In spite of the social and political (and ultimately economic) ills that are presently informing the undercurrent of South African media voices, many South Africans are returning home from work and studying stints abroad. If you are a returned expat – whether you were away for three years or 10 – the job landscape in South Africa will have altered considerably. Before you try to dive straight into finding a job and getting back to work, consider the following steps before re-entry into the job market.
1. Fire up your business networks
Social media sites like LinkedIn will give you a window into the who's who of South African CEOs, managers and employees in the industry you're qualified and experienced in. If you are interested in working for a particular company – whether corporate or SME – find out who their top players are and start connecting with them on LinkedIn. Ask around. Attend seminars, and make contact with the people you'd like to work with.
2. Get in touch with recruitment agencies
Reinserting yourself into the South African workforce may take a considerable amount of time and perseverance, especially for some candidates in light of the country's strictly enforced BEE and Employment Equity policies. Don't shy away from asking for help, which you can do by contacting recruitment agencies to assist you with getting back on the workhorse. They will want to see your CV, so this is the perfect opportunity for you to update it with your foreign work experience and any qualifications you may have earned overseas. Important tip: slant your CV in the direction of how you can solve problems instead of simply listing skills, experience and accolades.
3. Investigate South Africa's skills shortages
Many South Africans are opting to leave the country in the wake of socio-economic and political upheaval. This coupled with the country's rocky education system and many learners' poor performance, means that skills shortages are increasing. As a returning expat potentially possessing the right skills and qualifications, this is good news for you. There are plenty of opportunities for critical skilled professionals it's just about connecting with the right people.
4. Think about becoming an entrepreneur or contractor
If you find that you are hitting employment walls, or you've had a hankering for going the solo route - contracting or becoming an entrepreneur, this might also be the perfect time for it. South Africa's entrepreneurial activity is sitting at around 7 – 10%, which is only one third of what it should be (according to the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation), so it's clear that South Africa needs entrepreneurs. This shortage may be attributable to entrepreneurs experiencing a tough time finding the appropriate funding, market access and mentors. However, these issues can be mitigated by collaborating with other entrepreneurs and developing ideas that could potentially solve many of South Africa's job and development headaches.
There are many work options for returning South Africans, so do your research, discover the direction you feel passionate about pursuing, send your updated CV far and wide, and prepare yourself for job interviews. Welcome home!
If you need assistance in helping you navigate the South African job market, we can assist. Communicate Recruitment is a recruitment agency with consultants specialising in finding Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Freight jobs and Supply Chain jobs. Check out our vacancy page and apply now!