Working overseas and Pursuing a Career abroad in 2020 | Everything you need to know

The importance of having a job cannot be over-emphasized and these includes the following:

Self-dependence: Self-dependence is very necessary in life and it sets in as one starts earning a living

Gifts: With jobs, one is entitled to getting gifts from friends and family members on occasions and one doesn’t have to look forward to others for help.

Self-respect and dignity: This is seen through the amazing feeling one gets off whatever he does. With a job, one has a place in the society and constitutes in the up gradation of the nation.

Learning: A job exposes one to learning in the profession. The management and colleagues teach one the lessons of life like no one else ever will.

Working overseas

Getting a Job abroad

It might interest you to know that oftentimes, getting a job abroad can be a lot simpler than getting a job at home. This is even the case if you want to work abroad without experience. At home, one essentially needs experience to get experience and, overseas, there is no such hitch.

One of the benefits of working abroad, actually for those who have what it takes to say goodbye to the familiarities, securities and comfort of home to earn a living overseas is that it makes travel financially feasible. Finding a job overseas with no experience is great and very much possible though daunting.

These following steps will help turn you into an open-minded, motivated and, ultimately, hire-able employee.

They include:
  • Get Certified to Work Abroad Without Experience
  • Keep an Open Mind
  • Consider Volunteering First
  • Make Yourself Easy to Hire
  • Go Through a Working Holiday Program
  • Harness the Skills You Already Have
  • Be Willing to Accept the Risk, and Reap the Rewards of Working Abroad
  • Take Advantage of Your Social Networks
  • Re-skill and Opt for Internships
  • Display Competence Across Your Academic Career
  • Participate in Competitions and Hackathons (Hackathons helps put your coding skills to work)
  • Bag Industry and Academic Referrals
  • Work Across Multiple Roles
  • Settle for Lower Initial Compensation
  • Keep Immigration Policies in Mind
  • Be realistic
  • Understand the business culture


What are the benefits of working abroad?

Working abroad is an enriching experience that you will gain from both professionally and personally.

Expand your skills: For starters, you will expand your skill set. An international career, even one that lasts just a year, requires you to broaden your knowledge of the global workplace, develop new networking skills and discover new cultural perspectives of how business is done.
You will hone your communications skills too, and not necessarily by learning a new language, though this may be another skill you pick up, but by learning how to clarify your speech and make yourself understood to non-fluent English speakers.

Make some money: Depending on where you go and the job you pursue, you can make good money through careers abroad. Lucrative jobs abroad include teaching English in countries like South Korea, 'nannying' in the Middle East and working on private yachts and cruises in Canada. What is more, some people find that just by downsizing to a simpler life abroad, where tax rates are lower or non-existent, and the cost of living is cheaper, considerable savings can be made.

Advance your career: Work experience abroad is brilliant for your career progression. Research your options carefully, and you will almost certainly find that your work experience is valuable in some capacity overseas. This is particularly true in developing economies like India, where a British education and work experience is highly rated.

By moving to a country with a fast-growing economy, which places value you on a British education and work ethic, you will instantly raise your profile. Move somewhere exotic and you become exotic. Use this to your advantage. And when you return to home, you will be able to draw upon your experience of working abroad to enhance your career even further; your experience will make your CV stand out, and you will have specialist knowledge of an overseas market.

Seasonal Work: Whether it is ski instructing in Canada, cheffing on cruise ships or picking grapes in Australia, there is no shortage of great seasonal work abroad. For many people, travelling and working abroad for a year can provide a perfect opportunity to take a career break or a sabbatical.

Start by identifying your skills (are you a great skier, a consummate waiter, great with kids?) and then identify the countries you are interested in and the seasonal work they have on offer. Check whether you need any certificates or training. You will need the STCW (International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers), training for working on boats and a CRB (Criminal Record Bureau) check if you are working with British children – get yourself qualified and start applying.

With seasonal work, you may find that it is easier to find something once you are there and ready (though this does not apply to 'nannying'). If you decide to do it this way, just make sure you have enough in your bank account to keep you going for a couple of months (some countries require you to have a certain amount in your bank account before entering), and be prepared to persevere! Remember that you will not be the only person hoping to land a top job in a diving school or begging the cocktail bars to take you on. Be confident, friendly and keep, keep asking – because eventually someone will say yes.

