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Lorraine Justice, PhD Headshot

International Job Experience While You Wait

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If you are looking for a new job, or are currently unemployed, you might want to think "I could be an expat for a while!" In 2004, I was offered a position in Hong Kong that changed my life forever for the better. The best part is that I did not need to speak Mandarin or Cantonese as they teach in English in Hong Kong Universities and some of the primary and secondary schools.

There are various overseas positions where a second language is not required. Positions in English-speaking countries such as Australia, Canada, England, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, and South Africa, and many parts of Europe, do not always require a second language.

The other surprise is that they may be looking for your help. Many countries and companies are looking for people who can do various jobs that require English speaking skills such as editing, logistics, marketing products, teaching, and service for the tourist industry such as beauty and health services, and more. Large multinational companies often post overseas positions and will move you there and help apply for a visa, if needed. Check their websites regularly for overseas positions.

These overseas positions can offer precious work experience that will help you greatly if you want to resume your career in the US after a few years. More than money and career building, the other benefits are that you will understand another culture and yours as well. When I went to Hong Kong I thought I would learn about Asia, and I did, but what was ultimately more valuable was that I learned about the West and how we are as a culture. The insights keep coming, now a year after I have left Hong Kong.

International job experiences help you grow personally and professionally, but you do need a strong exit plan for when you return. Keep up your contacts in the States and go on interviews when you come back for visits or vacations, save money for a return as some companies are reluctant to fly job candidates in from overseas. If you go for that overseas job, don't forget to take a camera and enjoy the scenery.