How to Find Work Abroad

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Have you ever been to a foreign country and thought, I could see myself living here? 🤔

You might have fallen in love with the culture, the food, or the seemingly laid-back atmosphere. 

Next thing you know you’re trying to find ways to either extend your trip or look at your calendar for the next time you can come back. 👀

But, what if you didn’t have to?

What if you were able to call this amazing location your home? 🏡

It seems crazy, but with a lot of research, dedication, and a strong will you can work abroad even with little to no experience.

Benefits of Working Abroad

There are endless personal and professional benefits to working abroad. The main ones are travel and cultural immersion. 

If you love to travel and explore new cultures, working abroad is going to feel like a dream come true for you. You’ll have time off to really explore your new country in more detail versus when you are a tourist just visiting for a few days. ✈️

Working abroad can also have career advancement opportunities. You’ll learn new skills and knowledge that can be valuable to employers such as cross-cultural communication, adaptability, and global awareness. 🌎

By finding work abroad you’ll also show potential employers that you have strong leadership and problem-solving skills. You’re willing to handle complex problems and adapt to an ever-changing environment. 😎

Financial gain is also possible by working abroad. If you earn your salary in a strong currency and spend in a weaker currency, your cost of living will decrease. This can create opportunities for personal saving and investment. 💰

Jumana Hijazi is a Palestinian ex-pat who is currently living in Istanbul working in education as a recruitment manager for international students. She has been in Turkey since 2019. In the past, she lived and worked in Dubai for 14 years as a chemical engineering consultant for ISO17025 in the medical laboratories department. She likes living abroad because she enjoys interacting with multiple nationalities and learning about different cultures. Jumana says that working abroad has advanced her career through training programs and networking.
Alejandra Hinojosa is an American ex-pat currently living in Saudi Arabia where she works in education as a school counselor. She has been living abroad for the past 5 years in 4 different countries including Myanmar, Thailand, China, and Saudi Arabia. Alejandra enjoys living abroad because of the exposure to different cultures, ethnicities, mindsets, and travel opportunities. “Living abroad truly challenges and changes the lens through which you view the world whether you want it to or not.” As a school counselor, working abroad in international schools has opened doors to better opportunities. The higher a school is regarded, the more they hire professionals with experience abroad.
Stefanie Kreisman is an American ex-pat, and copywriter for Wonsulting, 😅currently living and working in Istanbul. She has been living abroad for the past 6 years in Thailand and Turkey. Stefanie has been working in education teaching English and Literature to many different students ranging from kindergarten to university. She loves living abroad because of the exposure to different cultures and the ease of travel. While abroad, she has been able to attend various educational seminars and gain experience in international schools and global universities.

Why do you want to work abroad?

Before we get ahead of ourselves, deciding to work abroad is a big decision. 

While it might look glamorous and exciting on the outside, it’s important to really reflect on why you want to work abroad on the inside.

Here are 7 questions to ask yourself before moving abroad:

  1. Why do I want to work abroad? What are my motivations and goals for seeking international work experience?
  2. Am I ready for the challenges of living and working in a foreign country? What are my expectations and concerns about the cultural, social, and practical aspects of moving abroad?
  3. How will working abroad fit into my long-term career plans? What skills, experiences, and connections do I hope to gain from working abroad, and how will they help me achieve my career goals?
  4. How will working abroad impact my personal life and relationships? What are the potential challenges and benefits of being away from family and friends, and how will I manage them?
  5. Do I have the necessary resources and support to make the transition to working abroad? What are my financial, logistical, and emotional needs, and how will I meet them?
  6. How will I cope with the stress and uncertainty of working in a foreign environment? What are my coping strategies and self-care practices, and how will I maintain my physical and mental health abroad?
  7. How will I maintain a sense of connection and purpose while working abroad? What are my personal and professional goals for the experience, and how will I stay motivated and engaged?

How to work abroad with no experience

Now that you’ve had a chance to reflect on your personal goals, you’re probably wondering where can you find work abroad with no experience.

Well, the easiest place to look is your network

Maybe you know someone who studied abroad during university. Ask them what their experience was like and if they can connect you with anyone in the country that they met. This is a great way to network within the country and find out what jobs are available or what the cost of living is.

Research international volunteer opportunities to gain skills that will be relevant to your desired job. 

GoOverSeas.com has thousands of opportunities in various countries and industries. 

📊 Volunteer your time to women in Tanzania and gain leadership and speaking skills.

🏥 Apply for an internship in healthcare in Costa Rica to gain bilingual skills in the medical field to become an international healthcare worker.

