January 24, 2016

Working Overseas: Gringos Moving Abroad to “Get a Job"

We often are asked what the job market is like abroad because younger folks that are not yet receiving a pension want to bring their skills here and work at a job.  It’s not as easy as you think and in fact, some countries like Panama make it very hard for foreigners to take skilled jobs from the local people; these jobs include such posts as doctor, lawyer, RN worker, skilled laborer, professor, CPA, etc.
View of Cuenca from Pumapungo Botanical Gardens
In most countries a foreign person will need to have a “work permit” and visa that allows for them to work in a local job position. There is always a local person that has the same skills as yourself and in many cases (not always) they will prefer to hire the local person before a foreigner. It is expected that the foreigner has money, otherwise he or she wouldn’t be moving abroad.
 

Just because a place is touted as being cheap, doesn’t necessarily mean you can go there, land a job and start making enough money to live on. That may very well happen, but don’t have that expectation. It's a good idea to be prepared financially and have enough money to live on first, before you visit or move abroad, just in case something doesn’t work out for you. You’ve heard the saying, “don’t put your eggs all in one basket”, right?
 

Foreigners shouldn’t be traveling overseas if they don’t have a way to pay for their travel and living expenses; we’re saying this to say, don’t expect you will land a job; instead have the job already lined up before moving abroad, or have the money you will need for living expenses.
 

Opening a Business
 

Nothing is stopping anyone from moving abroad and opening up their own business, whatever that might be, but in countries like Ecuador you have to hire some local workers.  For example, if you moved to Ecuador to open a restaurant you would have to hire some local workers and wait staff. You also may have set up expenses of several thousand dollars plus a couple to a few months waiting time to get all the paperwork in order, just ask a foreigner who has already done it and they’ll tell you.

Freelancing


Writing, photography, web design, and the like are all good skills that you can bring with you abroad. If you are using your skills in N. America now and are making enough money to live on then why not apply your skills abroad? 
 
Teach English
 

The one thing that is a need in many Latin and Asian countries is teaching English. In most Latin American countries they need English speakers to tutor folks and they welcome it, although in developing countries the pay is not always that great to your country standards but may be enough to just get by, and you will need a TEFL Certificate, which is TEACHING ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE and you will also need the right to work visa in the country you are wanting to teach English in.
 

Some people might say you don’t need to be TEFL Certified but there’s more and more competition in this field because many younger N. Americans are moving abroad and want to teach English and the TEFL Certified foreigner is going to be hired before the non certified foreigner.
 

Blogging

Can you make money blogging/vlogging? The World Wide Web is overloaded with folks who travel abroad and then start a blog about their adventures. That’s great and we hope you are enjoying that, however with that said, most bloggers don’t make any money, at least not enough to live on. To make any money at blogging it requires a good niche, good content, tons of traffic, much determination and discipline from the writer/videographer and consistency.  It’s a full-time job! The reality is, most blogs don’t get enough traffic to make sufficient money for living.
 

Bring Your Job with You
 

Some employers, if it is a feasible solution, allow for their employees to work from anywhere in the world. This works great for CPA’s, researchers, data base workers and others who work online where they use the computer for their work.
 

Until we write again.
 

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We're an Expat Family of Five, Living Frugal, Healthy and Happy Abroad. We live in Cuenca, Ecuador and travel the Ecuador coast whenever we get a chance. We just adventured throughout the country of Panama for five weeks! Come along and enjoy some of our experiences with us!

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