With over 200 nationalities, the UAE is a melting pot of cultures, experiences and people. Emiratis make up roughly 20% of the population, while expats from Europe, Asia and Africa consist of the other 80%, emigrating for career progression, an improved quality of life and the chance to increase their earnings. The booming expat population
There are many reasons why a PA might opt for the chance to go and work abroad – perhaps their other half is being relocated and they are going with them, they may have studied a foreign language and want to utilise their skills, or they just want to experience a different culture.
Whatever the reason, working overseas can be attractive to employers as it shows you’ve broadened your experiences and developed your skills in a different environment. But the question is: how do you find a PA job abroad, and what will you need to consider before taking that step?
Do your research
A PA role could be very different abroad than to what you may be used to. It is so important to do your market research, find out how things work professionally in different industries and what would be expected of you. For example, perhaps you’ll need to do a number of temporary placements before you’ll be accepted as a permanent PA. You will also need to have a good local knowledge. As a PA, you will often be required to book restaurants, make travel itineraries, or plan meetings in different locations. Your employer will expect you to be able to do these tasks efficiently; a PA’s role is to make your boss’s work and perhaps, private life, run as smoothly as possible. To do this, you need to be on the ball and aware of your surroundings.
This is key for all jobseekers. If you’ve decided to move abroad and have chosen a location, tell people about it – it’s likely someone will know someone who can help. Meet that person or call them and ask who they know, what it’s like to live and work in that country, and if they know how easy it is for PAs to find work. Using your social networks to tap into contacts is also crucial.
Sign up to recruitment agencies
Many recruitment agencies will have opportunities abroad and it can sometimes be hard for them to find the right people to fill those roles. If you want to relocate to Dubai, for example, tell the agency when registering; they might have an office out there or foreign clients who want English-speaking PAs.
Do you have Skype up and running and ready to go? You may be required to carry out a Skype interview with a potential employer, and you won’t give a good impression if the first 15 minutes of your interview are spent trying to work your microphone. Do you speak a different language? As a PA you will be arranging meetings and often be speaking to clients, so if you’re moving to a place where English isn’t the first language, you may want to look into starting a language course, even to learn the basics at first. Do you need a visa? Make sure this is something that you have organized yourself, or that your contract covers this.
Looking to move abroad? Tiger recruits for a range of roles across the UAE and mainland Europe. To see how we can help, get in touch.