Considering Relocation to Europe in 2010?

Some Inconvenient Truths for Young Professionals

By Published on .

Ioana Filip
Ioana Filip
In tough times, while looking for a job, we have broadened our perspectives and considered this the perfect time to take a chance.

Some of us have started to dream of relocating, at least for a couple of years, to a country far, far away, where we could indulge our creativity. Some of us have entertained the idea of becoming creative hippies, nomads who move from agency to agency, from one part of the globe to the other. But now it's time to wake up. Although things are starting to look good in 2010 in the employment market, bear in mind it's still quite difficult to land that dream job.

Thinking about moving to Europe, for example? Here are some things to expect.

I managed to get in touch with Kat Lamb, a creative consultant at talent-sourcing firm Creative Recruitment Ltd. in London, and tried to get to the core of main issues a young professional may encounter while trying to relocate this year.

"The main problem with the relocation process is that agencies need people that are free immediately. If we send a CV, clients usually want to interview straight away, and local candidates will always be at an advantage here," she said.

But being the right person at the right time in the right place is not enough. While your portfolio is the first thing they are interested in, they usually look for candidates from other local competitors, which automatically puts international candidates at a disadvantage.

I asked Kat to share her best advice for a young professional who wants to relocate to Europe this year. She told me that the best way to approach relocation is to try to live in the city you'd like to move to for a while and actively try looking for a role, as you will always be up against a lot of local talent.

"The market is extremely competitive; loads of people are still out of work, and for an agency to take someone from abroad rather than someone living locally and working for a similar agency—it doesn't happen a lot," Kat said.

In 2010, though Europe shows some pretty good signs of recovery, it's still a year when getting a good job in an agency will be extremely tough. Local candidates will be always one step ahead of you, simply because of time and financial issues. So if you want to land a job in Europe this year, break the piggy bank and move there for a while. If you're sure a creative position in London, Amsterdam, Paris or Barcelona is only few weeks away, start packing. There are few chances you'll get a job while sitting behind your computer, unless you have very good awards in your pocket.

Before you start packing, though, consider these points:

Choose your city carefully. For example, while Amsterdam might seem very appealing to you, remember that Holland is a relatively small country with huge creative talent. Landing a job here may be pretty difficult. Analyze the market well, before you make your pick.

Get used to the language. Europe is a diverse continent. After you pick your city make sure you can speak the language, especially if you're a copywriter. It's pretty difficult to land a job in Germany or France if you don't speak the language. So unless you have some very good awards at hand you might want to take some language lessons.

Expect failure.While salaries are still dropping and people are still losing their jobs, young professionals like us can face even greater difficulty, especially if you're a foreigner. So if you do take a risk and take an extended career trip to another country, expect the possibility of not making it. And if you don't land a job in a month or so, maybe you should consider moving back home, at least until the crisis is over.

Ioana Filip joined the internship program of JWT Bucharest in 2006 as a student and was few months later hired as a copywriter. Still at JWT, she's now working on the agency's international brands on all mediums. A graduate of communication and PR with a major in advertising and media in 2008, she's also a passionate screenwriter and a social-media addict, writing regularly about it on her blog,
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