We often are asked what the job market is like abroad because younger folks and even older folks that are not yet receiving a pension want to bring their skills abroad 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|
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?
Update 2019 - the other thing to think about is in most of the developing countries, wages are very low and so even if you landed a job, pay will not be what you are used to coming from N. America.
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 an expat who has already done it and they’ll tell you.
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?
Update 2019 - what skills do you already have? Land your online job using that skill and then go abroad; we think this is the best solution. We say this so foreigners won't be thinking they can come to these countries and take jobs away from the locals. It's not advisable.
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.
Update 2019: Another way is to work for an online company freelancing your English teaching skills to students or adults. The pay is good depending on how many hours you will work and the best part is you can live anywhere in the world you want and teach English online. You will need a good internet connection to teach English over the internet.
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.
Update 2019 - We know of expats that moved to Cuenca Ecuador who are CPA's and they brought their work to Cuenca with them. This is ideal actually.
Update 2019 - We also think that starting your own portable small business (microenterprise, whether it's food catering to the expats or using your skills online or offline in some capacity is ideal for foreigners to make extra money living abroad.
We hope you enjoyed the article. We talk a little bit more about this subject in our next video coming up Sunday morning at the usual time of 8am Eastern time, so be looking for it. Leave comments guys and gals! We want to hear from you!
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