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Looking for a first job abroad - advice?

  1. Jan 13, 2014 #1
    I'm a recent Masters graduate and I'm at the beginning of my professional career. I've sent out a few dozen applications and done a few interviews, mostly for programming jobs.

    I have a Masters in Physics (I guess I can say that Astrophysics was my major) and another one in Geophysics, specifically in Natural Hazards, which I've done in the UK (to acquire international references). I've done some numerical simulation work for minimal pay in my own country, but I would like to extend my knowledge, possibly in space-oriented areas.

    My problem is I come from a small European country where the financial crisis is still very much present. Virtually no company is hiring at the moment (those that didn't go bankrupt), especially not a company that would be involved with anything I'm interested in. The most logical decision would be to pack up and go abroad which I'm more than willing to do. However, I've noticed that companies in other countries also have a more conservative approach to hiring new people, especially for people with no substantial experience. Another problem is that in Europe I'm experiencing national discrimination (my country is not exactly in high standards and I think this influences companies who want to hire native people instead of some immigrant from Eastern Europe, even though I'm not from Eastern Europe).

    I'm interested in work in remote sensing, renewable energy, space technology, weather, fluid dynamics simulations; basically I'm willing to consider anything if it's connected to detecting and simulating natural processes. Reinsurance would also be a viable option.

    My English is good enough to not raise attention in the UK and I do have a life's ambition to learn multiple languages.

    What I'm looking for is advice (can't ask for more than that, I suppose). I'm an EU citizen so visas are not a problem, at least for most of Europe. I'm flexible enough to work in any possible working environment, as long as the work inspires me.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 13, 2014 #2
    Since I am currently looking around a bit myself, here's a few comments - although I am afraid they won't be very helpful in practice:

    - From what I have seen, there are a lot of job openings in the wider context of renewable energies, smart grids, energy efficienty, energy management, ... . Every major company in Germany related to this field that I have looked at so far announces open positions, I think. A still-colleague of mine found a new position in the UK (coming from Germany) within two weeks. That is non-entry positions, however. I don't know how it looks like for entry positions.

    - Biggest issue you might face: At least in Germany, apart from university positions, university-like positions and perhaps a very few exceptions there is no chance that you get a job (other than cleaning or baby-sitting) without being good at German. I suspect that's similar for other EU countries. If you knew how bad some of my colleagues English skills are, you'd realize that is not national discrimination but owes to the fact that you have to talk to colleagues, project partnerns, customers, administration, ... .
  4. Jan 13, 2014 #3
    I have studied German for four years, though that's 10+ years in the past but put me in a room with a German speaking person, lock the door for 5 hours and you might be surprised by the result.
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