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How to Find a Job Abroad

By: Paul Geraghty - Updated: 9 May 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
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So you've decided to up sticks and go off to work abroad? Good for you. But how do you actually find a job abroad?

How to Find Jobs Abroad

The usual ways you'd look for a job in Britain still work abroad : ask around among people you know; scan the press for job advertisements; visit job portal websites. With the latter two, you'll have the disadvantage of not knowing which sites or publications are best for finding jobs in the country you want to move to. If you know anyone who lives there, ask them; otherwise, just explore what's out there and use your judgement.

Don't forget that if you're looking for something in the EU, you can also use job centres abroad just as if you were a native citizen of the country. If you're in receipt of unemployment benefit in Britain, you can even continue getting it for a while if you go abroad elsewhere in Europe to look for work.

You don't always have to be in the local area to find jobs, however. The European Commission runs its own job mobility portal, called Eures, which allows you to scan job offers from across Europe over the web.

Where to Find Jobs Abroad

When Britons develop a hankering to live abroad, it's usually somewhere sunny that they picture in their minds. Unfortunately, Europe's sunny south is the least economically vibrant part of the continent. Perhaps all that excess heat saps the entrepreneurial spirit, or maybe it's the other way around, and the cold chill of the North spurs us to achievement.

Whatever the reason, the truth is one you probably don't want to hear : there are far more jobs in the rain-soaked streets of northern Europe than there are under the azure skies of Spain or Greece. What's more, language competence in English is far higher in the north too, so if you need to find a berth where English is spoken, it probably won't be in sight of a beach either.

The only possible exception to this might be in the large expat communities, mostly of retired people, in Europe's southern fringe. These English-speaking expatriates create mini-economies of their own where you can get by without knowing a word of the native language except "Dos cervezas, por favor".

The Language Issue

Knowing no language other than English isn't always a crippling handicap. English is the closest thing the world has to a common language and there is always great interest in learning it abroad. For this reason, you may be able to find work teaching English, either giving private lessons informally or working for a recognised English-teaching school.

A certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) would boost your credentials as a teacher but isn't strictly necessary. If you do want to get one they can often be acquired quite quickly - in a few weeks, for example - from a recognised school. The cost should be no more than a few hundred pounds.

Apart from teaching, native English speakers are often in demand as nannies, secretaries and sales staff. Check the English language press in the country you're interested in for job offers.

Working for the European Union

One good tip for British people is to look for jobs within European Union institutions. Most of these aim to have a reasonable representation of all nationalities within the EU. But they also tend to have strict language requirements, which mandate that all candidates know one or even two European languages other than their mother tongue. If you happen to meet that requirement, you'll be in a strong position.

The reason is that Britain is often significantly under-represented in these transnational institutions because so few of us meet the language requirements! Because they probably won't have met their quota target for British personnel, you'll stand a good chance of being asked for an interview if you meet the other basic criteria. And, of course, the EU picks up the tab for your flight costs and hotel bills.

The salaries of most EU bureaucrats are paid tax-fee too so, if you get the job, you'll be laughing all the way to the bank. These EU bureaucracy jobs aren't usually widely advertised in Britain. They will be advertised on the EU Institutions' websites, though, so get browsing if you're interested.

The recruitment process for some jobs in the EU bureaucracy requires all candidates to undergo examinations first. These test things like your knowledge of EU institutions and your verbal and numerical aptitude. If you face one of these exams, there are websites out there which can help your prepare for them by showing you sample questions similar to those used in the real thing.

Finding a Job Abroad - Conclusion

Whether you plan to work abroad permanently or temporarily, it's something that can enhance your CV and enrich your life. Who knows, you might even get a tan out of it.

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[Add a Comment]
Hi! Im a Swazi female aged 24 looking for a job working abroad. I hold a degree in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering. Currently i'm teaching at high school level Physics, maths, biology and science at juniour level. Please can you guide me in the right direction.
Kwandile - 9-May-17 @ 10:16 PM
looking for a nanny job in europe spain, united kingdom,etc i need to work iam 53 years old iam tired of nyc or us, i am a british born its important to me to get a nannys job abroad my sprits will be lefted smell the beautiful fresh air across europe its the best to raise your youngings, thank you please consider me. i have experience.
erica - 14-Feb-17 @ 12:02 AM
Hi, I really want to work as a teaching assistant/ behaviour mentor in New York. I have a degree in Education Studies and English Language. I also have a certificate in behaviour management. I would like to know ow what my best options are? I have been to New York on a few occasions and worked and a tutor on a summer camp last year. Any advice for me please? Thanks
Chan - 14-May-16 @ 10:10 PM
Hi I'm a 51 year old woman looking at working abroad , I have a Btec in customer service and a senior support worker . Please can you guide me in the right direction .
Tiny - 14-May-16 @ 11:32 AM
I'm a swazi male aged 29 with a degree in hummanities plus a pgce looking for work in the Uk please help m out
bigdaddydee - 2-May-16 @ 2:02 PM
Hello. I am a 23 year old Kenyan lady with a son, 3 years. I have always wanted to work and live in the UK. I have several job offers from families in the UK to work as an au pair but I hear that currently there is no au pair program for Kenyans. Can I apply to a language school and go with a student visa or what do I do. I just graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Economics, so I have no experience. Kindly help me out
peris - 4-Mar-16 @ 6:38 PM
@Tom - cruise ships are always a good way to travel and see the world, so is crewing on a yacht. My friend did this and had a great time. Fruit picking is always good fun. It's tiring, but at least you get paid.
Misty - 4-Mar-16 @ 10:55 AM
Hi I'm a 21 year old lad, wanting work all over the world in any area, love travelling and wanting to try something new. Any help or ideas ?
Tom - 3-Mar-16 @ 1:16 PM
GINA - Your Question:
I am trained in the HR field and with a 4year experience. I would wish to obtain a differnt experience environment working abroad. I am single mother of 8year old and I would wish to give her a better living. Kindly assist how I can get a job in the HR fields, Admin or customer service

Our Response:
You don't say where you would like to ideally work, but it will obviously serve you better if you have some knowledge of the language of the country you are thinking of. Obviously research is the first priority to ensure you can apply to the specific country, plus take into account wages, living expenses, schools etc. Then you may wish to register with a recruitment agency and if you choose one with a reputable international track record and HR specialism, then this will improve your chances. I hope this helps.
GoWorkAbroad - 1-Mar-16 @ 10:33 AM
I am trained in the HR field and with a 4year experience. I would wish to obtain a differnt experience environment working abroad. I am single mother of 8year old and I would wish to give her a better living. Kindly assist how I can get a job in the HR fields, Admin or customer service
GINA - 29-Feb-16 @ 9:37 AM
Hi.I am 42 Indianlooking for job abroad.I have applied to so many jobs but no response from any one.I am still fit an fine to work .
Ritu - 31-Jan-16 @ 5:12 PM
jopafreedom - Your Question:
I am a UK citizen and have been considering trying working and living temporarily in another European country. I would like to know if Iceland is good choice for me, and would there be good chance of work and a place to rent.

Our Response:
You can see more via the link here. I hope this helps.
GoWorkAbroad - 28-Jan-16 @ 12:52 PM
I am a UK citizen and have been considering trying working and living temporarily in another European country. I would like to know if Iceland is good choice for me, and would there be good chance of work and a place to rent.
jopafreedom - 27-Jan-16 @ 8:40 PM
Hi Kindly guide me. I'm a 41 year old guy who has 8 years procurement experience and would like to work abroad.
Alti - 24-Jan-16 @ 5:10 PM
Hello sir/madam I have suffered looking for job in my country Tanzania I am holding a diploma in insurance and risk management pleas I have always wished to work abroad under any condition mostly I would love working in scandnavian countries doesn't matter as a cleaner/housekeeper or front office/desk helper iam capable motivated and willing i have 4 years of experience in reseptionist and sales pleas i need help for viza and ticket of which a sponser can deduct in my salary as soon as I start working Hope to hire from you thank you
MG - 26-Nov-15 @ 6:01 PM
njebza - Your Question:
I am Swazi lady aged 35, a single mother to a 5yr old. I wish to settle in UK for job opportunities. I am currently a teacher, hold a Bsc in Consumer Sciences and a post graduate certificate in Education. Please help a sister so that I can be able to take care of my daughter. I thank you.

Our Response:
I'm afraid that unless you have family in the UK, who could sponsor your visit, you would not be able to come to the UK without a work visa, unless you wanted to come to the UK on a visit. Please see link here.
GoWorkAbroad - 18-Nov-15 @ 12:29 PM
I am Swazi lady aged 35, a single mother to a 5yr old.I wish to settle in UK for job opportunities.I am currently a teacher, hold a Bsc in Consumer Sciences and a post graduate certificate in Education.Please help a sister so that I can be able to take care of my daughter.I thank you.
njebza - 17-Nov-15 @ 9:25 PM
Kel - Your Question:
Hi I am a 21 year old and I would love to get a job for 6 months+ in America as soon as possible. I have researched different things but I am unable to find anything. Can anyone help?

Our Response:
I'm afraid we can't recommend specific sites directly. But there are plenty of opportunities out there which I'm sure you'll find if you do a touch more research.
GoWorkAbroad - 7-Oct-15 @ 12:44 PM
Hi I am a 21 year old and I would love to get a job for 6 months+ in America as soon as possible. I have researched different things but I am unable to find anything. Can anyone help?
Kel - 6-Oct-15 @ 3:00 PM
Hi. I am a 32 year old single South African mom :) I desperately want to work abroad but I refuse to leave my 9 year old daughter. Also for us South Africans it is extremely difficult to get over to Europe or the UK. I have tried. Obviously I do not have a lot of money so I would need a sponsor. I have been in the transport industry for over 9 years and have recently started a position in the construction industry which I am enjoying. I am even willing to do physical work. Any suggestions?
Michelle - 16-Sep-15 @ 10:08 AM
I am a British woman would loveto live and work abroad either in northern Italy or spain.I have over 10 yrs experience as a qualified legal secretary also have administrative skills.I would love if your could sent information or point me to the right persons on living and working abroad.Thank you.
CAR - 29-Aug-15 @ 11:32 PM
am a teacher in zimbambwe and i really need to work abroad for my family's opportunities i reallyneed it and i have been teaching for more than 15 years now
maps - 29-Jul-15 @ 1:53 PM
Hi,I am 42 years old, and single parent of a 5 year old kid, I greatly hope that I get a job at europe, I have 5 year experience as an administrative working at an archiects office , I can also work as an nanny or any suitable job,plz contact me if someone can information or get the job to me. But I desparately need a job and Iam hard working, can do any office works...............
shanu - 3-Jul-15 @ 7:05 AM
I am 20 year old and am seeking a job
anna - 9-Jun-15 @ 4:26 PM
I'm a Kenyan holding a certificate in animal health and production.I would like to live and work abroad and I don't limit opportunity to my course but in to it no problem.
Myner - 14-May-15 @ 6:47 PM
I have a certificate in animal health and production , I'm a Kenyan and I would live to work and live abroad. not necessarily a job connected to my career but to it the better.
Mynor - 14-May-15 @ 6:44 PM
I am currently seeking a position as a Quantity Surveyingand I would like to inquire about the possibility of openings. I have a National diploma in engineering Sciences in Civil engineering from Institute of Engineering Technology in Sri Lanka. In addition, I have 7 years experience in the field of civil engineering as a Quantity Surveying,Assistant Quantity Surveying and Assistant Civil Engineer. My resume, which is enclosed, contains additional information on my experience and skills. I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss further with you and to provide further information on my candidacy. I can be reached any time via my home phone or email. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to speak with you about this exciting opportunity
mudi - 24-Apr-15 @ 10:54 AM
@Shazzy - you are never too old. If you know what it is you would like to do, make sure you do some research first and find out what the best way is to accomplish this. However, do remember that if you are giving up a regular income, it might not be that easy to secure something similar.
Adrian - 15-Apr-15 @ 11:04 AM
Hi I am 44 mad would love to temporarily work abroad. I am currently a police community support officer, fitness instructor and hairdresser. Am I too old!??
Shazzy - 12-Apr-15 @ 1:58 PM
@Megg - while we can't be seen to be recommending specific sites there are plenty around. If you do an online search for 'jobs abroad Spain, it should throw up a few helpful sites for you that have plenty of listings.
GoWorkAbroad - 9-Apr-15 @ 10:23 AM
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Latest Comments
  • Kwandile
    Re: How to Find a Job Abroad
    Hi! Im a Swazi female aged 24 looking for a job working abroad. I hold a degree in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering. Currently…
    9 May 2017
  • erica
    Re: How to Find a Job Abroad
    looking for a nanny job in europe spain, united kingdom,etc i need to work iam 53 years old iam tired of nyc or us, i am a british born…
    14 February 2017
  • Manushka
    Re: What Happens to My NI Payments When I Emigrate?
    Dear All, I am an Italian citizen who has been working and paying tax in the UK for 31 years. In a few…
    30 July 2016
  • Chan
    Re: How to Find a Job Abroad
    Hi, I really want to work as a teaching assistant/ behaviour mentor in New York. I have a degree in Education Studies and English…
    14 May 2016
  • Tiny
    Re: How to Find a Job Abroad
    Hi I'm a 51 year old woman looking at working abroad , I have a Btec in customer service and a senior support worker . Please can you…
    14 May 2016
  • bigdaddydee
    Re: How to Find a Job Abroad
    I'm a swazi male aged 29 with a degree in hummanities plus a pgce looking for work in the Uk please help m out
    2 May 2016
  • peris
    Re: How to Find a Job Abroad
    Hello. I am a 23 year old Kenyan lady with a son, 3 years. I have always wanted to work and live in the UK. I have several job offers…
    4 March 2016
  • Misty
    Re: How to Find a Job Abroad
    @Tom - cruise ships are always a good way to travel and see the world, so is crewing on a yacht. My friend did this and had a great…
    4 March 2016
  • Tom
    Re: How to Find a Job Abroad
    Hi I'm a 21 year old lad, wanting work all over the world in any area, love travelling and wanting to try something new. Any help or…
    3 March 2016
  • GoWorkAbroad
    Re: How to Find a Job Abroad
    GINA - Your Question:I am trained in the HR field and with a 4year experience. I would wish to obtain a differnt experience environment…
    1 March 2016
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