Work Overseas


passport immageSearching for an international job and moving overseas is one of the biggest steps a person can take in a lifetime.  There are many resources and methods available to assist you in your search:

  • Company transfers overseas
  • international recruiters
  • Internet job postings

The most direct approach to securing a position overseas is to inquire if your company has international positions Work Overseasavailable and apply for a transfer.  This may not always be possible depending on your company size, but it is a simple first step that is often overlooked.  Even if the company you work for has nothing to offer at the moment, ask to be considered the next time something opens up in your area of expertise.  Also, don’t overlook the possibility that a parent company, subsidiary or associated business partner might have positions available internationally.  The only way to really know is to research and ask the right questions.

To widen your search, consider utilizing the networking resources available to you in your industry:


  • International openings at a competitor
  • Word of mouth intelligence from colleagues
  • Industry trade shows
  • International recruiters

Once you begin to narrow in on an opportunity that has promise, it is time to do your homework outlining your expectations and researching the region, culture, local cost of living as well as immigration regulations for the necessary visas and foreign work permits.

  • Project Visa provides information regarding visitor’s visas and foreign work permits. It is a free service and includes virtually every country in its data base.
  • Work Permit.com offers information for working in 18 highly sought countries located in Europe, North America and the Pacific.
  • US Department of State provides Links to Embassies situated in the United States for direct information regarding visas and work permits.
  • Expat Exchange is a comprehensive source of information with a large range of topics listed by country and subject. There is even a Global Forum available for inside information on your destination of choice.

Just Starting your Career? 

first international jobNo need to worry.  Many countries are actively seeking low-skilled workers and have work permits allocated for that purpose.  The European Union has released a Guide for Unskilled Workers.  Canada, New Zealand and Australia have labor shortages in selected industries and provide corresponding work permits.  Singapore, Scandinavia and South Africa regularly post notices for open work categories.  Check with the official website for each country for notices and guidelines.


Do not attempt to work in a foreign country without first acquiring the proper work permit and visa. It is usually illegal and the consequences can be serious resulting in deportation as well as exclusion from the country for an extended period of time.

hand notesChecklist

  1. Explore the international job options available in your current work situation such as overseas transfers with your direct employer or parent company
  2. Widen your search if necessary to include competitors, industry associates and international recruiters
  3. Outline your expectations for an overseas job and evaluate the effect on you, your career and your family
  4. Research promising positions for immigration requirements regarding necessary work permits and visas

zzurich international airportSummary

Actively seeking an international job is a big step in one’s career. It can appear intimidating initially, but there are many resources available to break the task into manageable segments.  The potential rewards are significant.  Not only will an overseas posting enhance one’s career and work related experience, living abroad provides personal growth opportunities and challenges associated with confronting a new environment and culture.

Good luck and happy hunting!