This article was originally published on GoAbroad.
Graduation is looming on the horizon, or maybe the daily grind 9-to-5 is starting to wear down on you. You need a change of pace and a serious change of scenery. Still wondering if finding a job abroad makes sense for you? Here are some telltale signs you might be ready for that international job!
Sign #1: Your apartment search radius covers multiple continents.
We’ve all done it. What’s the harm in taking a peek at the apartment listings in that other neighborhood? Or for that matter, another country?
If your daily (social) media intake includes multiple Google street views of apartments around the world and staring wistfully at your Airbnb saved listings, it could be time for a reality check. More than likely, it’s time for you to transport yourself (not the little yellow Google guy) to that neighborhood you’ve been virtually exploring in another country.
So quit your wistful wish-listing; find yourself that dream studio in Barcelona or that shared flat in London, and hop on the train to living and working abroad. Also, remember that at some point you’ll probably find yourself in one of the many other kinds of accommodation options for travelers — hola host fam!
Sign #2: You keep rearranging your furniture.
Sometimes you just have to shake things up. But if you’ve moved your stuff around multiple times and still feel out of place, you might benefit from a change of scenery altogether.
Surprisingly, getting an international job made me feel even more rooted and appreciative of my current home. While living and working abroad, we’re more inclined to look around, notice things, and take advantage of what the world has to offer. You might find that this curiosity and motivation to explore stays with you, such that you feel more in tune with your surroundings when you return.
Who knows? During your adventures working abroad you might also find that one rug that really ties the room together, and solve your feng shui problem once and for all.
Sign #3: You open every email from GoAbroad, Lonely Planet, and AFAR.
Statistically speaking, you aren’t that likely to open most of your e-newsletters, so if you’ve been reading everything from Lonely Planet, AFAR, Matador Network, and GoAbroad, I’m guessing you’re anticipating a move overseas sometime soon, or at least daydreaming about the possibility.
GoAbroad's newsletter and our articles are great for learning about the many ways you can not only visit a destination, but go a little deeper by finding a job abroad. It’s important to hear from previous travelers who have worked abroad before picking up and leaving home.
It might feel like there’s more glory or adventure in just winging it (and no doubt you’ll be figuring out a lot as you go), but by reading and thoroughly weighing your options you’ll be taking an important step to setting yourself up for a successful experience, and making the most of your international job.
Sign #4: You feel like you need to save just a little more money before you travel.
Gotta save that cash money first? If so, you might be a prime candidate for working abroad, and sooner than you think. Earning money and traveling don’t have to be mutually exclusive. In fact, you can find international jobs in many industries that are ready to hire right now. There are so many options to work internationally, not just to make travel cost effective, but which actually allow you to fund your adventures along the way.
Money can be a big roadblock to travel, but if you have the flexibility to leave your current home, you could very well find international jobs in your new home abroad and start making money right away.
Sign #5: You spend more time planning your next trip than focusing on the present.
But the pre-travel planning stages of finding international jobs can be a lot of fun. Some of us like to browse flight search engines, outline hypothetical itineraries, and ogle at Google Images results for the next city on GoAbroad's travel bucket list. There’s a whole lot of exploring we can do online before we buy a ticket, the risk of course being that we're distracted from the here and now. The question, then, is how you get back to the here and now?
BONUS: 3 International job fields that are hiring RIGHT NOW
1. Teaching English
Have you taught or tutored English before? You might be cut out for teaching English abroad, something many of your peers are already doing on six continents. Many organizations offer support and international job placement for teachers, so you don’t have to go blindly into the classroom.
2. Working Holidays
Take a working holiday! For example: an open ended experience in another country, usually up to one year, that lets you take on seasonal jobs to earn money. This is a great option for working abroad after college, before jumping head first into your career. Working holidays may even help guide you to your dream career! Tens of thousands of young adults are funding their travels in countries like Australia, Canada, Ireland, and New Zealand by working in restaurants, cafes, farms, hotels, and offices.
3. Au Pair
Have a ton of babysitting experience and looking for a paying host family to support in another country? Try an au pair program – many countries have visas that allow for live-in child care experiences, letting you earn a stipend and see a new country through the eyes of locals! It really puts the living in living and working abroad.
Time to try on the expat life!
"How often we hear the merits of living in the present, and yet how our minds wander to another time and place."
As with any problem (but especially your furniture problem), there could be a local solution — some rearrangement of your daily routine that helps bring your mind back to the present moment. Or it could be you’re genuinely called to explore and you just need to undertake that tiny but all powerful motion: clicking the Confirm Booking button for that working abroad program.
James is an education abroad professional whose career was launched at 12,000 feet, outside the Indian Himalayan village of Phey, Ladakh. He manages the InterExchange Working Abroad department and lives in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.