Whilst soon-to-be retirees have it relatively easy in that they are about to be in a position where they can up sticks and move abroad whenever the mood takes them, the rest of us who are still of working age and who have a long way to go before there is enough in our pension pots for us to even contemplate a retirement, the dream of going to live abroad is a lot harder to reconcile in one’s mind.
With going to live abroad there is the thought of having to find a job or at least some means of paying the rent and the bills – so if you really want to live overseas and you really don’t want to wait until you’re 65 to do so, what are you practical options?
In this article we’ll look at what are arguably the 6 most portable careers so that if you’re already in one you can plan your relocation already, but if you need to re-skill you can start the process now and get in a position where you’re able to expatriate in the very near future.
Whilst the UK’s housing market maybe on a mega downturn with some of the largest constructors trying to sell of their banked land to weather the storm, other nation’s around the world have healthy commercial and residential market sectors where there is plenty of construction still occurring. If you’re a professional in the construction industry in the UK and you’d like to work abroad, the good news is that British qualifications and standards are regarded highly around the world.
Job opportunities are available at all levels all across the world – whether you’re an unskilled labourer, a civil engineer, plumber or even an architect, chances are your skills are transferrable overseas. In some countries there are even skills shortages – look at the list that Canada, Australia and New Zealand regularly update for skills requirements and see if you’re eligible for emigration to one of those countries. If you prefer to stay closer to home, many of the newer EU member states are actively constructing and also have a very poorly regulated industry meaning that it’s actually easy to find a job. Construction is therefore one of the most transferable careers at the current time.
From banking to selling insurance or investments, those with a background in financial services find that when the good times are rolling it is exceptionally easy to find work abroad. Yes, you may have to learn the standards of the nation you relocate to, but your background and experience in the UK will stand you in good stead. What’s more, the financial services industry at its core is the same the world over. Which may be why he world’s economies are in such dire straits at the moment of course! Now may not be the best time to be looking for a job in financial services, but then again, it is one of the more portable careers so if you’re facing redundancy in the UK, why not look further afield and have a break abroad as well as have a new working experience overseas. When the good times roll again, which they will, know that yours is a great career to have if you want to be mobile and flexible and travel the world!
If you’re skilled in IT or ICT then the world could well be your oyster! There is such a skills shortage the world over for those who have skills, qualifications and above all else, experience and a proven track record in IT, that if you want to work abroad in almost any industry, chances are you will find a vacancy. You have to hunt jobs sites and potentially target employers, but as stated, if you really do have the ability – or the knack – then you need to know that yours is one of the best careers in terms of portability, flexibility and also long-term career prospects and pay. Therefore what on earth are you waiting for? Explore the world, live and work abroad doing exactly what you know and are good at.
Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)
Many people think that TEFL is the easy option in terms of skilling up for a job abroad. Yes, you can do correspondence courses online for very little money and come out with some sort of certificate at the end of it, but if you don’t skill up and train with a recognised international standard school, your time, effort and money will be all but wasted. Cambridge and Trinity are probably the best standards of course to sign up for as theirs are the most widely recognised qualifications around the world. So, if you do want to teach English abroad, make sure your get the right qualifications that really will allow you to travel.
If you have a country in mind, look at the language schools and places that you might like to teach, contact them in advance of signing up for any course and find out what qualifications and level of experience they would like you to have. You can then tailor your study and work experience accordingly.
This is a word that covers a very broad spectrum of job opportunities from the very low skilled and seasonal ones to specifically qualified ones working at various tourism centres around the world. So, if you fancy doing a season as a chalet maid in the winter in Chamonix and then heading off to do a bar job in Ibiza for the summer, perhaps tourism would suit you. Alternatively, if you have qualifications and skills in the travel and tourism industry, you speak a foreign language and you’re experienced working in a hotel or holiday resort, again, perhaps the international world of tourism related professions would suit you? Another option is to look at is nations with fledgling tourism industries where there is a skills and knowledge gap and where you can perhaps market yourself as an expert and help the country in question broaden its appeal and raise its profile.
Translation and Interpretation Services
If you’re fluent in a second and preferably third language then you have a very good chance of working overseas as a translator, or better still, an interpreter. Interpreters earn well, translators don’t earn quite so well – but both roles are highly flexible and both careers very transferrable too. If you’re good at languages this type of career option could be very appealing to you as it will allow you to focus on something you’re naturally gifted at, whilst allowing you to travel and make practical use of your skills and get paid for it!
Finally, if you are thinking of living and working abroad we completely understand what’s driving your thinking. It is certainly possible to make a whole new life overseas for yourself and also for your family too, you just have to have a good plan and work hard to make all the elements of the plan fall into place.