|When I contacted
that consultancy, the firm was looking for someone, who is familiar with
the German legal system and is fluent in German and English. But the firm
never got around to advertising the vacancy. Focusing on the hidden job
market in a specialized niche turned out to be successful.
working in Johannesburg during the transition period definitely deserves
to be called exciting. The excitement during that period included marches
of tens of thousand of Zulus in the central business district and
bombs exploding all over Johannesburg. At a professional level, during
that stint I could expand my experience with international business. In
every respect, it was without any doubt worth living and working in
South Africa during that time.
the second half of the nineties it was time to move on. I wanted to move
to New Zealand. So I did. Like in South Africa, I eventually found work
in the commercial and financial hub of the country, Auckland. Unlike in
South Africa, there is nothing in New Zealand that deserves to be called
German business community. For that reason, it was necessary to change
my approach a little.
I realized that there was a market in New Zealand for competitive medical
insurance. The medical insurance market in New Zealand had been dominated
for decades by two insurers, whose premiums were sky rocketing. Many
Kiwis were not aware that there were more competitive deals available offered
by reputable and well established insurance companies.
That is the
reason why I went this time through the yellow pages cold calling insurance
brokerages. The purpose of the exercise was again to talk to a director,
hoping to get an appointment for an interview. After obtaining a few interviews
and going through the usual application procedure, I had a job with an
insurance brokerage focusing on business development for medical insurance.
New Zealand radically deregulated and liberalized its domestic markets.
In that process, many state owned companies were privatized. The result
now is a very competitive business environment. That also includes the
financial services industry. But my hunch was right. I did this business
development role for several years.
In a nutshell,
a few lessons can be drawn from my job hunting in South Africa and New
Zealand. First, landing professional work appears to be easier in the commercial
and financial center of the respective country. Second, at least according
to my experience, focusing on the hidden job market in a specialized niche
does make sense. Third, as far as I am able to form an opinion, smaller
firms seem to be more promising targets than large companies. Smaller firms
often do not advertise vacancies and tend to be more flexible. Both the
business consulting firm in Johannesburg and the insurance brokerage in
Auckland I worked for are rather small firms.
In 2000 and
2001, it gradually dawned on me that I wanted to get out of law and business
altogether. It also dawned on me what I wanted to do instead teaching
at college level, preferably in a less developed country.
is indeed a wonderful invention. Some websites specialize in listing teaching
positions throughout the world. Other websites list schools and colleges
all over the globe. By using search engines, one can locate websites of
virtually every educational outfit, no matter where it is based. The websites
of educational institutions sometimes list vacancies. But it is also worth
contacting them if they do not list vacancies.
mention, I have found what I felt inclined to do. Since August 2001, I
teach at the campus Colima of the Monterrey Institute of Technology, the
largest private university in Mexico. While still living and working in
New Zealand, I applied by Email for a teaching position in Mexico. The
usual application procedure was done by Email and telephone.
if one is a little resourceful and entrepreneurial, one can land professional
work almost anywhere in the world. By living and working oversees,
one develops a global mindset and becomes in the course of time
more relaxed. Just give it a go..
Jurgen Click Here
is a list of articles written by Jurgen for the magazine: