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Living abroad

Updated: Jan 10


Sometimes, I got asked the question: “how did you get your job abroad?”. For me, it all started when I read an email from a former colleague. I was working in Ho Chi Minh city at the time, and my position was eliminated, so I was kinda looking for a new job. The email was about a job opportunity in Malaysia. It was a library position in an Australian university based in Selangor state, about 20km away from Kuala Lumpur, the capital. I decided to try and sent out my resume. You might wonder what encouraged me to give it a try. Some months before I got the news that I was getting laid off, I had my first trip overseas, to Australia. The experiences I had from the trip changed me, and prepared me. I came home feeling refreshed, and confident. My view to the world was broaden. I knew I could move to a totally new place and everything will be okay.

The university in Malaysia flew me over for an official face-to-face interview. I checked out the campus and the area around and I liked it. They also offered a much higher salary compared to my previous job, this was an offer I couldn’t refuse.

I told my parents, who were totally okay with it. And so I moved to Malaysia. In the first few months, it was challenging. There were lots of things that I had to attend to at the same time. I had to find a place to stay, learn how to get around, adjust to a new environment, plus all the new things at the new job. In the end, these experiences helped me grow as I learned to adapt and change quickly.

One of the wonderful things about working abroad is that there will be plenty opportunities to develop your skills, which will be useful if you decide to transition back to home or move to another country. For example, I have improved my English because I got to speak the language every day (almost everyone in Malaysia speak English).

About my job, my position called Liaison Librarian, and it expects that I work closely with academic staff to integrate research skill into the curriculum, teach library workshops, promote the library to the university community, engage in collection development, and manage some library projects.

Now if you’d like to consider looking and applying for jobs overseas, awesome! The experience will change your life (it changed my life). When you found a job you think will be suitable for you, prepare the best profile and CV/resume to promote yourself. Never be afraid to ask for advice or guidance. When I applied to jobs, I reached out to mentors, colleagues, and also my boss at the time for advice and asked if they can be my referee. You will also need help from someone who have experience to look over your CV/resume, cover letters. I wish you success.


©2020 by Hien Minh Tran.