Work Overseas: How you can Cool Foot through your life

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Why not engineer your life to create the adventure you crave? It’s not as outlandish as it may sound.  According to various studies in USA, UK and Australia we will change our career several times over our working life.  These studies from Linkedin, Investec and ABS show that reinvention on a global scale is the new work order.


Cool Footing is about travelling through your life, that is, using your life to travel.  The most obvious way to do this is to work overseas, get paid while you travel, live like a local, experience the true nature of a place.

The world now is a global village and working overseas may not be as daunting as you might expect.

Which Jobs Travel?

Getting work overseas depends on having skills and experience that are in demand and transferable.  There is a surprisingly diverse range of occupations that fit these criteria, they include:

Teacher (Secondary is in higher demand than primary)



Engineer:  software, electronic, mechanical, civil and mining




Tour Guide (English speaking)

Digital/ IT





Aged Care


TEFAL Teacher




Doctor/ Surgeon

Business development

Research and Development (green sciences)

This list is not exhaustive but represents those occupations most sought after by employers. It is worth noting that where you gained your qualifications and your nationality will impact your desirability as an employee.  Generally speaking you will have no problems if your qualifications are from UK, Australia, USA, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, or Ireland.

How to find work?

Recruitment is now a global business.  There are many specialised agencies for particular professions.  The site, Go Jobs Abroad is a good starting point as it will take you to these specialised recruiters for a whole bunch of professions.

When you’re reading through a position description it is important to take note of the terms and conditions of the job.  Many overseas jobs include relocation, accommodation, return flights, health insurance, and other allowances for yourself, spouse and a few children.  Many of these allowances will not be offered if you are in the country at the time a position is offered to you, so think about that before you start trying for jobs while on holiday in your desired destination.

Also look out for the length of the employment being offered.  If you’re unfamiliar with the country, I’d steer away from permanent positions.

Where should you go?

Choosing a destination is an important step in a move overseas.  Here are some factors you should consider in your decision:

  • Government stability
  • Personal freedom
  • Standards of services, particularly health
  • Safety: Law and Order
  • Language barriers
  • Taxation: Tax free is best. Here is a list of 11 tax free countries.
  • Degree of social isolation: An expat community can be very helpful when you’re in a strange land.

Who’s Hiring?

This is a difficult question to answer because it depends on what you’re offering in terms of skills.  It is possible to secure work in just about any country you can think of, but there are some countries that import more workers than others.  One of the biggest importers is United Arab Emirates.  Locals make up only about 20% of the population, the rest are expat workers.  Many Asian countries also import a lot of professionals.  Europe is a popular destination choice, but this means greater competition making work harder to secure.

The Dark Side

Of course, it’s not all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows, there are cons that need to be considered.

Red Tape and Costs:  To work in another country you will need to provide notarised copies of your qualifications, academic transcripts, and personal documentation before you go.  When you arrive, this paperwork will also all need to be translated into the host country’s language.  It feels like a second job while you’re going through the process, and it costs a few hundred dollars.  But, you only need to do it once.

Fear:  When you’re about to head off into the unknown you will feel scared and feel that you’re not getting all the information you need to feel secure in the process but keep your wits about you and trust the process.  Most employers will be very experienced in hiring from overseas and know what they’re doing.

What if you hate it?  There’s always a chance that you want to leave and most contracts will have a clause to accommodate a break of contract with no penalty.  If not, ask for one. But I say take that leap of faith, give it a go.  They say it’s not the things in life you do that you regret, but those you didn’t do.

Reality:  Living in a place gives you a rich, authentic experience, but it’s not always pretty.  When you live in a place you see beyond the tourist traps and into the soul of a place.  I’ve learned that every place has its underbelly: social and familial dysfunction, crime, addiction and corruption are regular features.  However, it’s this reality, this truth that makes a place human.  Humanity is in the flaws and we should not turn away from it, no matter how uncomfortable it makes us feel.

So, the next time you feel like you are just a cog, grinding away the years in your depressingly monotonous workplace, let your mind wander to how your skills could transfer to create a different reality and ask yourself: Why not?


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