Nothing is more exciting than moving overseas and working abroad! Here’s how to find an overseas job, based on my experience as an expat in Africa.
When I was 29, I moved to Nairboi, Kenya, East Africa to work as a teacher. I taught at a Christian International School for expat kids, missionaries’ kids, embassy kids, etc – the school is Rosslyn Academy. I worked there for three years, teaching grade 8 Language Arts and high school journalism. It was a bittersweet time in my life! I discovered that teaching junior high is not for me…but I loved living and working overseas.
Are you looking for a job overseas? Here’s how I found my teaching job in Africa…
Tips for Finding a Job Overseas
First, figure out why you want to work overseas. Do you want to gain experience, broaden your life perspective, make more money, or escape from your current life? All of the above was true for me – and I suspect it’s all true for you, too.
Most importantly, I wanted to look back on my life and know that I lived big, went far, and took risks. And, working abroad is definitely a risky new beginning! I have no regrets.
Figure out where in the world you want to work
I had Africa on my mind and heart, and wouldn’t hear of finding a job in Asia, Europe, or North America. For some reason Africa was in my soul, despite the reports on how dangerous Nairobi was. I did my research about working in Kenya and decided that the political, economic, and social climate didn’t matter to me.
But, if you have children and a spouse (I didn’t), the political, economic, and social climate may matter to you! When you’re learning how to find a job overseas, make sure you consider the environment of any potential city, state or province, or country.
If you want to get a job in an African country, read Moving to Africa? 10 Things You Need to Know.
Decide what work you want to do abroad
I was finishing my Bachelor’s of Education degree at the University of Alberta, and wanted to work as a high school teacher. I found Rosslyn Academy through an internet search for “international schools in Africa” – and I think I even searched for “paid teaching positions overseas.” There are lots of international volunteer jobs and work – especially for missionary-type organizations – but I really wanted to be paid for an overseas job.
What are you qualified to do? That of course is an important factor in finding work abroad! Just because you may be searching for a job in an undeveloped or underdeveloped country doesn’t mean you can work without being educated or qualified.
Research international visas and overseas work permits
Some employers – like Rosslyn Academy – take care of all the visas and work permits that the government of Kenya required. They took all us new teachers downtown Nairobi, and we got our “alien cards” as a group. It was easy and fairly fast.
But, some organizations who recruit employees for their overseas jobs require much more intensive preparation. And some governments aren’t open to expats coming to their country and taking jobs that locals can do.
While you’re learning how to find a job overseas and work abroad, make sure you’re padding your bank account! Read 10 High Paying Part Time Jobs for College Students – it’s not just for college students.
Search for expat websites and blogs
One of my biggest regrets about working abroad was not starting my blog the day I landed in Africa! Instead, I wasted my time writing fiction. I’m still kicking myself about that, because I learned so much about finding an overseas job and working abroad that I’ve since forgotten.
Luckily for you, other expats working overseas are much smarter than I! Connecting with expats working overseas is one of the best ways to find a job overseas. An example of a blog for and by expats is It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times. Their most popular blog post is Expat Vs Immigrant – What’s the Difference?
Finding expat blogs and sites is the best way to connect with other people working abroad. Networking is the key to finding a job overseas or even locally.
Go past the first page of search results for jobs overseas
When you Google or otherwise search for “jobs overseas” or “work abroad”, you’ll find thousands of results. Unfortunately, only a small percentage are actually relevant to your needs. Most people who search the internet stay above the fold, which means they click on one of the first five or seven search results they see.
If you’re serious about finding an overseas job, take time to go to page three, four, and even five of your search results. You’ll find so many more opportunities for working abroad than you’d dream possible!
When you’re searching for work, stay as healthy as you can. This includes reducing the stress of looking for a new job overseas.
Resources on Finding a Job Overseas
The Big Guide To Living And Working Overseas by Jean-Marc Hachey.
Work Overseas: How to Find a High-Paying, Tax-Free Job by George Robinson.
What do you think – do you have any questions or thoughts about finding a job overseas or working abroad? I welcome your comments below!
May you find the job of your dreams, and may your heart be filled with joy and peace.