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Tips for Finding a Job Abroad

Global Japan, 1
This is a guest post by Linda Beltran.

I′m a California girl living and working in Tokyo.  I had never aspired to move to a foreign country to make a living — never even dreamed about it, but, here I am.  And, in the year since I left the States, the question that I am asked the most is, "How do I get a job abroad?"  I wish I had a no-fail answer, but I don′t.  So, instead, I share these helpful hints"¦

Be flexible. Don′t declare, "I am going to move to London, and no other destination will do!"  Search positions, not countries.  However, if you have reason to be in a specific part of the world, research companies that have branches in your city of choice.

Be qualified. Visions of tax-free living (which doesn′t mean you don′t have to file U.S. taxes, by the way), isn′t reason enough to look abroad for work.  You must have a definite skill and enough experience to "back it up."  Keep in mind, when a company hires from outside the country, they must demonstrate why a foreigner is more qualified to do that job versus a national.  For example, when I applied for my Visa, the Japanese government required that I show 10 years proof of consecutive employment to demonstrate that I was qualified to do my job.

Be realistic. Yes, you hear stories of people arriving in a foreign country armed with only a "visitor′s" visa, finding a job and living happily ever after.  This is the exception, not the norm!  Some countries — and they all vary — have very specific visa restrictions, and are especially mindful of the "pretences" by which you enter their county.  Further, most everything you do once you arrive in a foreign country requires a "sponsor," so even renting an apartment without the proper paperwork and "sponsor" (i.e. employer) can be very problematic.

Having said all that, let me also encourage anyone looking for work abroad to also be hopeful, be persistent and be patient

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.  If the expat life is in your future, it will come to pass, and it will be an amazing experience — it has been for me!

Linda Beltran is the Director of Public Relations for a five-star, luxury hotel in Tokyo Midtown.  She′s a native of California who, before coming to Japan, had never had sushi"¦she′s a convert now!

Photo credit: Bilabialboxing

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