Working Holidays: Countries like Australia, New Zealand, Canada and several others, offer working holiday visas that permit tourists to work a set number of days while on their trip. While these visas do come with strict stipulations around the type of work, the age of the traveller (usually 18-35) and the number of days you can work, they also provide excellent opportunities for travel and work abroad. Do your research to see if there is one that is right for you.

Lots of people combine a working holiday visas with seasonal work – in fact, in Australia you must by law. So you could, for example, acquire a working holiday visa for New Zealand, travel around and then head to the South Island to work the winter ski season.

Work Placements: Depending on your current situation, you will have several options that could lead to a work placement abroad. If you work for an employer with offices overseas (even if it is just one), it is worth calling a meeting with your manager to discuss your options for a placement in the international office. Otherwise – and this is particularly relevant for those working in medicine, teaching and journalism – you may find work placements abroad via your sector’s associations and trade bodies. The British Medical Association, for example, is teeming with information on how UK-trained medical professionals can work in Australia.

If you are not in employment, but have recently graduated, there are several organisations that specialise in overseas internships, gap year work abroad programmes and work experience abroad programmes. You have to beware because these programmes vary in quality and some come at a high price. Do your research and be vigilant. Always ask yourself, do you need to pay someone to find an opportunity for you?

Tips for applying for work overseas

If you have taken the decision to move abroad to work, you need to research the country. Make sure you consider:
The language: if the first language is not English, is it one you could learn easily? Or, if languages are not your thing, is English widely spoken as a second language?

Growth sectors: what jobs are in demand? (Tip: The Middle East is keen on British nannies!)

Qualifications: which qualifications are required for where you are going, is a degree important? Are there any country-specific qualifications you need to practice your profession? 

Your CV/resume: make sure it is tailored to the market you are planning to work in

In addition to researching these points carefully, you will need to consider all the logistical stuff like visas, taxes, laws, employment contracts and, of course, the cost of relocating.

Here are a few more points to consider: 

Your employment contract: Yes, you might be moving to Bangladesh where dinner in a local restaurant costs less than two pounds, but does that mean your salary will reflect this cost of living too? Very possibly. It is important to note that, particularly in the developing world, you will often pay a higher rate for goods and services – colloquially known as ‘white price’ – purely for being a Westerner. Your salary, therefore, will need to be adjusted for this (just because the locals pay £2 for dinner, doesn’t mean you will). 

Taxes: Who will pay them?  You or the company you will be working for? Make sure you are 100% clear on how you are being taxed. And if anything seems fishy, it probably is. 
Networks: Which networks and communities can you tap into? Facebook is brilliant for this. Most cities will have several Facebook groups for expat or backpacker communities. But, also, tap your own circles before you go. You will be amazed by how many people will know someone, even a friend of a friend, living in the place you are moving to. Ask for an introduction, you never know where it might lead!

Which countries offer the best opportunities?

Countries ripe for workers and packed with working abroad opportunities include Commonwealth countries like Australia, New Zealand and Canada. These countries all have clear-cut, well-trodden routes to employment, with Australia and New Zealand publishing lists of professions they particularly welcome.

Two of the best countries to work abroad for skilled international students include New Zealand and Australia. But, aside these two countries, depending on your circumstances, there may be other countries you are eligible to work in, too. So, it is up to you to search them out.

Pros for working in these markets include a similar culture, English as a first language and, for Australia at least, excellent weather. Of course, some would argue that these pros are precisely why they are not the best countries for careers abroad! Critics would say, why not challenge yourself by moving somewhere with a totally different culture, where you can learn a new language and truly broaden your horizons?

Hong Kong and Singapore provide excellent opportunities – with Singapore topping the list of HSBC’s Expat Explorer (its annual ranking of best countries for expats) for the last three years. Thanks to their booming economies, both countries offer plenty of career prospects and high salaries. But there is a downside to so much growth; like much of urban Asia, Hong Kong suffers from terrible air pollution, and if your job requires working with Europeans, expect to be pull some late nights in the office (because the time difference).

Which companies offer the best opportunities abroad?

International corporations are clearly at an advantage when it comes to careers abroad and working abroad opportunities. Global businesses like HSBC, Price waterhouse Coopers (PwC), Google etc have offices in every corner of the world and are actively growing their businesses in developing markets, whole often looking for Western employees to help them do so.

In addition to business consultancies and tech giants, charities and international NGOs often offer great working abroad opportunities.

Once you have researched the country, identified your skills, checked what the trade bodies say, adapted your CV, tapped up your networks, done more research, you are ready to go.

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