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I remember it as if it was yesterday. The cold January morning, waving goodbye to snowy Norway, boarding a plane, crossing the Atlantic, and there I was. Six months after applying for my ultimate dream job, the wait had finally come to an end. I was there. Finally, I was in Orlando, Florida.
Filled with emotions, expectations, excitement and even more nervous than back when I was fourteen and was about to get my first kiss from a tall, skinny guy with the most unfortunate acne breakout. Imagine that. Or don’t. Disney World was way more exciting than any kiss I’d ever gotten from anyone ever. I say that, because I’m a big kid and always will be. I also say that because I believe that there is such a thing as a fun job. A job that will make you feel good about yourself. Motivated. Happy.
Sometimes it’s not even the job itself that has that effect on you, but the feeling of starting over with a blank canvas. Leaving everything behind and starting over is obviously a very big risk, but I’ve never met anyone who ever said they regret doing it. Even if the job itself wasn’t that great, or the location wasn’t what they’d expected it to be, everyone I’ve met who have worked abroad, all agreed it was a life-changing experience and not in a million years would they have done it any differently.
My latest work experience abroad was also my most recent regular kind of job. Last summer I worked as a Norwegian language teacher in Paris. I was headhunted by a company who needed someone to teach beginner’s level Norwegian to French professionals planning to relocate. My students were wonderful people and fun to work with, and the experience itself was as educational for me as it was for them, as I learned to view my own first language from a different perspective. And can you really complain when you’re able to see the Eiffel tower from your workplace?
I asked some people to share their own stories from working abroad
Nicole, 30, from the US: “I have been working in Berlin, Germany for almost six years, including two one-month Project Management gigs in Dubai through a German client. I was a freelancer in everything from Admissions at an Executive MBA program, field trip leader for a Harvard summer program abroad, translator, Project Manager, remote Costumer Service for a German start-up, Relocation consulting for new expats and now I’m a College Registrar at a small private Liberal Arts University part-time (that last one is not freelance). I also taught English in Prague for six months in 2009-2010. As you can see, it’s quite a variety of experience and I have a lot of stories!”
Esther, 32, from California: “I taught at Cambridge International School in Bratislava, Slovakia about 4 years ago. It was awesome! The school at the time was still in start-up mode so it was a lot of work, but I loved what I did and I loved how far my money went in Bratislava. I lived like a queen! I taught PreK, 5th grade, and 7/8 art, science and drama to students from around the world. The best part was my students. They loved me and would draw me cute pictures or tell me sweet things everyday. Now I am moving to Bali with my son to teach at business retreats there. The journey never ends unless you let it!
Danielle, 25, from the UK: I’ve done quite a few jobs abroad so feel free to pick and choose! My first job abroad I was 19 and worked for First Choice, a big holiday company, as a drama and singing teacher in their hotels. I was teaching kids from the age 4-17 who wanted to do some performing on their holidays! I did this two summers in a row. First in Portugal, then in Turkey. Next I worked as a circus coach with a travelling circus school in America. We traveled all up and down the east coast teaching kids some awesome circus skills and then putting on a full on show with them at the end of the week. Then, when I finished university, I moved to Kyoto, Japan to teach English. I worked with all ages from babies to businessmen! Finally, I currently live in Tenerife, a Spanish island off the coast of Africa, working as a social media executive for a digital marketing agency!
Erinlee, from Canada: I’m a personal support worker and most people think that’s just helping people with toilet duties. There is a whole side of life able bodied forget non abled bodied people do. That’s travel, vacation. I’ve been blessed to go to Mexico with my boss and the Bahamas, and although I went with a family friend, their request was to nanny with mom of 3 back to Sudan. Now that was short and sweet, but amazing!
After reading all this, I’m sure you’re feeling inspired and motivated to get out there and land a cool job in a foreign country!
So what is the easiest way to find your dream job abroad?
Obviously, there is the option to travel to the destination of your choice first, and then ask around and hand over your CV to different businesses. However, the easiest and most economical way to do it, is to search for a job online. Because, face it, you don’t wanna sit around at your rental apartment or hotel room and wait for who knows how long. You’ll lose time and money. Besides, we live in a digital world!
We all know how easy it is to get lost in the sea of job service websites and it’s not always easy to know which one’s to choose or where to start.
Personally, I recommend SearchJobsAbroad.com as it’s a very user-friendly job service with a large range of jobs worldwide to choose from. All you need to do is upload your CV and start browsing!
As summer is just around the corner, there’s plenty of companies looking for seasonal workers. I don’t know about you, but I’d love to spend the summer entertaining kids in Italy or working at a theme park on a Spanish island (those are actual listings on the site)! There’s also a lot of companies looking for someone to stay with them long term. I mean, working as a costumer service agent for a fashion brand in Barcelona sounds like something I’d love to do. Or as a photographer in Mumbai? That’s awesome! Or maybe you’d rather teach English in Vietnam? Or be a fitness instructor in Thailand? Work at a luxury resort in Morocco? And the list goes on…
Take my advice. Stop daydreaming and start taking chances. Who knows, you might end up having the time of your life!