“Real Stories From Abroad”: Finding A Job Abroad During The Lockdown
Finding a job during the lockdown was not easy for many. Finding a job abroad where you can have an international experience, learn a new culture and enjoy a new city during the lockdown was even harder. Fewer opportunities and more fear of leaving the comfort zone and making an international move were the main blocking points. BUT some of us really went after their desire, achieved their goals and started a new chapter abroad.
In the new episode of “Real Stories From Abroad: Making The Blu Experience” we’d like to present you with a success story. Francesca, young talent we had the chance to meet earlier this summer, is one of the people who managed to make a move abroad. She started her new chapter in Athensand shared her experience to inspire you to trust your gut and take the same step.
Francesca’s New Start in Athens
Once you get a taste of an international experience abroad, you cannot easily stay where you are. Francesca is a living proof of this. After her several experiences in different places, she is currently living in Athens and working in an International Customer Service position in Italian. If you want to know more about her motivation to make a move abroad, her international job search process and her very new chapter in Athens, read our newest interview for the “Real Stories From Abroad” series!
“I decided to make an international experience because I’ve always wanted to work in an international environment.”
Hi Francesca, thank you so much for accepting our invitation to participate in “Real Stories From Abroad”. Let’s start by introducing you to our readers. Where are you from? Where do you live and work at the moment? Feel free to give us some background information about your professional and educational background.
Hi everybody. It is a pleasure to answer your questions. My name is Francesca, I come from Sardinia, an Italian island more often mistaken for Corsica (the French island). I am 26 years old, and I am currently living in Athens, working for an international BPO company. I hold a Bachelor in Cultural Tourism Science and a Master in Public and Cultural Diplomacy.
How did you decide to make an international work experience abroad? Did you have any previous experience, and what was your motivation for following this route?
I decided to make an international experience because I’ve always wanted to work in an international environment. My studies allow me to work at an international level; I undertook 2 internships abroad, one with the Erasmus Plus program, the other with an Italian national program. My previous job allowed me to travel frequently and meet people from all around the world, enriching my cultural baggage.
“It is not easy to find your dream job, or even a simple job. The majority of employers ask for many years of experience which a young person, like me, cannot have.”
How did your job search go? Do you think that it is relatively easy to find a suitable job abroad?
I spent the whole quarantine period looking for a job on LinkedIn and other platforms, but it was not easy. It is not easy to find your dream job, or even a simple job. The majority of employers ask for many years of experience, which a young person, like me, cannot have.
You know that we encourage people to #makethebluexperience when they decide to make an international career move. How were your Blu experience and your recruitment process overall?
My recruitment process at Blu Selection was very pleasant. I really liked my recruiter, Marie. She has been always present, available, and fast in answering all my questions and doubts. We talked both via email and phone, and she provided me with clear answers and explanations.
"I think that the important thing for this kind of job is your soft skills. Empathy, strong relational skills and active listening."
What are the strengths that made you get the job, do you think? Which soft and hard skills do you think helped you to be selected for your current role?
I think that the important thing for this kind of job is your soft skills. Empathy, strong relational skills and active listening. It is also important to have a high level of the English language both to live abroad and to attend the training, otherwise, you will feel lost. Other useful skills are the ability to clearly explain and summarise facts and multitasking.
Did you receive any support on the way to your journey? Did you get any previous information or recommendation about the company you are working with right now?
I had several contacts both with Blu Selection and the company that hired me. Blu Selection explained me that the company was in charge of booking the flight and hotel and that I would have been contacted by them. The company later on communicated me all the details and documents about the journey: information and time regarding the flight, hotel, taxi, etc.
"It is a new experience for me, I am learning, improving my skills and exploring the city."
Can you tell us about your daily routine during this experience? Do you enjoy your job at the moment? Did you have a chance to attend any team activities or after work events? How’s work and personal life balance over there?
I work 5 days a week per 8 hours on shifts that can change every week. In the middle of the week, you will know what are the shifts for the following week. We are doing smart working at the moment, so I didn’t get the change to meet all my colleagues. I still did not participate in any after-work event but I hope I will soon. It is a new experience for me, I am learning, improving my skills and exploring the city.
What have you learned so far and what do you expect to gain from this experience both in terms of personal gains and professional skills?
I learned new things from the training but only when you begin to work on shifts and talk to customers that you really learn and improve and do better. The process of “learning by doing” is always useful and effective and the desire to do better pushes you to constantly improve. I expect to be able to handle every issue and to be satisfied.
"It is absolutely worth it."
What is the best part of this experience or what do you expect it to be?
The best part is that you have the chance to live in another country and get to know another language and culture and traditions. I think this is a significant part of the experience, to deepen yourself in a reality different than your own. Also, at work, you know people from different part of the world which gives the opportunity to debate and grow together and learn from each other.
Last but not least, what advice would you give people reading your story?
My only advice is to jump and apply for an experience abroad because it will make you grow both from a personal and professional point of view. It will enrich your cultural, linguistic and personal baggage with new linguistic skills, interpersonal skills and memories. It is absolutely worth it.
Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us Francesca!
We hope you got inspired by reading Francesca’s story as much as we did.
If you want to know more about the Blu experience or would like to share your story with us you know what to do: just contact us!