Whether the opportunities at home aren't what you're looking for, or the chance to live in a new place surrounded by a new culture appeals, an overseas job may be the ideal solution for you. As the global economy continues to grow, Americans are becoming more open to working abroad.
When you finally do decide to make a move overseas, you'll find jobs are easier to come by in some markets than others. With a rapidly expanding economy, China makes a promising destination for those seeking work. According to a 2012 HSBC study, 66 percent of expats living in Singapore said they enjoyed a better quality of life, while 80 percent of those in Thailand had a better work-life balance. The high per capita income of oil-rich Middle Eastern nations like Saudi Arabia makes for higher pay and more opportunity for those seeking work either in the energy industry or peripheral industries.
If you hold an advanced degree, your odds of finding a high-paying position overseas are greater. Some overseas markets need skilled English-speaking and Western educated teachers, scientists and professionals. In addition to competitive pay, those whose skills are in demand can often expect to receive housing benefits, moving assistance, health coverage and other perks designed to entice you to relocate: shorter work hours, more vacation time and paid airline tickets to visit home once or twice per year. The more you bring to the table as an American seeking work abroad, the more you can expect in return.
Many Americans speak English as their first language. This simple skill can be all that you require to find work abroad as an instructor, a freelance writer or a volunteer. The hospitality industry is another option for many Americans, who bring work experience and English language skills that are in demand in destinations around the world. If you need work to bridge the gap between your departure date and the time you find a permanent position, consider working as an au pair for a local family in need of child care. In exchange for your efforts, you'll receive free room and board and some spending cash, along with enough time on the ground to perform your job search in person.
The U.S. government and the various branches of the military offer plenty of opportunities abroad. These positions are open to Americans only and vary tremendously, from medical staff to private contractors and tradesmen. Working for the U.S. government means earning competitive pay in dollars, being surrounded by other English-speaking transplants and living in some of the most interesting and exotic places in the world.
Robert Morello has an extensive travel, marketing and business background. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University in 2002 and has worked in travel as a guide, corporate senior marketing and product manager and travel consultant/expert. Morello is a professional writer and adjunct professor of travel and tourism.