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 CAREERS
SEPTEMBER 20, 2000

ASK CAREERS
By Pamela Mendels

Tips for a Long-Distance Job Search
Even if your dream position across the Pond is at a dot-com, your best bet is still to get on that plane

 
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Q: I'm an expatriate American living and working in Brussels, where I am responsible for electronic commerce at a subsidiary of a New York City-based company. I am eager to make a jump to a dot-com because I find it frustrating to work in a large, corporate bureaucracy.

I'm having a tough time, however, finding the right position from abroad. I see four options: Go back to the U.S. with my current company and then start looking for another job; continue hunting from Europe for a job in the U.S. and expect the new company to pay my relocation expenses; hunt for a European job with a U.S.-based company, with the option of transferring back to the parent; or stick it out where I am. Any guidance?

---- J.D., Brussels

A: Give yourself a fifth option. Take a few weeks off -- maybe you have some vacation time coming -- and return to the U.S. for an intense job-hunting expedition. Few bosses will hire a candidate sight unseen, so shell out the money for a plane ticket.

Do a lot of groundwork before you head for the airport, says Eric Knudsen, a recruiter with MyRecruiter.com, a New York City-based headhunter for Internet businesses. Search for leads on Web job sites (you've just found one of them). And don't forget to get in touch with professional associations that represent your field, adds Lynn Berger, a New York City career adviser.

After you've done your research, e-mail whoever does the hiring at a good prospect and follow up with a trans-Atlantic phone call. If things click, make an appointment to meet face-to-face.

BLANK CHECK FOR SOME.  The good news is that if you're a techie, you can practically write your own ticket because companies are desperate for computer mavens. But even if you aren't a software engineer, you're likely to find an abundance of recruiters eager to meet you.

Knudsen says salespeople are in particular demand in the New York area. On the other coast, Silicon Valley companies are looking to beef up their business-development departments, find people with marketing expertise, and even hire top execs. CEOs and CFOs are in demand, says Allison E. Hopkins, president and founder of Core Elements, a human resources consulting outfit in Saratoga, Calif.

The bad news is that if your heart is in an entrepreneurial dot-com (read startup), you're unlikely to find a company willing to foot your hefty moving costs. Ever since tech stocks took a nosedive last spring, those goateed Internet company execs have been watching their pennies much more closely.

Have a career question? Send us an e-mail at askcareers@businessweek.com, or write to Ask Careers, Business Week Online, 46th Floor, 1221 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020. Please include your real name and phone number in case we need more information; only your initials and city will be printed. Because of the volume of mail, we won't be able to respond to all questions personally. Questions may edited for length and clarity.



Pamela Mendels is a staff reporter for Business Week Online

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