Home :: Overseas Jobs (This page contains affiliate links)
Overseas jobs may not have been part of your plan
- but knowing how to find one or how to make money could be a lifesaver if
you're short of cash on the road or thinking of extending your travels.
I've done lots of strange - and less strange - things to earn
money to travel: English teacher in Brazil... Union interpreter in Algeria...
Freelance writer (everywhere)... Office manager in Italy... UNICEF consultant
in Laos... Conference hostess in Geneva... Toilet seat sales in Montreal (yes,
really)... This website, Women on the Road...
What kind of jobs exist for a traveler in need of extra funds?
Teaching English is a common way to make money for travelers of all ages. Being a native English-language speaker is helpful, and a proper qualification is even better.
Until relatively recently, demand was so high that many organizations would snap you up just for being English mother tongue. No longer. Now you need that piece of paper, which schools like MyTEFL can provide (you'll get 35% off the course if you use my promo code, SCRIBE35).
Good luck plays a part too...
Demand is highest in Asia but there are plenty of teaching opportunities in other parts of the world.
Interested? Here's more about teaching English abroad.
Everyone is launching a blog or a website. Most of them are for fun or to keep family and friends informed of travels. But what if you actually want to make a living online?
Here's how I started. And then I began growing my income through affiliate marketing. Anyone can do this - but you really really have to want to. It's hard work and long hours and a decent income is slow to come by.
The beauty of the web is that it allows you to telecommute, full-time while you're home, and part-time when you're on the road. There are literally hundreds of web-based jobs you can take on - all from the cozyness of an Internet café.
Plenty of jobs fall into this category, and this is just a sampling:
These traditional 'at-home' jobs no longer require you to actually be home: they can be done from anywhere. You've probably all heard of Tim Ferriss's Four-Hour Work Week, or read articles about the new nomads, location-independent individuals who live their entire lives on the road.
You don't have to move overseas forever but the web can be your job-hunting friend.
Good places to look for online jobs are general sites like Upwork. Just sign up and bid for jobs you're qualified for. I know this works: I've found jobs and hired people this way. I also came across Jobspresso, which looks very legit and user-friendly.
For me - and this is a personal thing - travel writing is one of the best overseas jobs in the world. It's also probably the most competitive, the least lucrative, and the hardest to find.
Have I discouraged you yet?
I hope not!
The joys of seeing your name in print and your first paycheck are hard to beat. I actually framed my first byline...
If your goal is to make enough to stay on the road, becoming a travel writer is an option. But only if you really want to write. It's not an easy profession - at least not if you want to actually get paid for it. I highly recommend taking a course - I've taken most of the better-known courses on the market and although I've been writing for several decades, I always learn something new and get my investment back. Right now I'm test-driving Nomadic Matt's travel writing course and I love it - it's given by David Farley, whose travel stories have been published in the kinds of major publications we all dream of writing for. (He gives personal feedback in the course and that's invaluable.)
It's even worse for photographers because other websites think nothing of grabbing pictures and using them for free. BUT...
It's easier to sell your words if you have beautiful pictures to go with them.
There are plenty of other kinds of writing (or providing content, if you're writing for a commercial website). Many local companies advertise or prepare corporate materials in English - and sometimes they fail dismally. If you can put words together, you might get a bit of work fixing what they've done.
That said, the Writer's Job Board has a great list of boards that list freelance jobs. Browse to your heart's content.
If you have any experience that can be put to use in a developing country, you might pick up some short-term work with international organizations like the United Nations or its agencies, or with charities like Oxfam and Save the Children.
Here are some areas in which you might find work - if you're qualified:
You get the picture. If you have the skill, flog it.
It can be relatively easy for these agencies to hire people for very short-term assignments (as opposed to nearly impossible if you're looking for a real job).
The most complete job listings for UN agencies are usually found at UNjobs.org. You could also look for non-profit jobs overseas or check out the boards at DevNetJobs. Let's face it: development or humanitarian not-for-profit jobs require special skills: unskilled work goes to local people (and rightly so).
Plan in advance. Look up the UN and NGO offices where you're going. Write ahead. Spruce up your CV. Or just call once there.
If you're a professional, using your skills will probably be the first thing you think about.
I've been a professional writer or journalist all my life so working with words is the first thing I look for (even if I do sometimes end up doing strange things, like selling toilet seats!)
If you're a health professional or an engineer you're lucky: you have naturally portable professions, like mine. If you're a schoolteacher, you may be able to find replacement work or a real job (this site has a lot of listings).
There are plenty of nursing jobs (have a look at my page on international travel nursing for a few ideas), medical jobs, accounting jobs, and other professional jobs to be found in other countries.
And here's where you find them:
Let's face it, some jobs are usually more suitable - or available - to travelers in their 20s and 30 (I say usually because I've found all sorts of unlikely jobs but that's more the exception than the rule).
So if you can't type and the thought of teaching sends shivers down your spine, you could always try...
One of my all-time go-to travel sites, Transitions Abroad, has a great page with advice about finding tourism and hospitality jobs.
I'd love to hear about it if you have! What did you do? Where did you work and where are you from? How did it change you? Would you do it again?
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
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An Asian Working Overseas
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