Monday 31 August 2015 10:09 pm

It's time to negotiate an international transfer at work - here's how you do it

It can be the best of times, it can be the worst of times. Our attitudes to the first few “back to work” days in September can encompass happiness, stoical acceptance, dread and everything in between.

And data shows that it’s prime time for career re-evaluation. Last year, there was a 62 per cent rise in people updating their LinkedIn profiles on 1 September, compared with the previous week, and we expect to see the same this year, with thousands of professionals logging on to assess their options.

But for those coming back to reality with a healthy dose of wanderlust, it could be time to consider a career move overseas to get the best of both worlds.

Thousands of Brits headed abroad last year to work and we found that the most popular destinations for those on LinkedIn were the bright lights of New York, followed by Sydney and Paris, as well as some more intriguing choices such as Mumbai and Johannesburg.

Working abroad doesn’t have to mean leaving a fulfilling role or a big name business. In fact, the top employers of UK professionals on LinkedIn abroad are multinationals with a presence in the UK. EY topped the list, followed by IBM, PwC and Accenture.

If you want to take your career global without jumping ship, here are our top tips for negotiating an internal transfer:

Verify your value

Just because you work for the same company, it doesn’t mean that people won’t check you out online, so make sure your social footprint is in check. Your LinkedIn profile is your career shop window and needs to demonstrate to colleagues in the UK and abroad why you’d make a good hire. At the very least, make sure you’ve uploaded a professional-looking photo and filled out the different sections.

Have your reasons

You’re more likely to be successful in your application to transfer abroad if you can give concrete reasons for why you want to live and work in a specific country – and why this would benefit the business as well as you. Focus on understanding the market and learning about the culture.

Show off your skills

If you’re set on transferring to another country, make sure you can talk about your skills in a way that will be relevant there. Everyone wants to prove they’re an expert in their own market, but your potential colleagues abroad will want to know that you can adapt to theirs.

Establish who the decision makers are

The HR department of your business will be able to help you take the first steps on the transfer road, but the final decision will probably fall to someone else, who you should identify if you can. If they’re not based permanently in the UK, try to set up a meeting when they’re visiting the offices.

Use your existing network

Even if you don’t have any contacts in the country you’re keen to relocate to, it’s likely that someone in your office does, so don’t be afraid to ask people on your team.

Making sure you’re connected with your colleagues on LinkedIn makes this process easier, as it will allow you to see any shared connections, who may be able to offer an introduction.