduction"?
For example, it's hard to understand that for "us" (the applicants) that the service is for free and we don't have to look for job offers on the platform, because the CV gets matched with fitting jobs automatically.
Where else did you look for jobs? What makes Next Station different from other platforms?
Mainly LinkedIn, also Indeed, WelcomeToTheJungle, Jooble, Totaljobs, FashionJobs.
What makes Next station different from other job searching platforms is that you match the job seekers’ CV with jobs he/she fits and REALLY CALL THEM to check on everything.
Would you recommend Next Station to your friends? Why?
Yes! Why not? It is always good to have as many job-hunting channels as possible, especially since I had a positive experience with Next Station. It helps job hunters to save a lot of energy in searching and applying. And a job seeker can miss a lot of information when doing the search him/herself or might not really know what kind of jobs he/she is suitable for (especially at the early stage).
I know this question is hard to answer, but do you think, you could have found a job faster if you discovered Next Station earlier?
Can you think of 3 characteristics that describe Next Station?
Dynamic, Positive, Youthful.
And last but not least: Which advice would you give future expats?
Take your time to look for what you want :)
It's incredible how persistent Kim was! I'm sure many people would have just moved back home after not finding a job for six months. If you are in the same situation, don't loose hope. Take Kim as an example and keep looking for the right opportunity. Most important: be sure about what you want. Don't forget to join Next Station, so we can help you find your next job abroad.