Working overseas is a popular career choice for millennials and with a wealth of information at their fingertips via the web it is easy to check out opportunities. Turning those opportunities into a real career move can be a little trickier. Moving overseas to work is generally easier in your twenties before you have the responsibilities of homeownership and your children to consider. The clock is ticking so you need to get on with it.
Choose your career path
You can do just about any job in another country but teaching English is a popular choice. Another option is working for an NGO in a developing country. Those with business acumen can investigate business opportunities in emerging markets such as China. You do not have to stick to your first job but it helps if you have one lined up. Every country has different immigration laws so you may need to find a good immigration attorney if you are confused by the law or are accused of breaking it.
Network with people who can help you
If you don’t know the movers and shakers who can get you an overseas posting, get out there and meet them. If you can speak to people from the country itself that is even better! You need to get beyond the guidebook information to find out what it’s actually like to live there.
Networking is not just for the workplace. If you want to move to Spain, find a local Spanish Society and join it. These guys may have contacts in Spain who are looking for employees just like you. At the very least you will meet people with a similar interest to yourself.
Get skilled up
Language is the obvious place to start. Turn yourself into an attractive employment prospect by learning the language. Remember that French will open up opportunities in West Africa and Arabic could lead to posts throughout the Middle East. Language is an asset that you will use over and over again.
Next, work on acquiring transferable skills such as project management, leadership, and team-working. These are useful in all posts and are always highly valued by employers.
Get some backup
It is perfectly possible to travel to some countries independently to look for work but others are strictly no-go. Only consider Afghanistan, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo if you are going there as an employee of (and under the protection of) a large organization. The same applies to some areas of Pakistan and Niger.
Even if you are traveling to a so-called ‘safe’ area there are advantages in being part of a large organization as they will have established links and a ready-made support network in the area.
If you fancy one of the business hubs, such as London, the big firms including Deloitte, UBS and Edelman operate exchange programs for their staff. It can take some time for you to be offered one of these sought-after opportunities so you may need to be patient!