Have you ever thought about working abroad?
Maybe you’re a recent grad who would like to get some work and fun while adding coins to your bank account. Or maybe you’re already deep in your career and need to expand into a different kind of professional landscape. No matter what’s fueling you, we’ve got this short article on what leading publications are saying about how to go about looking for a job in a foreign place, measuring your expectations, and adapting to other cultures.
In an article for GoAbroad.com, Season Cooper penned a piece about working abroad. She explores the many reasons and ways to go for people who want to work abroad. As you may know, depending where you go and what you want to do might have different requirements.
Working abroad is a process, as Cooper notes, and the path for your development depends on your age. That is not to say that there is an age limit for working abroad, instead, there are different routes to take according to your stage in life, especially since many countries have a range for the applicants for work abroad visas.
“Whether you are looking for ways to work abroad after college, having a mid-career shift, or exploring jobs abroad for the over 50s; it’s never too late to make working abroad work for you!”
So, what do you need to work abroad? For a law-abiding citizen, a work visa is always the first step. Now, the tricky part is what kind of visa is available to you, which is where age comes into play. Working abroad is not just for recent college graduates. People over 30 can also have a career break while still exercising their professional skills in a completely different environment.
According to GoAbroad.com, there are seven ways to make working abroad easy:
1. Using an agency or program provider
2. Working as a teacher
3. Moving abroad, then looking for a job
4. Getting a working holiday visa
5. Signing up for a work exchange
7. Living the laptop lifestyle
If you’re seriously considering working abroad, you should ask yourself what jobs you can find. The Indeed Editorial team created a list of all the different jobs you can apply for that don’t require any previous experience for any adventurous soul out there. These are as follows:
1. Hotel breakfast attendant
2. Tour guide
3. Event planning intern
4. Landscape laborer
5. Hotel housekeeper
7. Hotel front desk clerk
10. Café assistant
Now, these may seem like low-stakes employment opportunities, which might be exactly what you need if you’re on a career break, but these are not your only options. In another piece by the same team, they mapped out some of the steps you must take to get a job in another country, these being part of the service industry or the next step in your professional career.
1. Determine the type of job you want
2. Decide what country you want to work in
3. Find a job you’re interested in
4. Apply for a visa or work permit
5. Localize your resume
6. Apply for the job
In a Harvard Business Review article, Irina Cozma and Yasmina Khelifi do a SWOT analysis for the different ways that you might go about a work abroad stay.
“It’s crucial to be thoughtful about your decision and to prepare before making that leap by building a local network, learning about the country’s culture, and finding the right organization for your needs.”
What the authors say is that even if you’re all in on the adventure, the best way to have a good experience is by thoroughly researching your choice and knowing exactly what you want to get out of it. Just having an idea of where you want to go is a good first step, preferably having some type of network to fall back on in your country.
By doing a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats analysis, you can find some of the hardships and challenges that might present themselves on the move. They recommend weighing in thoroughly all the possibilities, from venturing on your own to going with a company exchange, or the different available locations, to make the most informed decisions.
One of the most important parts for the writers is the cultural exchange. Some might argue that experiencing different cultures and perspectives of life is the whole point of traveling, but when it comes to living and working abroad, you might want to take an easier road. As you know, each company has its own culture, and the usual shock that you might feel whenever switching jobs will be multiplied by the larger environment.
Anne Shaw wrote a piece for The Muse listing 15 of the best tips for people who are interested in getting a job abroad. Similar to other pieces in this article, Shaw writes about the first steps you should take before committing to a decision. She diverges by highlighting the various challenges American citizens might face while working in a different country.
“Go with a company that will take good care of you when it comes to understanding local laws, taxes, and leasing arrangements, especially if there is a language barrier involved.”
Aided by a variety of quotes from professionals who have lived this experience, she illustrates her point on how life changes beyond a different environment. She mentions things like having a difficult time with new banking systems, the importance of having friends while still nurturing relationships with expats for a little taste of home, and even how people still have to pay taxes to the IRS if they live abroad.
Working abroad is not so much a pipe dream for those who are willing to prepare and adjust their expectations to the realities of living in a different culture. Living in another country is something you can do as long as you can gauge your expectations. There are many benefits in either taking a step back in your career while working a holiday working visa or picking up some work ethics from a different part of the world through a professional exchange program–you should just plan according to what you want.
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