Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Career adviser offers tips to find international employment

In the 12 years Jodi Lundin has worked at DU, she’s helped more than 1,000 people get international jobs. Lundin is director of career services for the Graduate School of International Studies. 

Her resources include her knowledge of international employment, a variety of overseas contacts and a strong desire to make a change in the world, both personally and by helping connect others.

The most popular jobs and areas vary, Lundin says. “It changes according to what’s happening in the world,” she says, noting that international security and political risk in places like the Middle East, Africa and Washington, D.C., are hot now.

Lundin answers the often-asked question, “How do I find an international job?”


The answer to this question is fairly complex. International work sounds intriguing, challenging and meaningful but what does working in an international job actually mean? First of all, note that the word “international” is an adjective. It is describing a job in terms of either the location of the job, the scope of the job or perhaps the people you work with in the job. Here are some steps to take in your quest to work internationally:

Step 1: Know Yourself:

*Are you interested in working in a particular region of the world? Do you have the language skills or cultural awareness necessary to work in the region?
*Are you willing to relocate? Or are you interested in working domestically and traveling internationally for your job? 
*Do you have a particular skill set/degree or experience that you could apply in an international context? If not, do you need to pursue additional education?

Step 2: Know Your Market

*What sector are you interested in working in? The public sector including the US Federal Government and multilateral institutions such as the World Bank; the private sector, or the nonprofit/non-governmental organization sector? All sectors have international positions. 
*Who is hiring? How do you connect with the market you are interested in? Once you determine your specific market, there is a wide range of resources to find international positions.

Step 3: Develop a Strategy

Take time to assess your values, skills and interests and research the international arena. Without answering the questions posed above, your search may be long and difficult.

The world is indeed a small place and the opportunities to work globally are increasing every day. A great resource to begin this process is International Jobs: Where they are and how to get them (Perseus Books Group, sixth edition, 2003) by Nina Segal and Eric Kocher.

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