Sunday, October 4, 2015

How To Increase Your Chances Of Finding A Job In Argentina


How To Increase Your Chances Of Finding A Job In Argentina

I´m back after a long hiatus. I told myself that I was done writing for this blog but I felt that there were things that I still needed to share with my readers. So here I am.

As you know, the job outlook in Argentina isn
't great, particularly in Cordoba. I've tried applying on job sites like computrabajo.com, zonajobs.com and Bumeran.com, and have failed to yield any good results, save for a few interviews here and there.



JOB SITES
The nifty thing about these job sites here are that they track the progress of your application. Computrabajo.com in particular shows you how many people have applied for a particular position and whether your application has been viewed or discarded.
I have a list of over 10 pages that show how many companies have "adios" my job submissions. Then again, a lot of the positions had anywhere from 150 to thousands of applicants. so it´s understandable that I may have been overlooked in a vast turbulent sea of job applicants.


OBSTACLES
There are a lot of obstacles when looking for work in Argentina, particularly a province like Cordoba where there are more people looking for work than there are jobs available. Plus there are other obstacles like age requirements (if you´re over 29, good luck!), gender (it´s legal to exclude people for positions based on gender here), and if you come from another country, most businesses tend to slam the door on your face because they would rather give work to Argentinians.


RECOMMENDATIONS
If you´re planning on living here, I recommend Buenos Aires, particularly the CABA region (Capital Federal) which offer a lot more business opportunities than Cordoba.
If you're a computer programmer, which I'm not, you have a better chance of getting work here, though I would strongly recommend that you get a work Visa and apply before you move here, unless you've been in Argentina awhile and have successfully applied for residency and/or citizenship.

Don´t assume that Argentine residency or citizenship will guarantee you a job. I thought having dual citizenship (the U.S. and Argentina) would have made things easier for me but sadly it hasn
't. 
As someone who has worked in the office/admin field for 16 years, I concentrated my job search in this area. Here are some things that I've learned that will hopefully help others in my predicament. 
Having a descent amount of knowledge with reading and writing in Spanish is not optional. For example, my Spanish talking skills are a lot better than my writing or reading skills. So in the interviews I went on they made me answer some questions, some of which I didn't fully understand but I tried filling them out anyway. Questions that totally baffled me I left blank. Hm ... that might explain why I never got a 2nd interview. 


WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT INTERVIEWS
Oh that reminds me! While on interviews, I've noticed a common theme. There are usually 4 interviews in total. At any point in the interview process you might get eliminated like on American Idol. If you get a call back within a week of your first interview, you passed the first hurdle. But because you did well in your first and maybe second interview does not guarantee you won´t be disqualified as a candidate in the third or fourth interview. 

Interviewers love a lot of participation, particularly in group interviews. Don´t stay quiet! Be one of the first people to raise your hand or just jump right in and say something.

One of the interviews I did for a telecommunication company called APEX had a business psychologist who was asking all the questions. Since I wasn
't entirely sure what she was asking me on some things (this is where not being comfortable in your knowledge of Spanish can get you in trouble), I found myself unable to participate and this lady was eyeing me like a hawk. I never got a second interview but I did learn something from the experience. 


TANGO
No! I´m not talking about the Argentine Tango. I´m talking about the computer program and I strongly recommend that you familiarize yourselves with it. There are vocational schools that teach you everything you need to know about this program. The average price varies by institutes. I´m planning on taking a course for this early next year. So when I have more info on pricing I will definitely post it. What I do understand about "TANGO" is that it is somewhat similar to Excel but can be used in several administrative positions, especially HR.

MOVE ON
One thing I've come to realize recently is that you have to accept that if something you´re doing isn't working ... MOVE ON! Since office/admin jobs haven´t produced any results, I decided to learn a different skill.


MEDICAL BILLING AND CODING
I am currently taking a medical coding and billing course at a vocational school in Nueva Cordoba that will last 4 and a 1/2 months. I´m half way there and I've managed to pass the first two of 5 major exams with a 9,50 (for the 1st test) and a 9 (for the 2nd test). The grading scales in Argentina are different from the States. In lieu of letters, A, B, C, D, or F, they use numbers. 10 is the highest so I´m actually quite proud of myself. 



LEARNING A NEW FIELD
Not only am I learning a completely new field but I´m also learning to interact with my Argentinian classmates and getting more accustomed to speaking and writing in Castilian (Argentine Spanish). The course charges 500 Argentine pesos a month, which is $52.96 USD. By the time I finish the course, I will have a certificate and a transcript that shows that I've been trained to perform medical billing and coding in orthodontics, biochemistry and pharmaceuticals. And yes! Employers here appreciate vocational certificates just as much as college degrees which is different in the States. Trust me! I have two certificates from Miami Lakes Tech that I did back in 1995. One was for Data Entry and the other one was for Financial Records and they didn't do squat for me.


PAID VERSUS FREE
But why pay when you can go to the Universidad Nacional De Cordoba (UNC) for free? I´ll tell you what the person that enrolled me in the medical billing and coding program told me. At the UNC, the person signing off on your certificate is the headmaster of history. HISTORY! NOT THE HEALTHCARE FIELD! So basically your certificate and transcript would read like a joke to a potential employer. Plus, my previous experience at the UNC have shown that they spend way too much time going on strikes over nonsense and a lot of the professors teaching there don´t really seem to care about educating their students at all.

Paid programs are far better because you get a professor, which in my opinion, cares and will go out of their way to make sure that you learn and they won´t allow nonsense like political issues (which seep into a lot of UNC lectures) get in the way of the training.

THE FUTURE
There is so much more that I´d like to share with you but I felt that this was an important entry to re-introduce myself. This blog is intended to educate and help current and future expats to survive in Argentina, particularly the province of Cordoba. Regardless of your personal beliefs, gender, age or place of origin, this blog will give you an insight into what life is like here. So please feel free to share on social media. Now, if you´ll excuse me. I have a lot of studying to do. See you soon.

#Argentina #Cordoba #job #outlook

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