23 min read

Job hunting in a new country? I'm starting a cohort-based course 👀

Job hunting in a new country? I'm starting a cohort-based course 👀

Sun, 14. Mar 2021 Update: Pilot cohort will go live on April 2021. Applications are open until Mar 31, 2021. 6 slots only. Read the course details.

I’m creating a cohort-based course on job hunting! 🥳

The goal is to help people learn the skills to find a job in a new country.

This builds on the lessons I’ve learned in the last 8+ years. In this time, I’ve worked in 6 companies based out of 3 countries. I’ve held 4 different roles, each one better than the last. In fact, I joke that job hunting is my best skill. (And job staying is my worst.)

In 2013, I worked with American clients as a self-employed marketing consultant based in Manila. I was 23, one year out of university. I wanted to arbitrage between the U.S. and Philippine market. I had no experience, no credibility, and no network in the U.S.. I couldn’t rely on my prestigious university degree and local job experience. I had to learn sales, copywriting, networking, and how to market myself.

In 2015, I broke into tech with no prior relevant experience. First, with a three-person U.S.-based bootstrapped startup, then with a twelve-person New York-based funded one. I got these jobs and worked them completely online from Manila, now profiting from the arbitrage. Here, I honed skills learned from self employment and applied them to job hunting.

Now, I live and work in Berlin (Germany) as a product manager. In 2019, I got the job abroad from Manila using the skills I talk about here, without even having stepped foot in the country. I hardly knew anyone, not just in Germany, but in the entire European continent. I didn’t speak German. To top it all off, I had a competitive disadvantage against people applying locally. Hiring me requires a potential employer to sponsor my visa. Here, those job hunting skills were really tested. Thankfully, they passed. I signed a contract within two months of starting the job hunt.

As an expat in Germany, I have many international friends who took a Master’s degree, hoping it will help them get a job here. Some found jobs, but many are still looking.

Getting a job isn’t easy. Getting a job abroad? Even harder. Many people attended a good school in their home country and got their first job through that. Then, they might have gotten subsequent jobs by getting headhunted from that first job. Few people get a job from a self-initiated and self-directed job search. It entails way more than creating a LinkedIn profile and applying via job portals.

Job hunting is a skill. One that’s completely separate from actual job skills. It’s a skill nobody taught us in school. It’s what will dramatically increase the likelihood of someone getting a job abroad, and well, a job in general. It’s the skill I aim to help people acquire in this course.

Teaching is also a skill. My previous startup was kind of ‘job hunting’ on steroids. We connected clients with experts within 48 hours. The job was to find targeted people (usually very senior leaders in large companies) who knew nothing about me or my company, write them in a way that compels them enough to get on a call so we can discuss my proposition, then on a 15 min call, persuade them to agree to do a 1 hour phone consultation with my client. All this has to happen within 48 hours.

This was the job. And I was the best at it.

I was promoted to lead the team doing this. I hired and trained my team of 4-6 people with no prior relevant experience to be able to do the same. In 2019, I left the company to move to Germany. Today, the team has grown and they still use the training materials I created.

So, job hunting is a skill. Teaching is also a skill. I’ll use both to help students get a job. They’ll have the skills and confidence to get not just their next job, but every subsequent one after that.

I’m co-creating this course with Jezze Jao. Jezze and I met in our first job in our home city: Manila, Philippines. She has also gone on to work abroad, in some of the most prestigious and hard-to-join companies, like Google in New York and Rocket Internet in Dubai. I’m excited to combine the best of what we’ve both learned about job hunting.

Get notified when enrollment opens. Leave your email address below and I'll update you when enrollment opens for the first cohort.

Thank you to Compound Writing members Ergest Xheblati and Steven Ovadia for editing drafts of this.