Home :: Overseas Jobs
Working overseas may not have been part of your plan
- but knowing how to find a job 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...
Here's a sampling of the kind of jobs suitable for women on the road.
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.
Imagine sailing into a different port each day, sightseeing, tax-free shopping, banking your entire salary, meeting exciting people from all over the world, having several months off a year, using passenger facilities on board for free...
Sound too good to be true? Not at all. You absolutely can see the world and get paid for it - on a ship.
According to Amanda Hathorn-Geary, who runs a business as a cruise employment specialist, "If you love travel, saving a ton of money and meeting and working with amazing people, working on a cruise ship will be one of the best career moves you will ever make."
Amanda knows what she's talking about. She started at the bottom as Seasonal Youth Counsellor with Princess & Cunard and over the next decade worked her way up to Human Resources Manager. She has trained thousands of crew members and now provides consulting and recruitment services to potential cruise employees through her books, her course or a Skype coaching call if you have a few questions.
According to Amanda, there's a specific profile for cruise ship staff, and before you apply you should make sure you fit it. A cousin of mine worked as a croupier on a ship for years and only gave up her shipboard lifestyle when she started a family, so being solo can be helpful (although cruise lines do hire couples). Just make sure you understand what cruise ship employment entails before you jump on board.
And by the way, although cruise workers tend to be on the youngish side, there are many exceptions to the rule!
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. And if you're considering a gap year, the British site Payaway (not just for Brits!) has fabulous resources.