Working overseas

Are you ready to work overseas?

Looking for a job overseas used to be a daunting task, but over the past 10 years the Internet has opened up many possibilities for job-seekers. 

Avoid scams

Protect yourself from companies that:

Ask for money up front

Charge for a job search

Have a P.O. Box, not a street address

Promise a refund if you do not get a job

If there is any doubt contact

the Better Business Bureau
Nice work if you can get it : life and labor in precarious times
Andrew Ross.
New York : New York University Press, c2009.
Is job insecurity the new norm? With fewer and fewer people working in steady, long-term positions for one employer, has the dream of a secure job with full benefits and a decent salary become just that - a dream? InNice Work If You Can Get It, Andrew Ross surveys the new topography of the global workplace and finds an emerging pattern of labour instability and uneven development on a massive scale. Combining detailed case studies with lucid analysis and graphic prose, he looks at what the new landscape of contingent employment means for workers across national, class, and racial lines - from the emerging "creative class" of high-wage professionals to the multitudes of temporary, migrant, or low-wage workers. Developing the idea of "precarious livelihoods" to describe this new world of work and life, Ross explores what it means in developed nations - comparing the creative industry policies of the United States, United Kingdom, and European Union, as well as developing countries - by examining the quick fire transformation of China's labour market. He also responds to the challenge of sustainability, assessing the promise of "green jobs" through restorative alliances between labour advocates and environmentalists. Ross argues that regardless of one's views on labour rights, globalization, and quality of life, this new precarious and "indefinite life," and the pitfalls and opportunities that accompany it is likely here to stay and must be addressed in a systematic way. A more equitable kind of knowledge society emerges in these pages" less skewed toward flexploitation and the speculative beneficiaries of intellectual property, and more in tune with ideals and practices that are fair, just, and renewable.
Wildlife and conservation volunteering : the complete guide
Peter Lynch.
Chalfont St. Peter : Bradt Travel Guides, 2009.
"The Bradt Travel guide."
Gap years for grown ups
Susan Griffith.
Richmond : Crimson, 2008.
While many adults envy the gap year students who take ayear off to roam the world, an increasing number of themare putting normal life on hold to follow their own gapyear dreams. Gap Years for Grown Ups is a complete andcomprehensive guide to how to do it, complete with anenormous range of opportunities and first-hand accountsfrom people who have actually done it. Informationincludes: specialist gap year schemes that accept olderparticipants; jobs and voluntary work around the world;ideas for pursuing a hobby or new project. This guidealso offers superb advice on issues that will concernolder gappers, such as how to persuade your boss to giveyou leave, ensuring that you have a job to return to, andhow to finance a trip. While this book offers practicalinformation and advice, The Grown Up Gap Year Diariesgives a personal insight into a gap year adventure, andtakes readers on a journey through the highs and lows oftravelling the globe.
Gap years for grown ups
Susan Griffith.
Oxford : Vacation Work, 2006.
A comprehensive guide for the increasing numbers of people who are taking time off from their normal life to see something of the world or achieve some personal ambition
The big guide to living and working overseas
Jean-Marc Hachey.
Toronto, Canada : Intercultural Systems, c2004.
CD-ROM contains the appendix for The Big Guide to Living and Working Overseas.
Getting a job in Canada : find the right job and secure a great new lifestyle
Valerie Gerrard.
Oxford : How To Books, 2004.

There are overseas opportunities for people with a variety of skills and career experience, from short-term to long-term positions.


Benefits of a career abroad:

  • valuable experience on one's resume
  • the average amount of vacation time for employees in Europe is 60-90 days, compared to 15-20 days in the U.S.
  • depending on the length of stay, one can be exempt from paying U.S. taxes
  • the excitement and experience of a new culture, and possibly learning a new language

Currently, careers in the medical, information technology and telecommunications field are in the greatest demand.  However, there are also numerous opportunities in the fields of teaching English, teaching elementary, secondary or higher education, and translating.

These are several places to start when looking for work overseas:

  • Nonprofit organizations such as the YMCA and ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross); ideal for people with experience in nonprofit marketing or management
  • Peace Corps - Hires APCD's (Associate Peace Corps Directors) to work in Africa, Europe and Asia; ideal for people who have administrative or programming experience
  • Foreign Service - Offers government jobs in Administration, Consular services (assisting travelers, issuing passports etc.), Economics, and Political Affairs
  • Online resources provide email discussion lists, job banks, and tips to facilitate a search for overseas jobs.

Be sure to research a destination ahead of time, paying attention to both practical and cultural issues.  Also, be aware of travel warnings and danger zones when traveling abroad.  Travel warnings are available from the Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State. In any career or country, a job overseas can be an invaluable experience!

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff