Design Your Life To Become An International Jet-setter Without Being A Digital Nomad
It’s not as outlandish as it sounds.
Why not engineer your life to create the adventure you crave?
According to various studies in USA, UK and Australia we will change our career several times over our working life. These studies from Linkedin, Investec and ABS show that reinvention on a global scale is the new work order.
Working overseas, means you’ll get paid while you travel, live like a local, experience the true nature of a place. It seems like a no brainer.
The world now is a global village and working overseas may not be as daunting as you might expect. You just need to have the right career, look for work in the right places and jump a few administrative hoops and you’re there.
I have been on both sides of the coin, having worked overseas and also been an international recruitment consultant. Here are some insights to help you take the leap to go international.
Which Jobs Travel?
Getting work overseas depends on having skills and experience that are in demand and transferable. There is a surprisingly diverse range of occupations that fit these criteria, they include:
- Teacher (Secondary is in higher demand than primary. If you can teach Math or Science the world is your oyster.)
- Engineer: software, electronic, mechanical, civil and mining
- Tour Guide (English speaking)
- Digital/ IT
- Aged Care
- TEFAL Teacher
- Dental — all roles
- Doctor/ Surgeon
- Business development
- Research and Development (green sciences)
This list is not exhaustive but represents those occupations most sought after by employers. It is worth noting that where you gained your qualifications and your nationality will impact your desirability as an employee. Generally speaking, you will have no problems if your qualifications are from UK, Australia, USA, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, or Ireland.
Fear is temporary, regret lasts forever.
How to find work?
Recruitment is now a global business. There are many specialized agencies for particular professions. The site, Go Jobs Abroad is a good starting point as it will take you to these specialized recruiters for a whole bunch of professions.
When you’re reading through a position description it is important to take note of the terms and conditions of the job. Many overseas jobs include relocation, accommodation, return flights, health insurance, and other allowances for yourself, spouse and a few children. Many of these allowances will not be offered if you are in the country at the time a position is offered to you, so think about that before you start trying for jobs while on holiday in your desired destination.
Also look out for the length of the employment being offered. If you’re unfamiliar with the country, I’d steer away from permanent positions as you could find yourself in an ugly wrangle if you want to leave.
Where should you go?
Choosing a destination is an important step in a move overseas. Here are some factors you should consider in your decision:
- Government stability
- Personal freedom
- Standards of services, particularly health
- Safety: Law and Order
- Language barriers
- Taxation: Tax free is best. Here is a list of 11 tax free countries.
- Degree of social isolation: An expat community can be very helpful when you’re in a strange land
- Working culture
This is a difficult question to answer because it depends on what you’re offering in terms of skills. It is possible to secure work in just about any country you can think of, but there are some countries that import more workers than others.
One of the biggest importers is United Arab Emirates. Locals make up only about 20% of the population, the rest are expat workers. The Department of Education is hiring up to 40,000 teachers over the next few years to keep up with demand.
Many Asian countries also import a lot of professionals. Europe is a popular destination choice, but this means greater competition making work harder to secure.
The Dark Side
Of course, it’s not all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows, there are cons that need to be considered.
Red Tape and Costs: To work in another country you will need to provide notarised copies of your qualifications, academic transcripts, and personal documentation before you go. When you arrive, this paperwork will also all need to be translated into the host country’s language. It feels like a second job while you’re going through the process, and it costs a few hundred dollars. But, you only need to do it once.
Fear: When you’re about to head off into the unknown you will feel scared and feel that you’re not getting all the information you need to feel secure in the process but keep your wits about you and trust the process. Most employers will be very experienced in hiring from overseas and know what they’re doing.
What if you hate it? There’s always a chance that you want to leave and most contracts will have a clause to accommodate a break of contract with no penalty. If not, ask for one. But I say take that leap of faith, give it a go. They say it’s not the things in life you do that you regret, but those you didn’t do.
Reality: Living in a place gives you a rich, authentic experience, but it’s not always pretty. When you live in a place you see beyond the tourist traps and into the soul of a place. I’ve learned that every place has its underbelly: social and familial dysfunction, crime, addiction and corruption are regular features. However, it’s this reality, this truth that makes a place human. Humanity is in the flaws and we should not turn away from it, no matter how uncomfortable it makes us feel.
We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.
So, the next time you feel like you are just a cog, grinding away the years in your depressingly monotonous workplace, let your mind wander to how your skills could transfer to create a different reality and ask yourself: Why not?
If you enjoyed my article please let me know with lots of clapping. I live for applause. For more nomadic tales and experiments come see me at Coolfooting where life is a journey not a race.