🤟 Brush up on your language skills by helping with conservation projects in South America to gain environmental awareness and problem-solving skills.

While you’re volunteering don’t forget to network, network, network! All those other volunteers and program leaders can also connect you with new people which could potentially lead to a paid opportunity.

Another place to look for work abroad is on social media, specifically, Facebook groups. 

Now, before you skip this section because…it’s Facebook, no one really uses Facebook anymore. 🤷‍♀️

Hear me out.

Almost every country or city has an ex-pat group on Facebook. You can join these groups and ask questions about roles you’re interested in or what it’s like to live there. 

Searching by industry and city is a great way to really narrow your search. Try, ‘Teaching Jobs in Bangkok,’ ‘Tech Jobs in Berlin,’ or ‘Marketing Jobs in Paris.’

You’ll get first-hand information from people who currently live there and you’ll get to see what are the top companies to work for.

What are the popular industries to work in abroad?

🛥 Hospitality

If you love meeting new people every day and working with a diverse group of people, then consider working in hospitality abroad. This can include work in hotels, cruise ships, theme parks, private yachts, or aviation.

Many international hospitality companies have global hiring opportunities. You might have to start locally and work your way up to be transferred to a new location overseas.

🥼 Healthcare

Healthcare abroad, especially for children, is a growing industry in Africa and Central America. If you are currently a licensed healthcare professional, you can look for opportunities abroad with NursingBeyondBorders or DoctorsWithoutBorders.

📚 Education

If you think you’d be a great teacher, look into how to earn a teaching certificate. There are many month-long programs that can fast-track you to a working abroad opportunity all over the world.

Personally, I got my start teaching abroad with Angloville in the Czech Republic. I was able to earn a teaching certificate and live in the country for a month with free room and board. My experience was amazing and I met a lot of people that I’m still in touch with today.

And don’t just think that teaching abroad means teaching English.

Because it doesn’t!

If you are a licensed teacher in your home country you are qualified to teach in many prestigious international schools. This means that you can teach social studies, maths, computer science, history, music, and sports, as well as high school or university students.

🌱 Conservation

With the environment on everyone’s mind, conservation efforts around the world are increasing. This opens many opportunities for international collaborations with nonprofit organizations. Try to look for opportunities with Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund, Rainforest Alliance, or Conservation International.

How to Find Freelance Work Abroad

Choosing a country to live in is honestly one of the harder choices 😆

If you’re really stuck on choosing a country or you need more time to decide, then you might want to think about freelance work or working remotely.

Working remotely gives you the freedom to travel as often or as little as you like. However, you’ll need to already have a remote job that allows you to work from anywhere. 

Because of tax reasons, some employers may say “remote” in their job descriptions, but really mean remote within the country or within certain time zones.

If you really want to work in Europe but can’t decide on a city, apply for a digital nomad visa in one EU country such as Spain, Greece, or the Czech Republic. As long as you meet the visa requirements, you’ll be able to travel freely within the EU and can stay for as long as you like.

Popular jobs for digital nomads are:

  • Tech
  • Journalism
  • Copywriting
  • Finance
  • Consulting
  • Coaching
  • Entrepreneur

Places to look for remote jobs are:

  • TheMuse
  • Jobspresso
  • Jobbatical
  • RemoteOK

What’s the difference between working remotely and getting hired by a foreign company?

The main difference between working remotely and getting hired by a foreign company is simply the visa.

When you work remotely you’ll have to meet the requirements of visas that your passport allows. This could mean visa applications to enter certain countries or time limits on how long you can stay in a country. Some countries also have long-term tourist visas that you can apply for.

As a remote worker, you will not have health care coverage in the country or permanent housing. This will be another expense that you will need to budget for. You’ll have to look for long-term stay hotels or AirBnBs. There are different companies that sell travel insurance such as SafetyWing that may be a good option for you.

On the contrary, if you are hired by a foreign company, your employer will handle all the visa paperwork. You may need to visit the embassy before arriving in the country to get a work visa.

A work visa comes with many benefits within the country such as health care, residency, and bank accounts. Basically, all the essentials you’ll need to start living in a new country.

You’ll also have support from your employer on finding housing, settling in, translating, and navigating around.

Do you have what it takes to work abroad?

Hopefully, with this overview of how to find work abroad, you have a good understanding of what your next steps should be. 

If you want to chat it over with a professional our job search strategists and consultants can help you pave the way to your overseas adventure.

You’ll be jet-setting off to your next destination in no time! ✈️

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