There are many reasons why people become expats. For Americans, the reason is usually love, cost of living, retirement or the thrill to live abroad.
For those moving to America, the reason is usually opportunity and the pursuit of U.S. citizenship.
Regardless, there’s plenty of proof that expats are happy. The 2017 Expat Insider survey of Americans abroad found 67 percent felt at home in the local culture of their new country. And 62 percent found it easy to make friends abroad, despite the majority of respondents speaking little to none of the local language.
No matter where you’re moving or why, you’ll need a job. Take a look at three professions with international job prospects and join the two-thirds of expats who report job satisfaction and a positive work-life balance.
Teaching English is the most the popular job abroad for good reason. English opens doors for millions of ESL (English as second language) students. ESL students improve their job prospects by learning English. They can get employment online, get jobs in English-speaking countries or get jobs that require bi-lingualism, such as hospitality.
The best part about teaching English is you can pick your destination first. Nearly every non-English country has a demand for English teachers. The requirements are usually a High School Diploma and a TEFL (Teaching English as a foreign language) certificate. Go Overseas has a search engine for identifying TEFL certification programs in different countries. Once you have your certification and résumé in hand, you can begin looking for job posting and contacting schools in your desired location.
For some, the best part of working abroad is not having a physical workplace and set hours. These types make up the international freelance community often referred to as “digital nomads.” They consist of writers, designers, marketers, programmers and more.
For those just starting out, writing has the shortest learning curve. And education is available online through webinars and training courses. The freelancer writer market is heavily saturated with authors who range from low cost (a few cents per word) to high profile ($1 a word or more). To establish yourself as a writer, you’ll need to take low paying or pro bono jobs as a way to build your profile and earn recommendations.
Once you’ve established a presence as a writer, you can look for living destinations that are lenient with visa requirements and allow for extended stays. For instance, Germany offers an “artist visa” for freelancers with a business plan, proof of insurance, etc. Eventually, you can find remote employment that supplies consistent income.
Hospitality is a profession that functions the same worldwide. Jobs in hotels, cruise ships, tour operations, etc. are similar – whether you’re in Dubai or Duluth. There are few ways to boost your chances of landing an international gig in the tourism industry.
Second Language – Speaking a second language is a requirement for many hospitality jobs around the world, most commonly for positions in non-English speaking countries with English-speaking tourists. Locals must speak English fluently to get those positions. As a foreigner who speaks English and the local language, you’ll stand out amongst the sea of job seekers who don’t.
Certificates/Trainings – Tap into the online world of certifications and online collegiate courses to further boost your resume. Look for trainings that specialize in international management that will appeal to global brands like Hilton and Marriott. You can also invest in Silver Service programs that teach the standards of luxury for cruises, yachts and high-end resorts.