As a follow up to my last post on some common jobs abroad, now we enter into some common jobs abroad that I, personally, have not done but have met folks who have. For me, I’ve noticed that the jobs below and the people who work them have certain dispositions that go well together, in addition to their pay grade. Although I have great optimism that you’ll be able to find something to do while abroad, I can’t guarantee that you’ll get what you want or how much you want. Anyway, here’s some info on other types of jobs abroad.
This work is most common in places such as Europe and Australia where there is a huge, well-travelled backpacking route that requires not only local input but outsider input as to what to see, do, eat, drink, etc. SE Asia has many hostel and you can find work there too, I know that one hostel I stayed in, Raizzy’s in Kuala Lumpur was always looking for someone to fill in. Northern Thailand, I was told, is similar in that regard. In any event, working in a hostel won’t always be easy since you’ll be dealing with people all day and always expected to be polite, professional, and tidy looking (even if you have tattoos.) These jobs, however, are rarely advertised and it’s best to stay in the hostel for a little bit to see if you like them and they like you, then inquire about jobs. Cleaning, service desk and reservations, tour guide, etc. hostel work requires a variety of skills and interaction abilities on your part while delivering service with a smile.
- Hostelworld.com and hostelbookers.com – Two of the leading hostel reservation systems in the world. Don’t list jobs but you can research your future digs before you commit to anything.
- TNT Down Under, Gumtree, Jobs4travellers – Lists jobs in Australia and New Zealand for backpackers
Scuba diving, mountain climbing, sky diving, Muay Thai or other martial arts, etc. They all fall under adventure sports. If there’s one license I wish I had gotten my first time through SE Asia it would’ve been my scuba diving license, particularly my open water license. Since travelling through SE Asia three years ago I’ve been very close to many of the “best dive spots” in the world only to shirk the opportunity because I didn’t want to pay for the course. Well, I’ve heard Koh Tao in southern Thailand offers a very reasonable rate for their scuba course and can be finished in a matter of days. Just about any coastal area will have dive resorts or clubs where you may be able to secure employment. Southern Thailand, Australia, and coastal South America hold the best spots for scuba schools. No point placing links here since there are so many that it will come down to you and your employer. Walk on up, present yourself professionally, and give them a good reason why they should hire you. The same goes for mountain climbing, though once you rack up some experience in this area of expertise, you may be able to join mountain climbing clubs in urban areas as well. As for the sky diving, I worked with one farmer (in his 20s) who had his pilot’s license and used to fly planes for a sky diving school in Australia. So there you go, flying airplanes is another idea. Finally, martial arts. You might’ve trained in Thailand or maybe even taken up some martial arts while teaching ESL or back home, well, you’re in luck. With the popularity of MMA fighting there is demand for knowledgeable and experienced instructors who can teach those methods to others. Not every body learns a martial art in order to reek devastation upon those who say boo to them. Rather, some folks enjoy the work out or prefer to have some sort of self-defense skill set just in case.
- PADI – world standard in scuba certification. You need this to go diving. I really want to get into diving for a variety of reasons but haven’t committed to the cause just yet.
- Alpine Club of Canada – Mountain climbing in Canada.
- Railay.com – Lots of folks recommended I go mountain climbing in Railay, Thailand. I haven’t yet, but this is the site I found about it.
- Chiang May climbing school – Based in northern Thailand.
- Basair, Air Canada Flight School, Transport Canada – Flight schools in Australia and Canada, there are lots more, especially in the US and Europe. I’m not sure which parts of the license are transferrable to other countries but the skill set is very similar. Transport Canada‘s website is useful for choosing a school.
- Rawai and Tiger are two popular Muay Thai schools based on Phuket, Thailand, but there are schools all over the place.
Similar to volunteering, internships aren’t paid but they are a way to get your foot in the door, so to speak. I’ve been told that there are many positions available in embassies and consulates around the world, the problem with those jobs is that they are usually available in countries off the beaten path. Great if you want a vastly different experience, but not something you’d be able to just land in Bangkok or Sydney and start working. In any event, lots of companies offer internships or even courses during which they’ll train you with an eye to keeping you around afterward. These are great if you already have an idea of what type of career you want, but won’t work out if you have none. (I fit into the last category, thank you very much.)
- Your country’s embassy or consulate abroad – Sometimes these offices need help from people from their own country to assist with local relations. Some are paid, some are not. If you’re already in the country and need a job it doesn’t hurt to give them a call and see what’s up. You may need to go through all sorts of clearances of course, but on-the-ground personnel is better than someone who’s half a world away.
- Your university or a company you want to work for – Internships are primarily aimed at folks who are fresh from university and need that experience. That being the case, they are available to anybody who’s qualified and interested. Your best bet is to check out the university you attended or find a company you want to work for and ask them if they have anything available. Offer your services for free, you’d be surprised what you can do.
Translation and interpretation
The first, translation, can be done online or in person. If you’ve done any travelling you may have noticed the variety of people you meet from all over the place and the common language is usually English. However, what if they don’t speak very good English or can’t read it very well, then they’ll need someone to help them. That’s where interpretation comes in. I met one Mexican lady who spoke fluent English and Spanish and, while staying in Koh Phi Phi, was able to secure freelance employment by way of translating for the Spanish-speaking travellers. FYI, there are huge amounts of Russians, French, Germans, Dutch and Spanish or Portuguese travellers in Thailand and some of them would love to hear their language spoken instead of relying on their knowledge of English or whatever the local language is. Above all, it helps to specialize in something, be it business, medical, etc.
- Translator’s Cafe – A forum for those looking for translation work.
- Proz.com – A network dedicated to translation work.
- Multilingual.com – A magazine for translator’s an interpreters.
- Fluent in 3 Months – To see how one guy has done translation work before, have a look through the website of Benny the Irish Polyglot, as he likes to call himself, where he discusses how you can become a location-independent translator.
Okay, I write but I certainly don’t make a living off of it. If you have dreams of being a travel writer with all the perks and pleasures therein included, get ready for some tough times. For every successful travel blogger making a go of it, there are
10 lots who’ve tried and failed. The key is to not give up and learn how to write great query letters, promote yourself as a business beneficial to company you’re targeting and, above all, be able to do the work. Sure taking a free trip is great, but remember you have to transform that great (or bad) trip into a readable format that meets the criteria of your editor and publisher. Oh, and if you think you’re going to travel the world on a round the world ticket only to arrive home and pen your version of Eat, Pray, Love, I think you really should consider what it takes to write a novel. Have you ever written before? Do you enjoy the process? Do you have a blog or write on a regular basis? (Hint, if you have a blog then much of your writing will be done by the time you get back. On the other hand, you’ll also have to spend time writing your blog which, at times, can take you out of the moment.) There are ways to succeed, it’s just not as simple as it sounds and will take far longer than you can possibly imagine. In any event, if you’re willing to have a go at it, check out these sites for more info.
- Blogging With Amy – Good site on becoming a better writer and how to make money online with your writing.
- Scott Berkun – This guy’s written numerous books and the advice on his website is valuable.
- Problogger – A website all about becoming a money-making blogger.
- Terrible Minds – A hilarious and very forth-right website from Chuck Wendig. Parental guidance is advised.
- Professional Hobo – A Canadian lady who’s made a living on the road for the last few years. Posts her income and expenses, too. Read how she started out after selling her own company. Interesting.
- Nomadic Matt – American guy who’s travelled the world for the last five years. He says he’s getting close to a tap out point but he’s made a living off of his blog for a few years now. Worth a look.