Navigating the Unknown 

When job applications to vacant positions fall flat, what do you do? To wallow in despair and frustration is NOT an option. Instead, the best thing at this point is to turn around and pitch yourself to someone in your network or even to a completely unknown person who can facilitate your job search process.

If you are sending applications to companies, I am sure you have identified the list of companies and your areas of interest and competencies in which you will pitch yourself? If not, it’s a great starting point. Scan company websites and LinkedIn using keywords to identify and map stakeholders to network or engage in conversation pertaining to your work requirements.

It is definitely a challenge for an international to strike a conversation with a Dane or with a person from a different culture at the “correct levels” of acceptance. Each culture has its own rules of acceptance and rules of agreeable behaviour. However, there is no “correct level” per se. In other words, there is no right or wrong. However, it holds you in great stead, if you know a bit about the cultural background that defines a person’s behaviour with whom you plan to meet or interact. This gives you a better insight behind their words and actions and makes the conversation much easier.

Pitch Your Offer

An introductory pitch should always be short and clear. When you pitch to a prospective employer or connection, they should see your poise, articulation and confidence levels in delivering your words and your tasks. Your words must be backed by a strong CV, LinkedIn profile and some great local references and recommendations. It takes time to prepare all of these including building a decent network in a foreign land. Try not to be caught off-guard – thoroughly research the company of your stakeholder, or the topic you have agreed to discuss, learn the new trends and tools in your industry and competencies. Try to be curious and ask numerous questions and this can happen only when you have gathered knowledge in your field of work.


Pitching yourself and your work to a prospect can take time and perseverance. You may receive no response; it might just be the wrong time! So, be patient before you try to reconnect and show your genuine interest and motivation. If you get a chance, just GRAB it!!! Leave no stone unturned to be completely prepared for this discussion – it can be online or in person.

How can you prepare for a chat or coffee meeting?

Before the actual discussion, you can prepare a pen profile to touch upon the key areas of your competencies so that your stakeholder can run through before you meet. After pitching, a discussion might go in a favourable way or might not. And be prepared for all kinds of alternatives. In case the meeting doesn’t seem to lead to anything, try to conclude in a positive way. It might lead to another discussion in the future or get you a referral with someone in their network.

In a foreign land, e.g. Denmark, forming acquaintances and finding ways of knowing your acquaintances better, can be difficult. The society is largely network driven and works on references. Being an international and working in a completely unknown landscape can be massively tricky. However, your past work, your genuine self and a pleasant personality goes a long way in helping you to strike that conversation and establish that connection which can be a turning point in landing you with the employment of your choice.

Our guest writer:

English Job Denmark Consultant, Ria Sengupta, is a Brand, Communication and Marketing Consultant and this is her second stint in Denmark. She has a long association with the country and its culture for over a decade. Being a marketing enthusiast, she has worked across industry and geography and been in creative roles with the US retail giant, Target Corp and has a strong agency background. Serving in a Chamber of Commerce, she has engaged with the political and socio-economic exchanges at national and international level. With a passion for sustainability, she is now exploring the world of regenerative solutions for the people and the planet. She can be connected via LinkedIn.

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