[VIDEO] How to Work Abroad + Other Helpful Expat Advice

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You don’t have to be Rihanna to werk, werk, werk, werk, werk abroad. We know it can be tough to get started finding a job abroad, so we asked our travel pros to give you a little encouragement and all their best tips. Here’s what they had to say about how to work abroad...

A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work. - Colin Powell 

Finding work overseas—words of encouragement from those who've done it

Hello travelers, my name is Rebecca Murphy. Hi, I’m Steph Dyson. Hello, my name is Mary Ellen Dingley. Hi, my name is Dominic Fusco. Hi, my name is Mariel Tavakoli. Hi, my name is Joe Santini, and I have been confidently getting lost around this Earth for about two years now. 

1. Before you can know how to work abroad, know why you want to work abroad

Those who decide to work abroad are bada%$. The rewards are enormous. Whether it’s for your job prospects, whether it’s for learning a language, whether it’s for travel— or whether it’s just for life experience, nothing beats working abroad. 

desk in hotel with laptop open and video project running looking out over mountains and city window
Put the “free” in freelance when you find work abroad.

2. Understand how to apply for jobs abroad effectively

Figuring out the steps to finding a job abroad is not an easy task, but it’s easy to get started—kind of. Going online and reading up on the different jobs that are available is, obviously, the first step. You have to decide where you want to go. It’s all about location, location, location. You know, if there’s a company that has offices all over the world and one of those offices is where you want to be? Go for it!

Make yourself a solid resume, do a ton of research, and then apply to as many companies and positions as you can. Make sure you read the reviews. That’s the kind of information that people have first-hand, and it’s really, really important. Every opportunity sounds picture perfect, but the reviews are what actually present the hardships – or even the little surprises – that will make a difference to you in your decision-making.

Make sure, when you’re applying, that you’re paying attention to the dreaded visa rules, and what the company will, or won’t, sponsor. You definitely want to make sure that any work visa is squared away.

The world is really your oyster. There are plenty of different options. And, working abroad might feel like a really far out there dream, but you can do it.

Go online. Read reviews. Pick a company in a country that you definitely want to be in. Get a job. And finally, get flushed with CASH! 

3. Advice for when you're getting started in your job search

When you start your job search, I would be focused and organized, and make sure you put in the time to do your research. Finding a job abroad can be a challenge. It can be hard to stay positive and keep your end-goal in mind. Remember, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and you’re doing all of this for a reason. Keep looking, because you have what it takes. Don’t be afraid to network. Go to networking events, tell people you want to make the move, and you never know what connections might come up. Just start, and you'll soon learn pro tips on how to apply for jobs abroad.

Not finding the right fit?

If you’re not finding a good fit in terms of a job, then, remember it’s a bit like going and finding a new pair of shoes. They’re not going to fit everybody and they might not fit you, but that’s not the end of the world. You will find something that suits you. And, it’s better to wait for a job that you’re really, really passionate about. The good fits take time. You’ve just got to keep looking.

You never know when, where, or how the perfect opportunity is going to fall into your lap, but it will. 

Not hearing back from any potential jobs?

If you’ve been at it for a while and applied to 50, or 100, or a million different jobs with no response, it can be extra hard to stay motivated. But, remember, this is a numbers game. People send out hundreds of applications and they don’t always hear back. It doesn’t mean that they’re a bad candidate, it could just be all about timing, or maybe they’re not able to sponsor a visa right now, or– who knows? 

4. Advice for when you're actually abroad, working your tail off

Then, once you’ve scored that coveted role...pack your bags and GO!  

When you're putting on a brave face for your first day

Your first day at a new job is tough. Remember to take things slow. These things get better. You’re in a new country, in a new city, with all new co-workers, and you’ve come all on your own and the best thing you can do is just be completely open to it. That’s all part of the adventure, right? That’s part of why you chose to work abroad: for the experience, and you’re going to get one. 

When you're feeling homesick

You will miss home at some point. So, prepare for it, and embrace it. Make sure that you’re talking to the people back at home who care about you. Think about all the great opportunities that you’ve had since you moved abroad, how much you’ve grown, all the great people you’ve met, and even though it’s tough you’re learning so much. And, you’re having an experience that will be so unique on your resume. 

If and when you're wondering, "Why am I working abroad again?"

Working abroad can leave you wondering why on Earth you’re doing it. Anytime you kind of feel doubtful, or a little hesitant, remember all the times where you catch yourself thinking, “why didn’t I do this sooner?” It’s an incredibly brave thing to do. 

When friends & family are pressuring you to come home

When your parents, or friends, or BIRDS, are pressuring you to go home and remind you to – you know – come back. Do what we travel pros do: IGNORE IT. Explain to your friends and family back home what working abroad means to you. And, don’t have the regrets of going home early. Because you may never have the same opportunities again. 

5. You got this! Go get ‘em! 

Go forth with confidence. Best of luck! And, make it rain— euros, or pesos, or whatever kind of currency your heart and bank account desire. 

close up of hands typing on macbook with headphones plugged in
Put your butt in your chair and your hands on your keyboard to start searching for work opportunities abroad.

Next steps to finding a job abroad

Now that you’re feeling inspired and fired up about finding a job abroad, we want to help you start your search, and connect you with one of hundreds of job opportunities all over the world so you can start to make it rain.

Bonus: Work abroad programs that are hiring *NOW*

Sure, finding a job abroad can be a bit tricky, but we’re giving you a leg up in your search! Check out these great work abroad opportunities to build up your “wish-list,” and start saving and comparing programs. For instance, you could... 

Get paid to teach English abroad with International TEFL Academy. Live your life on the slopes as a ski or snowboard instructor with Viamonde. Work and travel in Ireland with Stint Ireland. Gain invaluable work experience abroad in South Korea with AIP. Polish up your resume working abroad in Australia with Smaller Earth.

And that's just the start!

Not finding exactly what you’re looking for? Browse ALL jobs abroad

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