“You’re Hired.” When being in the multicultural know can mean a paycheck.

you've been around...
you've been around...

The difficulty of job hunting in this economy means that, more than ever, differentiation is the name of the game. You have to stand out to beat the competition for the few slots available. That said, multicultural savvy, overseas experience and a willingness to travel internationally can be your “in” for certain positions, regardless of the economic climate. In these professions, being in the know regarding global culture can literally mean a paycheck. Below I’ve tried to take some of the frustration out of finding international jobs by highlighting some of the most accessible entry-level jobs that would put to use your multicultural know-how, along with great online resources for finding a position in each of them.

English Language Teacher Overseas: Teaching English as a Second Language is one of the easiest areas to get work in because of the demand for English language instruction across the globe. This is a great option for recent college graduates who have a natural interest in learning more about global culture. Travel, adventure and a reliable pay stub are a pretty irresistible combination and definitely beat unemployed, post-college blues stateside. Check out this link to TEFL.com, the most popular resource for finding jobs in English Language Teaching (ELT).

Resort Jobs: Spectacular scenery, exotic locations and young, high-energy coworkers – resort jobs are perfect for college students or recent grads. Check out Job Monkey’s Resort and Spa Jobs Section for great information on the kinds of jobs available and an excellent listing of positions across the United States and abroad. As Job Monkey points out, the resort industry is one the easiest industries in which to find entry-level jobs so if lush vacation settings work for you, apply!

International Volunteer: This is not much of a money-maker (you’ll probably get a modest stipend) but I can say from personal experience that a volunteer year abroad is extremely enlightening and is a great opportunity to get away from the daily grind. The experiences you have and the things you learn about other people and other cultures are very hard to duplicate. It is absolutely worth looking into the options available. A great place to start your search is the volunteer section of idealist.org, an excellent resource for those who wish to “exchange resources and ideas, locate opportunities and supporters, and take steps toward building a world where all people can lead free and dignified lives.”

Professional Jobs Abroad: Finance, IT, pharma, consulting, marketing – you name it, and iHipo will have an international job listing for it. iHipo is a great resource for any professional that wants to do what they do at home, abroad. If you like your profession but would really like a dramatic change of scene and a chance to experience a new culture and way of life, check out your options.

Of the people I have talked to that have experienced living and working abroad, most found their experience valuable and a lot of fun. You will get to use your knowledge of global cultures and add substantially to it. Often, the experience of living away from your usual surroundings, customs and routine gives you excellent perspective on what is important in life, on what actually matters. So if you need a system reset, this may be your ticket.


Bjorn Karlman

17 thoughts on ““You’re Hired.” When being in the multicultural know can mean a paycheck.”

  1. I actually wanted to get up and move to Australia with my husband. We want to raise our future kids internationally. Not sure of the economy there but I’m the type who cant stand working for someone else so I usually create my own job. We’ll end up there eventually.

    Nonetheless, looking for work in other countries is sooooo intriguing. If I was not married, I would have hopped on a plane to see what the world had to offer.

    Kudos blog.

  2. Thanks Eleanor! And I share your sentiments on Australia, I would love to put some time into Sydney. You should read “The Four-Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferriss… it will encourage your entrepreneurial ways…

  3. I’m living and working in Korea now, and it has been a system reset. While I can’t say everything I’ve gone through has been enjoyable, it definitely was necessary in helping me recognize my priorities.

    And it’s amazing how small things I do here impact me. I looked up one day and thought, “I’m reading a book. On a rooftop. In Seoul.” It’s a very ordinary activity, but the combination of seeing all these tall building around me, with the sun shining down hazily just thrilled me. Sounds a little cheezy I know, but try it. You might like it. :)

  4. Great resources Bjorn! I can vouch for ESL work being easy to find overseas and I will definitely check out iHipo! Don’t know if I will ever be able to live abroad long term again but I can dream right?

  5. Wow, that reminds me of living in Buenos Aires and soaking in all the architecture, food, soccer fever, etc. and missing it two months before leaving…

  6. Larissa. Thanks for the comment! Where did you teach? As for the long term overseas placements, I see what you are saying. Even short term projects can be fun/enlightening though.. When I was in Buenos Aires I had a classmate who was an attorney stateside, she took out three weeks or so to polish up her Spanish and seemed to enjoy herself..

  7. the number one reason I don’t want to get married: because I want to be able to get up and move to Buenos Aires or Sydney whenever I want to… by the way bjorn, no photo luck in the marianas island hopping. i completely missed a really good opportunity though I didn’t realize it until it was two late… sitting in a Japanese restaurant in Rota, a group of (obviously) Americans were (obviously) annoying their Japanese host. would have made a great photo since they were all sitting on the floor together. they, loud and obnoxious – their host, reserved and gracious (but I could tell that she wanted to stab them with her chop sticks).

  8. I love that kind of passive aggression… all good about the marianas islands. Your comments on the grinding blog worked just as well:) Thanks!

  9. This is cool Bjorn. Thanks for the tips. I’m way too tempted by the spa/resort thing. Just when I thought I had narrowed down my options about what to do next. MAN!

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