According to the U.S. State Department, the number of American expats has more than doubled in the last 20 years. Over 9 million Americans have chosen to leave their friends and family behind to pursue life in another country. What they all have in common is that they couldn’t leave the thought of living abroad at just that, a thought.
Whether they crave adventure, want to find themselves, or are looking to advance their careers, expats the world over are finding success. If you’ve thought about beginning a new career somewhere far off, these six steps will help you start your job abroad.
So you’ve finally decided to follow your dreams and move abroad. For many people, what comes next can seem daunting. But you have to remember to relax.
Everyone’s living abroad story is different, but it’s important to remember that millions of Americans make it work every year. People from all walks of life with all sorts of skills manage to find success working around the globe. So when you’re feeling overwhelmed, remember that someone has walked the same path. In fact, many of those people have written about those experiences. Look online for blogs like Go Abroad and online communities of expats such as ExPat.com. You'll find encouragement and advice to help you figure out your next steps.
Of course, living and working abroad takes planning and preparation. Whether you want to travel to a country with a large American expat population or you want to forge your own path, remember that you’re following your dream.
Lean In to Standing Out
Let’s face it, most hiring managers want to hire someone from their own country. That’s why you need to highlight what makes you different.
Don’t try to hide the fact that you’re foreign. In fact, your best bet is to highlight it. Many jobs need someone with knowledge of American culture and that makes you a perfect fit. If a company is interested in expanding into the American market, your firsthand experience might be just what a company is looking for.
Lots of American expats also work in jobs in the hospitality and tourism industries. If you love history, you could be perfect at working as a tour guide for visiting English speakers. You might also be great at working with visiting Americans as a local guide.
You can also set yourself apart as an expert in intercultural communications. Lesley University’s graduate program in International Higher Education teaches you the skills needed for international jobs so you can work across cultures and borders.