So you’ve upped sticks to follow the love of your life to a new country, and when the initial euphoria wears off you realize that you still have to deal with some of life’s great necessities.
First off, your savings have run out and you really need to get a job. Let’s assume that you speak enough of the local language to maintain a social conversation, but not enough to hold down an office job or a client-facing role.
Finding a job doesn’t have to be difficult
There are plenty of job options out there for new arrivals. Don’t be disheartened if you can’t communicate too well, getting a job will help your language learning come along leaps and bounds.
In many developing countries the job market is largely informal, and there are plenty of casual opportunities. This is more likely if you are in a place that is popular with tourists, as there will always be more demand for your skills.
For example let’s imagine that you have moved to a beach town in Mexico, with a smattering of bars, restaurants and hostels aimed at visiting foreigners. One of the easiest employment opportunities you will find is as a waiter or a barman serving clients that aren’t necessarily from Mexico. Anyone with a grasp of English is a valuable commodity in areas where there are lots of visitors from the United States or other English-speaking countries.
This logic also extends to hostels and hotels. If you don’t want to be out late and you prefer to work a desk job, manning the reception desk can be a great option. Many of these jobs will pay you in accommodation and food, but you can always negotiate a cash payment if that’s what you prefer.
Progression is possible
These kinds of jobs are a great way of getting your foot on the ladder in your new home. While you may be serving certain customers in English, there will most likely be other members of staff with whom you can practice the local language.
If you commit to studying a language, practice it at work and at home with your partner, you should be able to make quick progress. For the ambitious among you, it’s time to start thinking about moving up the employment ladder.
Freshly bolstered by your new language skills, you could consider giving classes in your native language to local students. This is an even better option if you come from an English-speaking country or have near native fluency in English.
All over the world, people young and old are clamoring to learn the global lingua franca. In many areas there are English schools where you can apply for a job, or if not you can always advertise private tutoring. You may even find that some of your partner’s family and friends are willing to pay for lessons!
Stick with it and reap the rewards
Another option is to leverage the awesome power of the internet. To stick with the English teaching example, there are plenty of websites that offer to match online tutors with students from around the world. The hours might be slightly different than normal if your pupils are in a different time zone, but the pay can be decent.
As your language skills continue to improve, you may want to consider applying for jobs in your field. Many expats find that their skills are highly valuable in local job markets, and their expertise can often lead to high-paying jobs.
Of course this advice will vary widely depending on your particular qualifications and the country that you move to. However if you find yourself with few options and need a job fast, following this progression could help you keep the wolves from the door.
In some instances it might seem that getting a job is an impossible task, but remember that many countries are far less regulated than the United States and Europe. Once you’ve got yourself some gainful employment, however casual, the most important thing to remember is that hard work translates into every language.
Applying yourself properly and being willing to learn is the only way to get ahead in any society. Do so and you will soon find yourself carving out a new life for yourself far away from home.