Deciding to work in a foreign country takes a lot of courage. Leaving one’s family and friends in order to take overseas opportunities can be a daunting task. Living independently, making new friends from scratch, and adapting to a new culture are only three of the many challenges expatriates face; however, there were around 200 million people working abroad during the year 2010. That’s because working abroad is an experience that you cannot put a monetary value on.
Living abroad allows you to widen your horizons and worldview; it allows you to meet people from different parts of the world; it allows you to learn knowledge and information you wouldn’t have learned if you hadn’t left your home country. However, the challenge doesn’t start when you step foot in your new home; the challenge starts way before – when you look for the opportunity that will take you abroad.
If you’re planning to work overseas but are at a loss on what to do and where to start, here are five tips to take you on that plane ride and start a new chapter of your life:
1. Teach English
There’s a reason English is considered the world’s language. With a quarter of the world speaking the language, you’ll find someone who speaks English in any corner of the globe. For countries where English isn’t the second language, there is an increasing demand for English teachers, such as South Korea, Japan, and the Czech Republic. Teaching English can be your gateway into working in a foreign country; however, to be considered, you would need to be certified to teach English. You can get the certification from TESOL, TEFL, or CELTA.
2. Use Online Search Tools
There are multiple online job portals, such as JobStreet.com and OverseasJobs.com, which you can use when it comes to searching for jobs overseas. You are also assured that the jobs listed on the site come from the proper channels, recruiters, and companies. You can search for jobs per country or per profession, and the site will list recruitment openings in the country of your choice.
LinkedIn is another alternative that can come in handy. LinkedIn is preferred by head hunters so create one right now and make sure you have a spiffy profile. You never know when that could lead to a job offer from overseas!
3. Direct Hiring
If you work in a company that has offices overseas, it’s more likely that the company has work-abroad programs for its employees. Perform exceptionally well; exceed your key performance indicators; and make your superior proud. Your boss may just recommend you to upper management to give you a work-abroad stint.
4. Learn New Skills
There’s a chance that what you studied in college is not something that employers abroad are looking for, but don’t fret. You can learn new skills that are more in-demand overseas. If you search through the job orders available on online job portals you’ll find that there’s a demand for skilled laborers. These are your welders, steelfixers, truck drivers, etc. You can take courses to learn these skills that will increase your chances of working abroad.
5. Use Your Connections
Family and friends who are already working overseas can also be valuable resources for information on how to work abroad. If they have an opening in their company that fits your experience and skill set, they may refer you for the position.
Applying for jobs abroad may be daunting at first. Your work experience may not be up to par; you may be going against the best from all over the world; you may not have the international experience to work in a global working environment; but don’t let those deter you. Take the risk, go for it, and you might just be on your way to working in a foreign country.
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