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Boost Your Chance of Getting Well Paid Work Abroad

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 23 Sep 2011 | comments*Discuss
 
Abroad Working Work Professional

Working abroad is a competitive business, so you can’t just send off a basic CV and expect to be offered the sunshine job of your dreams.

In these straightened economic times, more people without strong home ties are taking the opportunity to do something different, especially if they’ve been made redundant or are in temporary work. So there is no longer a huge volume of jobs abroad just waiting for someone half-decent to come along and snap them up – you have to put your best foot forward to be in with a chance.

And we’re not talking about grape picking or au pairing here, even though they are great jobs for people wanting to work abroad for a while (and they are far more competitive than ever before now too…) but rather the better paid jobs abroad that can give your career chances a boost when (or if) you decide to come back to the UK.

Working in Finance

It’s not just London that’s a hotbed of opportunities in the financial sector; Frankfurt, New York and Sydney are just three international cities that have a huge financial sector. Now, we all know that this sector has been hit hard by the global banking crisis, but while this means that jobs can be harder to come by, it’s certainly not impossible to find one, especially if you’re prepared to travel and have a strong CV.

The best ways to get yourself at the top of the pile for a well-paid financial role abroad is to ensure that you have an excellent CV and know where to send it.

Starting with your CV, make sure you name drop as much as possible – highlight where you have worked in the City, which clients you have worked with, what projects you have been involved with and so on. And then quantify, quantify, quantify! A financial CV must show how much money you have made or saved for your company or your clients; make it clear what you did to achieve this.

With regards to where to send your CV, don’t be shy! Think about who you know and who they know – what about the international office of your current company (only if you don’t mind them knowing you’re looking to work abroad for a while) as a place to start. With social networking websites such as LinkedIn offering the perfect way to meet your wider network, now is the time to make sure your profile is clear, snappy and up to date, then get inviting people and sending messages.

Working in Film and Television

Yes it’s a bit of a cliché to say that everyone working in film and television is well paid, but there is a lot of truth in it, especially if you can work out your particular niche and then flaunt it for all it’s worth! Although the days of having an English accent making you stand out in LA is long gone, it is still true that it can help you to get noticed – but you have to be good. But working in film and TV doesn’t just mean Hollywood and it doesn’t just mean acting. There are plenty of international hubs for film and television, including Mumbai, Toronto and New Zealand, with roles like costume designer, music supervisor and set builder all offering much of the glamour, quite a good amount of the money and very little of the worrying about stalkers.

Of course, it’s very, very difficult to break into this type of work so you’re unlikely to get a call out of the blue asking if you want to produce the latest blockbuster if you’ve been behind the meat counter at Tesco for the last nine years, but if you do have experience and are prepared to travel, now is the time to exhaust your personal network, get your portfolio or showreel together, get on websites like Mandy and hustle.

Working in Medicine

Well-qualified doctors in all types of medical fields can earn very well abroad. Be prepared by having literally every piece of paper connected with your experience and qualifications translated into the language of your chosen country, or for English-speaking countries think about contacting the relevant boards to have them certified at the right level. This can save lots of time when applying for work abroad as you will be able to use terminology that people recognise and/or understand.

In countries such as the USA where medical treatment is widely privatised, you can apply directly to hospitals and practices to see if work is available. Be prepared to have a detailed interview over the phone and perhaps even a no-obligation interview in person, so it is worth setting up a few to make the most of your airfare.

In developing countries, the kudos of an English doctor is certainly not to be underestimated, and can help your chances of gaining a well-paid position. Many countries have international hospitals that require English-speaking professionals, although it would be wise to have at least a basic understanding of the language of the country where you are going, although ‘medical compounds’ just for expats are not uncommon in countries in the Middle East.

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