You have decided to move abroad. That’s awesome! What a great decision.
Butttt you know you are going to have to get a job, and if you’re looking for a good one, you are going to have to start searching before you leave. That can be tricky finding a job across the pond. There is the time difference, different phone numbers, and no good way to tell if the position is legitimate. However, it is doable! So here is what you need to know when looking for jobs abroad!
Before you can go start working in any other country, you need to make sure you have the correct visa paperwork. Almost all other countries require a special visa that states you can work in their country. Each visa has certain stipulations. So for example, we are going on an Irish Working Holiday Authorization which we are only able to use because we will have been graduated from school no longer than a year. And with the WHA we can only be there for a year max. That is just what we are going with. There are many different ones out there. If you have a job already lined up, the company can also sponsor your visa. But remember that you find the one that applies to the country you are moving to. It is not one visa fits all.
Be sure to take a look at travel.state.gov to find the visa that applies to your situation. Even if you are going through a company that is helping you, I would still suggest double checking on this website. The Wayfaring Photographer and I were given some misleading information from a company and thankfully were able to find out the correct information before applying for the visa.
While you may want to live outside the major cities or in the countryside, be sure you are realistic about where you are going to find a job. You will probably have a better chance finding a job in the city than outside of it. However, if you are looking for something like agricultural or locally owned businesses to work at, living outside the city might be best. You could even live outside of the city if the commute is reasonable to where your job would be. Think about these things just like if you were to move to a different state for work.
Now after figuring out the area you are probably going to live in, research the cost of living. You are going to want to find a job that can support that and leave some extra money left over. It would be so awful to have to live pay check to pay check and have no money to actually go exploring or socializing. You also want to calculate how much it will cost to get to and from the job. How much money do you need to add to your metro card? How much is gas per week? Think about all of that so you can factor it into how much you need to be paid. Then from that amount, I would add on how much fun money you want to have each month. Fun money is for activities, traveling, or sight-seeing. Thinking these things out will be so beneficial to you when job hunting.
Where to Look
You obviously may not know what kind of job you are looking for. Unless you have visited this country before and had a place in mind, you are starting with a completely blank slate. So to help, I have been using different international websites to help me find open positions in Ireland. Some of my favorites that are specific to Ireland are jobs.ie, ie.indeed and gradireland (which is specific for graduates). I have set it to search for positions that relate to what I am interested in or have experience in and set up email alerts when new positions open up. Be careful about the words or phrases used to search for positions because it may mean something different there. For example, I typed in “maternity positions” hoping to work with mothers, but instead I have been receiving emails about temp positions for those out on maternity leave.
Some other websites that help you look for jobs abroad would be Jobs Abroad, Overseas Jobs, Careers International, and Monster International. You can set it up to where you receive email alerts when new positions in your field open up.
When to Start Applying
So when should you start applying for jobs? Well, don’t be like me and get super excited and start applying 10 months before leaving. I was super stoked and applied. Within a month, the position was filled. They are typically looking for someone that can fill the position at no more than 2 months max. So that’s when I would suggest you should start looking. It’s not too early and not too late. If you have to interview before getting there, most companies now do Skype or just over the phone.
-The Wandering Sunflower