How Americans Can Find Work Abroad and Plan a Move


According to a recent Future of Working Abroad report from Internations, three in four Americans who have moved to a new country are satisfied with their jobs. online community of expatriates around the world.

With remote working becoming more common and helping people separate where they work from where they want to live, the share of those able to move abroad and chart a new career path could increase, said Internations CEO Malte Zeeck.

The Internations report, which takes into account 8,313 active expats living in 175 destinations, finds that 36% of American expats have moved abroad specifically for an employment-related reason. Of this share, 14% of Americans abroad found a new job on their own, 11% were sent by their employer, 9% were recruited from overseas, and 2% moved to create their own. business.

CNBC Make It spoke to Zeeck for his top tips for people looking to relocate and earn a living in a new country.

Become independant

Despite the low proportion of international entrepreneurs, Americans are much more likely to work as self-employed freelancers, 21%, compared to others around the world, 11%.

One in four works in education, including teaching English. Other leading industries for Americans abroad include work in IT and in marketing, advertising, and communications, which lend themselves well to the so-called digital nomad lifestyle of freelancers who can work from anywhere. no matter where.

Keep in mind that not all countries or workers are welcome to digital nomads, says Zeeck. The lifestyle has drawn criticism “due to the fact that some self-employed people try to avoid getting the right kind of visa or disobey local labor laws,” he said.

However, some countries including Bermuda, Croatia, Malta and Estonia have started offering visas and work permits aimed especially at digital nomadic workers, making it easier to manage bureaucracy and ensure that the move abroad is done according to the rules. “So starting your own online business and moving it overseas is another option for those who would rather be their own boss,” says Zeeck.

Find out about your employer’s international roles

While American expats are happy with their work overseas, a better work-life balance could come at the expense of limited opportunities for career advancement. Moving abroad can mean having to overcome a language barrier, navigating a limited local job market, or understanding how your degrees translate in a new country, says Zeeck.

But with greater acceptance of telecommuting during the pandemic, you could negotiate a permanent work-from-home situation and let your employer know about your intentions to move abroad.

Do your research to see if your employer has offices in other countries, or if it offers the possibility of going on a mission abroad. Your business may already have, or be willing to pay, a registered employer in your chosen destination, which is a business that takes care of the financial and legal procedures necessary to operate an office abroad. Also be realistic about the duration you, your partner and your family are ready to live in a new country, possibly chosen by your employer.

Then express your interest and explain how the arrangement would be mutually beneficial. On the one hand, your employer being able to retain yourself instead of hiring for your replacement, and you will be able to grow in your career and add value to the company.

“Think about how the assignment fits with your overall career path, what your employer can do to help you while you are abroad, and what you would like to do with your newly acquired skills and expertise once you are abroad. back in the United States, ”says Zeeck. .

You may also need to question their assumptions about the type of person who is ready to take on international work, he adds. For example, if you have a partner or a family, your employer may wonder if you can handle your move abroad and your professional installation while dealing with the challenges of relocation. “You should take these implicit biases into consideration and subtly integrate into your argument why they shouldn’t be a cause for concern,” Zeeck said.

Finally, think about what expenses your employer should cover as part of your move and how much of the salary and benefits you’re willing to renegotiate or forgo. “If you are shown to be knowledgeable about your potential destination and willing to negotiate your compensation, it might already impress decision makers,” he says.

Get recruited internationally

The key to being hired by an international employer lies in networking, says Zeeck.

First, make sure your professional networking and social media profiles are up to date. Highlight any previous work experience, as well as soft and technical skills, which show your adaptability. For example, you might have already been tasked with moving to a new city and starting a department from scratch for your business. Take note of any internationally recognized professional certificates or accreditations, and if you speak a foreign language that could help you settle in a new country.

You can search for international positions that interest you to ensure that your professional summary, skills and experience match what is requested in the job descriptions.

Then follow and engage with companies and business influencers in the markets that interest you, says Zeeck. You can also search for trade associations in the places you hope to settle, and then attend relevant online events with an international target audience to connect with new people there.

“If you really want to move abroad, it’s probably best to incorporate all of these activities into an active job search,” says Zeeck, “otherwise, being hired by a company exactly where you’d like to move involves great good luck. Having all of these international industry contacts will also maximize your chances of landing a job you are actively applying for, although no headhunter, recruiting agency, or HR manager should ever contact you. “

Find a new job that will allow you to work internationally

If you are not able to relocate with your company, work as a freelance or get recruited from abroad, you can find a new job abroad on your own. In addition to searching for employers and positions in the country of your choice, Zeeck says more people are turning to remote-first jobs that aren’t location dependent. A majority of 78% of U.S. expats say they can work remotely in their current job overseas, and about half telework full time.

But keep in mind that working remotely is not always working from anywhere. Due to tax and labor laws, an employer may be limited in hiring someone who lives in the same state or city as the company’s headquarters, and crossing international borders makes things even better. more complicated.

So if you are looking for an international remote job, be sure to narrow your search to a company based or present where you want to relocate. Or you can join an entirely remote employer who is in compliance to hire from anywhere in the world.

To verify:

The top 10 countries where expats are the most satisfied with work, life and the cost of living

Here’s how expats living in the United States rate work-life balance, cost of living, and overall happiness

US workers are among the most stressed in the world, new Gallup report finds

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