Living and working overseas

Overseas Jobs
- how to find them -

Overseas jobs - the very mention of those two words is enough to elicit visions of travel, adventure and new beginnings. While it is undoubtedly an exciting proposition to consider going overseas to work and to live, especially if it is a dream that you have harboured for any length of time, the reality of trying to find a job overseas before you arrive normally consists of a lot of work, numerous rejection letters and much disappointment. Yet having a job already arranged can often be the difference between travelling abroad or not and so the rewards can far outweigh the sacrifice.

Many people write to us asking if it is possible to land a job before leaving for overseas and, if so, how? While we don’t suggest that securing an overseas job is easy, it's certainly possible with the right attitude, the right planning, and a bit of luck.

International Job Finder - Where the jobs are
By Daniel Lauber

Covers in some depth the tools and resources you'll want at your disposal if you want to find a job overseas. Highly recommended reading!
Click here for more information

When looking for work overseas only one thing can be stated as certain. It will normally require a lot of time, planning, patience, and perseverance if you wish to succeed. That is of course unless you are extremely lucky or have an in-demand skill set that you can offer. For the most part however you should be prepared to spend a lot of time and effort to secure an overseas job - but the rewards are undoubtedly worth it.

The key is in the preparation. Having a clear objective in terms of where you want to live, what kind of work you wish to do, how long you want to do it for, and what you expect out of that work will set the foundation for your approach to finding work overseas and ultimately, hopefully, your success.

Where do you want to live?

It sounds like an obvious question, but there are underlying factors that can affect your chances of success. Do you just have a specific country in mind without any particular region or city? If you are willing to live anywhere within a given country your chances of finding work will be greater than if you are just looking to move to a very small, localised area. Equally, having skill sets that lend themselves to city-like environments (such as I.T. or financial) may mean that setting your sights on living in a small rural town will seriously lessen your chances of finding work in that area.

What kind of overseas work are you looking for?

Again, another basic question but one that needs to be looked at carefully. Each person will have a different reason for wanting to find an overseas job and each person will have a different set of skills that they can offer. If moving to another country has been a long-term goal you may consider doing whatever work comes your way until you can find a position in your chosen field. In that regard many migrants the world over can be found working as taxi drivers, shop assistants etc., until they can assimilate better into their new country. While this is obviously not ideal it does offer a foot in the door for some people and allows them the opportunity to look for work from within the country. With such an approach in mind you may be better off looking toward the big cities as job prospects there will be much higher. One thing to bear in mind however is that you may be able to save much more money by staying in your own country and working in your chosen career than by migrating to a new country and only being able to find work in a secondary position for a while. You should think carefully about the financial aspect if you are unable to work in your own profession for a while in your new country.

What do you expect from working overseas?

As we've touched on before each person will have a different set of reasons and therefore expectations from working overseas. For some people working overseas is a career-enhancing move and for those people it is more important to locate the right position rather than any position at all. For other people working overseas offers the chance to earn money and live in a new country, perhaps with a goal to living there permanently. Yet for others extended working holidays offer the chance to travel through countries while having the ability to earn money and further their travelling experiences. If you are moving overseas with a family you will have other considerations to take into account. You will need to give extra consideration your family's needs such as what schools are in the area? What jobs can your spouse do? What are the employment options for him/her like there? How long will you have to travel from where you hope to live to possible work areas? Is there public transport? The list of questions is endless but it all comes down to planning. You don’t have to take any job that is offered to you but lack of planning about the other things in life can make even the best job turn out to be a nightmare. Look before you leap because you can’t turn back the clock at a later stage. If you’re travelling by yourself then these are headaches that you don’t have to deal with.

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