What Are the Best Tips for Getting Jobs Overseas with No Experience?

Daniel Liden

Getting jobs overseas with no experience can be very challenging, particularly when language differences are an issue. There are, however, ways to get jobs overseas with no experience as long as one is not too picky about the type of work. The first step is making sure that working in a given country is legal, as issues with visas or citizenship can be major barriers to finding work. It is also beneficial to evaluate past work experiences, as some may be at least slightly related to work available overseas. If language is an issue, it can be beneficial to look for work at places that exist largely for the benefit of speakers of nonnative languages.

Focusing training on transferable skills might aid in getting a job overseas.
Focusing training on transferable skills might aid in getting a job overseas.

Taking the necessary steps to make sure that working in a given country is legal is an essential first step to finding jobs overseas with no experience. Even the most perfect job opportunity will be ruined if one is not legally able to work. The specific authorization necessary for work varies based on the length of and reason for a traveler's stay in a given country.

Many European countries that speak languages other than English have English-language bookstores.
Many European countries that speak languages other than English have English-language bookstores.

Though a traveler may lack experience directly related to available jobs, it is always good to evaluate all past professional experience. Many skills acquired in one line of work are transferable to another. At the very least, past work experience in unrelated fields can demonstrate to employers that the potential employee can stick to a schedule and has worked in professional settings in the past. Even non-work experiences may provide transferable skills that can help to secure jobs overseas with no experience.

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In many cases, language is one of the major barriers to finding jobs overseas with no experience. Many entry-level positions and service-industry jobs do not actually require much experience, but do require language proficiency. When language does make getting jobs overseas with no experience more difficult, looking for businesses based in the traveler's native language may be helpful. Many European countries that speak languages other than English, for instance, have English-language bookstores. On the other hand, proficiency in multiple languages can significantly help to get jobs overseas with no experience.

Networking can be very helpful when looking for work, particularly when experience is an issue. Friends, family, past employers, and others may have connections that could help with the search for jobs overseas with no experience. Exploring all of these options before starting one's travels can make the job search much easier.

Courier work is a common entry level job.
Courier work is a common entry level job.

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Discussion Comments

irontoenail

@bythewell - The other option, if you've got the time and ability, is to try and do some volunteering work in order to get the experience and pick up the language skills you need. If you're hoping to end up doing work on a farm, then try working as a volunteer on an organic farm. They often won't pay but will provide room and board in exchange for a few hours of work each day.

bythewell

@Ana1234 - I know often foreigners end up with jobs like that because they have no choice, but it should never be a situation that you seek out unless there's no alternative. You just have no protection in a situation like that, and there's precious little protection in a lot of countries for foreigners as it is.

If you are truly desperate for work, you might try doing seasonal jobs, like fruit picking, where they are used to hiring people with little experience and no language skills. Or doing something like dish-washing or cleaning. Any job where they just want you to show up and you don't need to interact with customers.

Ana1234

This might not be a popular opinion, but in my experience one of the best things to do is look for work outside of normal channels. Basically it's easier to get a job where you're being paid under the table rather than one where you are earning money through whatever system the country has in place.

You probably won't earn as much as a citizen would for the same job, but you will at least be earning something and getting some experience at the same time.

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