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How can I earn money abroad?

If you are going “right now” you have a lot less choice than if you are planning for the future. There are jobs, and work that anyone can do, and you should be able to find on arrival – and there are careers that you can progress in, and will allow you to work when you relocate.

If you plan to live a Nomadic lifestyle and move from place to place then you may find some careers fit better than others. As an example a UK qualified English teacher will be able to teach English just about anywhere, but a Doctor or Lawyer may have to localise their professional qualifications – this may be more or less difficult depending on where your qualification is from, and where you want to relocate.

On this basis lets split the following list into 3 groups Work, Job, Career; and try to point out what works better for a stable relocation as opposed to being a Nomad.

We wrote another blog about careers that enable you to travel constantly, which may be more useful if you are looking to keep moving for a while.

Work you can do abroad

These are the lowest level roles that may even pay cash in hand and are often below the radar, or deliberately ignored by the authorities

  • Crop picking / labourer
  • Skilled manual jobs e.g. plastering
  • Bar work
  • Teaching English as a foreign language (often no qualification is required)
  • Lead generation
  • Modeling / PR work
  • Courier / Driver (may need local license)
  • Dog Walking / Pet Sitting
  • Tutoring / Music lessons
  • Deck hand on a boat
  • Mechanic
  • Data Entry

If you have specific skills that get you work in your home country you will probably be able to work in another country. It may not be legal without a work permit, and it may not be worth the employers time or money to get you a work permit. You will need to decide whether this is an acceptable risk

Jobs you can do overseas

These may be real positions, or freelance jobs. Your skill set may enable you to get a visa and work, or you may be able to work remotely.

  • Programmer
  • Web Designer/ UX / CX
  • Data Analyst / Data Modeller/ Data Scientist
  • Digital Marketing / Social Media Manager
  • Copy Writer / Content Writer
  • Translator
  • Au Pair / Nanny
  • UAT and other testing roles
  • English Teacher / Music Teacher/ Kindergarten Teacher
  • Property Sales, and alternative investment sales
  • Personal Trainer

Some of these roles will definitely be available with a temporary work visa. Working remotely is also suitably grey – if you are employed by an offshore person/entity and paid into an offshore company you should be well below the radar.

Don’t overstay your visitor’s visa and don’t do too many short term visa runs. Most of these roles will be available in neighbouring countries too.

Careers that enable you to relocate

These are careers where regardless of where you are in the world you should be able to progress, gain experience and take that with you to the next role, or even country. You may need to localise your qualifications as mentioned above – but the education and knowledge that you collect has value in multiple markets.

For many of these roles a work visa should be a given – you don’t want to risk a travel ban in case a better role comes up in the same market in future. You may also find that a buoyant ex-pat community will help with some roles, for example insurance brokers tend to deal best with people who speak their own language.

  • Lawyer
  • Doctor / Nurse / Dentist
  • Accountant
  • Insurance Broker
  • Investment Banker / Private Banker
  • Engineer
  • Anti Money Laundering / Compliance Officer
  • Geologist
  • Diplomat
  • Logistics
  • Head Hunter / Recruitment Consultant
  • Network Marketing / MLM (although visa restrictions may make this harder)
  • Journalism / Researcher
  • Executive Coach
  • Buyer / Sourcing Agent
  • Actuary
  • Hospitality management e.g. Hotel management

These are not careers that you fall into, but will require study and training in order to progress to the point that you may be attractive to an overseas branch of your current employer, or as a new hire in a market where skills are scarce.

What if I don’t have a job before I travel?

Don’t forget that many charities want skilled workers to assist with their overseas operations and this may be a good way to get into a market while you search for a better paid role and build out your contacts

If you are 30 years old or under;  then you may well be  able to get a student visa that allows you to work for up to a year in a number of markets. Many countries will allow you to apply for this without a firm job offer and then look for work on arrival.

Some Countries like Australia have a points system where they are looking for educated younger people who will settle and start families. Other markets are focusing strongly on attracting innovators and technology specialists for example Hong Kong currently has a fast track Visa program for tech employees. Canada and the UK have similar programs – it may be better to go where you are wanted than to go where you want to vacation?

Remember that employers may give you medical insurance once you start work but you should take a good travel insurance policy before you leave your country of residence, and ideally one that you can move once you are settled – so it covers  you when you travel outbound from your new home. Email us as enqu[email protected] if you have questions around this

If you are already looking, we found a fantastic article on Medium that has 30 job sites listed for remote and Nomad type work