Sipping coconuts on the beach, blow-up unicorns dancing in the ocean, laptop pictures by the beach, a flowing dress wandering through a myriad of colorful buildings…
What other stereotypical pics can we think of for those living it up with the jet-set lifestyle?
We’ve all seen it.
Person 1: *posts super awesome travel pic*
Person 2: *instantaneously envies/hates the person*
UH! Those bitches…amirite?
Wait… I do this too! I’m one of those bitches! Ekkkk! Oh god… *embarrrrraaaassing*
Whoaaa now. Let’s not get worked up because I can tell you, NO, that’s not their life, that’s not my life. There’s way way more to it…
While I may post pretty pictures on my Instagram, because of the end of the day, Instagram is all about beauty, this blog’s main purpose is to show all the work that goes into traveling perpetually and the work that we do to afford it.
I randomly get up on my soapbox and scream the words, “TRAVEL TAKES WORK,” numerous times on my social media outlets and on this blog, and it’s that time again!
Not everyone wants to talk about it and that’s fine, but I just need you to know those perfect moments captured in a picture are 99.8% from people who work their asses off. The other .02% are just plain rich or are posing.
So how does one concoct the perfect mixture of travel and work? Well, I wouldn’t say my mixture is perfect, and I work a f*ck ton, but I’m happy doing what I do. I’ve been living and working abroad for over six years now and there’s no sight of me quitting anytime soon.
The whole point of my blog is to offer up opportunities to travel more by working abroad so that others who feel the need to soak in the world can do the same… without being rich.
But how do you work abroad without experience? Perhaps many of you are discouraged because you think you can’t do it, you don’t qualify and you don’t even know where to begin to start gaining experience for a job that interests you.
I totally get it! It’s one thing to aim for the job back home that maybe you’re not qualified for because at least you’re surrounded by the comforts of your hometown and if you don’t get that job, only you know about it.
But abroad? That’s so scary! No way, dude!
Everyone will know you got on a plane to try to get a job abroad without experience AND FAILED.
And the F word is scary AF. Nobody wants to F.A.I.L. and have everyone know it…
I totally understand. Travel itself is a bit scary but trying to work abroad without experience on top of that is terrifying.
Not anymore… I know you can do it! Hopefully, this post helps you build up the courage and give you the tools to get over that fear. Let’s get on this…
How to Work Abroad Without Experience
Getting work abroad doesn’t take a miracle. It just takes… work! How do I even know what paid work abroad is out there?
“Work abroad” can be done in various countries around the world.
“Work anywhere” is a remote position so just grab a laptop and a wifi connection, and you’re sorted!
There are more but these are the most popular…
What Do You WANT To Do For Work Abroad?
So what job abroad do you think you want? What job overseas
can you obtain do you want to obtain? Don’t worry about the “can” we know you can because you’re a badass and can make things happen!
What job do you really want?
What if there isn’t a job that you REALLY want but you’re willing to do for the sake of travel. Becuase travel is life.
If this is you, you’re in luck because this was me too at the beginning.
I’m going to give you plenty of examples so you can feel what it’s like to be in my shoes and how I started with ZERO experience with the multiple jobs I obtained abroad in just a sec.
>>> So what is the job? Do you have one in mind? Awesome. Hang on to that thought.
Gathering the Tools Needed for Your Job Abroad
So first, you’ll need to do some digging. What is required for you to get this job? Here are a few examples I’ll be using in this post:
Dive instructor – Be certified as an open water diver, dive rescue, and emergency instructor and have 100+ dives is the basis for being an instructor.
Yoga instructor – Be dedicated to the practice and become a yoga instructor by completing the proper training.
Graphic designer – Get the tools, research, learn, take a course, and practice it. Then show what you can do with your skills to gain jobs.
>>> What are some of the requirements for the job you’ve chosen? What would it take for you to obtain this job and actually start getting paid for it? You don’t need exact times or anything, just write down or think about the requirements you would need to obtain.
Uhm, Nina… wtf. I thought you were going to tell me how to work abroad WITHOUT experience. This all seems like a lot of work and I need to have experience! I want to do this, like, tomorrow, please. Thanks!
Well, that’s where the problem begins…
Are You Willing to Work, to Work Abroad?
You might not like this next point but no matter what, you’ll need to gain the experience to actually have work abroad without experience.
You have to WORK to WORK.
Meaning, you have to work towards the goal of being a _____ before you can actually work as a ____.
Wait! Don’t click off this post yet…
There’s no fairytale land where you can get a good job without meeting any requirements or having some type of experience. Unfortunately.
I mean, think about it. Would you want to dive with an instructor that has zero experience? Would you listen to a yoga teacher who told you to do the downward dog pose while holding your breath? What about getting a graphic designer who has never heard of Photoshop to make you a logo?
These would probably result in catastrophic endings, right? You’d hurt yourself, get a crappy result, and actually, possibly die! All situations we’re trying to avoid, right?
So let’s take a step back and look at the big picture. These instructors and people who provide services all had to start somewhere, right? They weren’t born knowing how to do these things unless they were some child prodigy and even then…
The point of all this? You need to learn and work towards what it is that you want to do. Again, we have to work to work. If you start today imagine where you could be tomorrow? One day closer to getting the job you want… And now 3 months have passed, you’re 3 months closer to getting the job you really want.
