For most expats, a fundamental key to success is finding a job that meets his/her financial requirements to live overseas. Finding a decent job in a foreign country requires research, persistence and planning. Working as an expat first became popular in the late 19th century when Americans started working in Germany and Paris. People who choose to live and work as expats typically get tax concessions for money earned abroad, if they show they intend to return home.
The globalization process created a significant market demand for skilled professional employees worldwide. With a decrease in global travel costs, companies can now recruit skilled employees globally. As a result, you can find many expats who do temporary jobs. Many people choose to leave families at home while working overseas to make additional money.
Unfortunately, temporary employment abroad has some negative aspects. These negative aspects are usually related to taxes. Americans who work in a foreign country for less than one year cannot get any tax concessions from the U.S. Despite these potentially negative aspects, more than 200 million citizens live and work in foreign countries, according to the UN data from 2010.
Countries with the Highest Number of Expats
The United Kingdom has the highest number of expats who live abroad – with more than 3 million UK citizens living outside their country. More than 400,000 persons per year leave the UK.
Popular destinations in Europe include Spain, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
Many Americans live in almost every country overseas; most of them live and work in the most popular Middle Eastern destinations like Abu Dhabi, Muscat, and Dubai. Tokyo, Singapore, and Sydney are common destinations for expats who want to work in Asia and Australia.
Popular Expat Jobs
Developed countries such as Singapore, Japan, and South Korea have more job opportunities for western expats seeking employment in the accounting and finance fields.
Computer and lab technician specialties are in demand in China and other countries in Asia and South America that are still developing a skilled workforce.
The Middle East continues to be a top destination for western expats who seek employment in education, technical, or business fields.
Your Skills, Qualifications and Work Experience
Before you apply for any job, you need to think about how well you can actually do the job. Do you have any friends doing the same job you’re interested in? If so, ask them to tell you about how demanding their jobs are and see if you are really qualified for (and capable of) doing the job. If you are not qualified enough to do the job, you can attend various courses to improve your education and skills. You need to do this before you move to a foreign country!
If you are applying for a job in a smaller company, you should be prepared to learn new things and be engaged in more than just one specific type of work. In large companies, you can expect to see better specialization, which will certainly make things easier for you. However, not everyone can afford to be too picky, when it comes to job offers – especially in foreign countries. This will depend on how qualified you are and what skills you have.
If you already have work experience, this will be considered a great advantage. If not, start earning some! You can even start volunteering in a local firm, or you can work for a while in your home country, just to get more experience. This will probably help you get better job offers abroad.
Your CV will tell a lot about you. In fact, it will reveal everything about you. This will be your first contact with your future employer, so make it look good. The information you put in your CV must be true and accurate, and easy to prove. Do not use the same CV for every job application.
If you don’t know how to write a resume, it is much better to hire someone to do that for you. Do a little research on the company and see what they expect from applicants.
Are Your Skills Needed There?
Are your skills needed in the country where you want to work and live? Find out as much as possible about the major industry sectors in the country where you want to work. What kinds of professionals are needed there? You may have great skills related to certain area of expertise, but if they don’t need that type of skills, you will waste a lot of time, money and energy. Do your research before you start looking for a job.
What about the Language Barrier?
If you are lucky enough to find a good job opportunity in a country where English is one of the official languages, you’ll have nothing to worry about. Even if you are in a country where some other language is spoken, people will probably want to communicate with you in English. Still, that doesn’t mean you won’t have to learn the local language. If you want to be a good professional, you will have to understand the cultural, social and business “climate” of the country. Learning the language will probably be necessary.
The process of adjusting begins BEFORE you move to a foreign country. You need to be mentally prepared for it, and that means you will have a lot of reading to do before you start packing. Find out everything you can about the country’s culture, history, tradition, laws and expatriate communities.
First, you need to have a valid passport. Most countries will require the passport to be valid for at least 90 days beyond the planned return date. Having a valid driver’s license (from your home country) will allow you to drive a rental car in the new destination for up to 90 days, depending on your home country’s agreements with the host country.
The next step is getting a work permit in the destination country. Many countries will require you to have a job offer in-hand to get a work permit. This can be a catch-22 because some companies will not offer an expat a job if he/she does not have a work permit. As a result, many people find it easier to look for American companies with overseas offices and apply for overseas jobs locally.
Getting a work permit can be challenging, but this will depend on the country where you want to work. Some countries make it very complicated and difficult for a foreigner to get a work permit. If you already have a job offer at hand, the company will probably offer you some help with getting a permit and other documents.
Where to Look for a Job
Finding an expat job can be easier said than done. Many people say that the best way to find a job in a desired country is to visit the area for an extended period of time and job hunt in person. For many individuals, this is difficult because they can’t afford to be jobless and spend money on lodging and flights.
Visit The Leslie Corporation to read about life of expatriates who work in the Middle East. The Leslie Corporation is a Texas-based company founded in 1977. They are specialized in recruiting American and Canadian professionals who want to work in the Middle East, primarily in Saudi Arabia.
The Expat Careers is another website to visit.
The Gulf Jobs Market offers information on available jobs in the most popular Middle Eastern countries. Major fields include banking, finance, telecom, oil, gas, and tech sectors.
ISC world is a free online service for expats who are seeking employment.
Monster is certainly one of the most popular websites for people who are looking for jobs in foreign countries.
Most people will agree that the Internet is the easiest way to find job opportunities. This is partially true. You can find a job opportunity, but that does not mean you will actually get a job offer. The Internet can help you find out more about different types of jobs available in some country, but it won’t actually help you get a job.
A good way to get a job in a foreign country is to start working for a local company that has branches abroad. Getting a job in a local firm can be much easier, because you will have an interview (which is very important) and it will be much easier to find out more about the company you’re applying at. If they offer you a job in a foreign country, they will also help you with the entire relocation process.
Working as an Expat Student
Many countries allow students to work part-time. Many expats have begun their overseas experience as students and then used connections made through part-time work to get full-time jobs. To get a student visa, students will need to show an acceptance letter from a local institution in the desired country as part of the visa application form.
To get more information on expat jobs, you can visit the following websites: