21 Jan Jobs Working Overseas are everywhere. Really. Just Go.
Okay this post is longggg overdue. But after receiving possibly my 1 millionth email asking how to work overseas, find a job abroad, what should I do with my degree in 15th century French literature because I really just want to get paid to travel the world…etc. etc. I just finally have to say it: You can go to pretty much any country and find work when you get there. Seriously. These working overseas “internship” or “work experience” companies are complete and utter bullshit.
When you Google any of the following phrases: working abroad, gap year jobs, internships overseas….our benevolent big brother Google will give you about 101 different websites showcasing fabulous work experiences abroad. They promise internships, real life work experience, glorious jobs in exotics lands with beautiful natives with some excited looking white person giving the thumbs up as they hold a smiling African child. I get it, it tugs at the romanticized longings you had as an 8 year old to be Indiana Jones or some Mother Theresa or something – whatever, point being – the reality is, when you scroll down to the very bottom of the description, you know, after you have read your dream job light up in front of you – there happens to be a little explanation about a “course fee” or “program cost” or “inquire for price”.
Um that is curious, why am I being asked to pay $2,500 to feed orphans? Why is volunteering to scrub these turtles an eye popping $3,200? Why am paying to intern?
Flights? – Nope. I guess they say you get housing, maybe a meal, and transport to your dream hut – but I hate to break it to you, these things costs like a $1 when you are actually there.
The reality is most of your “program fee” goes into paying for these companies to operate and some piece of mind that you don’t have to figure it out yourself. They aren’t job agencies per se. No – they are tour operators or housing accommodation guised as work experience programs, but the programs they are shilling are nothing more than holiday and vacation experiences. Which is fine, if that is your modus operandi, I just thought you should know that if you want to work overseas – you don’t have to shell out your life savings. You just need a little bit of hustle. Case in point, I showed up it the Philippines – a country where I knew no one and have never been to before and created my own volunteering experiences (relief worker, fundraiser for children) for a grand total of …drum roll – zero dollars.
So where can I find jobs working overseas?
Everywhere. I know it sounds flippant. Maybe because it is. But the reality is you can go to sooooo many places – basically anywhere that has tourists, and you will find expats who own businesses and people just…like…you. As you can see in the video above, there are a million kite surfers, well, what are those instructors doing? Getting paid to travel and live overseas is what. But first, the question is….
You need to decide where to go. Do you like beaches or mountains? City life or the freezing your ass off in Arctic tundra? I don’t know you, you are probably nice, maybe, but I can’t possibly field all of these emails I get. But the point of the matter is – just go. Hop on a plane and go. Here are some jobs around the world that I did, without any placement company in my first year of this site. Oh and here are 14 other unique jobs I did also without a company. Most I just made – yes – made myself. I found people and created them.
Well – what a about a job that pays well that I can take with me? What about long-term career potential? Well – that my friend – is a deep rabbit hole and is a post for another day, but if you are keen on making working overseas a long-term reality, developing hard skills for location independent jobs is the way to go (ie. computer skills). More on that later. The first step is to see for yourself and get started.
No need to sell your kidneys – just make sure that piggy bank has about $2,500, after other trip costs (ie, laptop, camera, plane ticket) and pick your destination.
A good way to started if money is of concern is try teaching English in a country that pays well and has a lower cost of living. Some of these places even cover your plane ticket. Check these posts (note – these ones you can use a recruitment company for, recommendations are in the articles, and visas are usually hooked up through the schools):
- Can you really make money teaching English in Korea?
- Can you really make money teaching English in Japan? Gaijin vs Godzilla edition (note- Japan is more expensive, so you will need to either teach in a less expensive city at first, hustle to get private lessons, etc.)
- Can you really make money teaching English in China? Enter the Dragon
- Get paid to teach English at a palace in Bangkok
Until then, stop thinking about it, grab that beautiful butterfly and buy that plane ticket already – you never know what kind of jobs you will discover. For real.