Pin It

Top Tips on how to find a Job Overseas

By Alice Baines Hamblin
In Volunteering Advice
May 1st, 2014

DSC01014 (1200x500)

Finding a job overseas could provide the perfect solution to satisfy your wanderlust and    (more importantly) take the edge of the cost of travelling. It’s an unchartered minefield out there so I thought, as an expert in this field, I should share my top tips and hopefully remove any fear or hesitation.

Time Available?

How long do you really want to travel or work overseas? This is crucial.

Long Term Overseas Jobs:

Anything longer than about 3 months is viewed as long term and will require a visa, and beware these can be costly.  The easiest one to access is the “Working Holiday Visa”.  Typically eligible for students or 18-30 year olds and can last from 6 months to 2 years. Go to the relevant Embassy website to access. The form will be a scary piece of work, (a tax return will look like a walk in the park) but don’t panic, persevere and submit.

When you have it; rejoice and get your CV in order.  This visa will give the credibility that you are serious contender for any overseas job. Once you’re out there and hopefully loving your new job/life and want to stay longer you’re employer will help by ‘sponsoring’ you to access a more permanent visa or residency.
To actually find a job pre-departure I can highly recommend my 2 favourite finds: the first includes this really interesting Facebook page with tons of excellent pieces of advice. Also try  JAB – which gives an excellent break down of jobs in specific countries, including a great house sitting website…

How to Find a Job Post Departure

Even though it feels more scary, it will probably be easier in the long run if you can bare the risk and uncertainty of job hunting after you have arrived.  My best advice for the brave, would be to head to the top tourist hotspots for backpackers.  Every country has one – Pub Street in Siem Reap, Cambodia, Koh San Road in Bangkok, Thailand and Paddington in Sydney, Australia.  Check into the nicest hostel you can find, acclimatise and start making friends.  Backpackers are always open and super helpful and I am amazed every time I venture out how this never changes. Fellow backpackers are the best for up to date information – I promise you they are “in the know” so brush up on your networking skills and you’ll be well away.

Short Term Overseas Jobs:

Most countries will let you stay on a tourist visa for less than 3 months.  With this in hand you will be hard pushed to find “salary style job” but a cash in hand, a short term fix should be easy. Alternatively volunteering style jobs or Internships for less than 3 months are very easy to find and there are many volunteering/intern companies out there to help you find and sort out worthwhile solutions.

A great place to start would be the American Gap Association – an organisation that professionally stress-tests gap and internship programs overseas and awards quality assurance to those they rate.  They are super strict with their membership rules and so their directory represents the best of the best.

Some companies offer volunteering opportunities where you have to pay to lend a hand.  This may sound odd but it is done for the right reasons…. they have researched and identified worthwhile projects to make best use of your time, they will source and buy the appropriate materials required and in most cases will check on your safety and happiness while you are on the ground.  My top tip here is to divide the “overall cost’ into per day.  Anything around $50 per day – to cover food, accommodation, project material etc. etc. is an excellent use of time and money.If time is short my advice would be to have something set up before you arrive BUT if you are of the dynamic sort just get out there and see what happens.

Finding a place to stay

House sitting is always well worth investigating. This how I worked my way around Sydney many moons ago! I started out at the best hostel I could find in Paddington and it all evolved from there. The hostel idea is always good as you’ll see a million and one adverts for room/house mates stuck up on every notice board and it’s the best place to meet like minded travellers. Hostels themselves sometimes offer bed and board for residents that muck in with the kitchen or cleaning rota. Alternatively try websites like Craigs List or are font of knowledge and will  give you access to online communities of travellers and people who have already found a job overseas – plus the overseas jobs themselves being advertised.

On reflection:

Having just re read the above I’ve made finding a job overseas sound pretty easy which we all know it isn’t, BUT in my personal experience the hardest part of the entire process was to making that initial commitment and to say out loud “I am going to find a new job overseas in…. Australia”. Saying it with enough conviction will make it happen and remember the old saying “fortune favours the brave!”.


Leave a Reply