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Getting a Job Abroad

Finding jobs abroad can be a remarkably easy or incredibly infuriating process. Either way, every job-seeker should eventually succeed with patience, perseverance, and an open mind.

The first step is to decide what you're after. It's entirely possible to find career-related jobs abroad, but typically much more difficult than something casual - like teaching English, volunteering with youth, or beach resort jobs. The time commitment will be longer, the schedule less flexible, and the scene less diverse. For these reasons, most travelers choose to pursue short-term work. The most common jobs include hospitality, sales, market research, retail, construction, nannying and administrative roles. What these positions lack in intellectual stimulation, they usually make up for in versatility. You probably won't work 9-5, you'll definitely meet some interesting co-workers, and you're certainly not expected to last through next year. In addition, they're relatively easy to find and frequently don't require experience. Just keep reminding yourself: you're here to experience a different culture, make new friends and have fun. Who cares how you make the money to do it?

NOTE - Visit the jobs in Europe section of JobMonkey to learn about working abroad.

As you would expect, larger cities offer the most opportunities for short-term work. Smaller towns can be tough, but if you show up in a tourist hotspot right before the season begins, your luck will be good. Very rural areas often need employees as well, and can be great places to hide out and save some dough (if there's nowhere to spend it, it will have to be saved!)

These places tend to deliver real, off-the-beaten path charm, and will almost guarantee some wild stories to tell back home.

Regardless of your location, similar strategies apply when hunting for all jobs abroad. Break out that newspaper again. Don't be shy - call each ad that seems remotely promising and at least get a feel for the company and the position. Go online; thousands of jobs are advertised on the Internet each day. If it's free, sign up with local job recruitment agencies. They're often the first port of call for needy employers, and a good impression will take you far. Feeling more proactive? Tie up those trainers and hit the streets. Approach every shop, café or business where you'd be willing to work. Ask for the hiring manager, politely introduce yourself, mention the positions and shifts in which you're interested, and leave them your resume. This tried and true method is often the best, as nothing beats a good attitude and smiling face.

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