You need to manifest the job you dream of.
>>> What would you need to do to start working towards the job you want? One year of courses? A 3-month online course and then obtain a certification? Just start teaching yourself and develop skills over a year or so before applying for jobs? What steps can you take to make this job happen, starting today?
“OMG, Nina, you’re the worst. I’m trying to travel you, dummy. I don’t want to work that hard to obtain these jobs! Gimme a job abroad without experience! Now! I’m trying to travel here!”
Wait for it…
Where Can You Gain the Experience to Work Abroad?
Ah, here’s the best part. Yes, I get it, it’s going to be hard work to get these jobs and it’s going to take a lot of practice, learning, dedication, and concentration, but we haven’t discussed WHERE you can spend the time to gain this experience.
And that’s the beauty of it all… You can do it nearly anywhere.
That’s right, you can live abroad or travel or stay at home if you wanted to gain this experience. You can do most of these things anywhere!
Where does yoga come from? India. How about learning how to be a yoga instructor there? Diving needs an ocean, duh! How about get your course done in Bali or Thailand? Graphic design? Well, you can learn that online and then continue working online for clients and guess what? Pretty much most of the world has wifi!
These are just random examples, I don’t teach yoga, dive, or know anything about graphic design, but I know for a fact that’s how you can get into those fields. I’ve met people who have done these exact things in my travels. It’s 100% possible and there are heaps more jobs that can be done in a similar way.
>>> Where can you start learning about the job you want? Can you travel while doing it online? Do you move to another country to study the craft?
The Easy Way Out: Positions That Will Get You Work Abroad Without Experience ASAP
OK, for those who are a bit lazy or maybe for those who want to do something sooner while they work towards a goal, let’s discuss some of the easier options so you can get abroad sooner and worry about the REAL ‘job abroad without experience’ problem a bit later.
Teaching English abroad was pretty darn easy. I got a job abroad without experience and even turned down some work! So you can go that route if you’d like. Especially in Thailand/Asia. There’s so much extra free time to work on other things while teaching.
Exchange your time
Another option is to look for ways to cut back costs and do things for exchange. Have a green thumb? Handy work experience? Willing to work at a hostel? Cool with doing random manual labor? Willing to nanny? Milk cows? Like, pretty much up for anything?
Well, you rarely need tons, if any, experience to do some of that work and you can do that work in exchange for housing costs and sometimes even food. If you’re lucky, there’s some cash under the table waiting for you too, not to mention you CAN get paid for these jobs! But finding work exchanges are sometimes easier and more “transient friendly.”
This will get you abroad ASAP and will prevent you from using much of the money you save prior to going abroad. Do this in the meantime and work on gaining experience in something else (Example, garden during the day, don’t shell money out for food and shelter, and at night take your graphic design course.) More on this here.
Something You Know
Obviously, another easy option that I kind of mentioned above is if you had experience doing something already—Do that thing abroad! Even if you didn’t like it, it would get you paid work abroad for the moment and again, work toward something else.
Lastly, the last easy thing you can do, that I can think of, is getting a working holiday visa and going abroad. Depending on where you’re from, there are a few different choices.
So what jobs can you do here? I dunno, you’ll have to go find out. But things like waitressing (what I did) you rarely need experience! Even working in retail, if you have a bubbly personality you can fake it enough to get a job! You can get a job abroad without experience quite easily this way.
You don’t need special experience to get jobs abroad. Most people doing this started without knowing anything! No joke. I’m one of them. I had no idea I would be doing this years down the road. It’s totally possible if you put your mind to it.
And What About Me? Did I Work Abroad Without Experience?
I sure did!
Here’s a run down of the jobs I’ve had and literally ALL of them were new to me when I started…
I started out as an English teacher. My Bachelor’s degree was in Criminal Justice and International Affairs. Yeah… Nothing to do with teaching at all!
I took a course online while I was still saving money back home, got certified, got a job abroad without experience in Thailand and then down the line, I even got a job teaching online! Teaching online DID require experience, but since I had the experience “in the field” (Thailand) I was hired by multiple companies, made more money and obviously working online made my travels more flexible.
I eventually moved into freelance writing and started blogging for ESL and travel websites and even helped to curate content for an English learning phone app. Uhm, making a phone app!? Do I even need to repeat how inexperienced I was? I had like, negative experience in this… But I did it and I did it well, and best of all I was making money and actually I really enjoying it.
WRITING AND WEBSITES
What about writing, blogging, and travel writing for publications and random clients? Uhm yeah, did you see my majors? I had no idea how to write (maybe I still don’t?) and I never studied anything about it.
I had no idea how to make a website or how to run one. No less figuring out SEO, upping my DA, following Googles guidelines, understanding SERP sheets and researching keywords, and uhm yeah… I’ll stop there and don’t bother trying to even understand that sentence. It took me years to get it all…and I’m still learning!
But guess what? I get paid to write now and I run this website 100% solely by myself. This font I’m typing with, the colors on the site, my logo, my entire design on this website was done by ME. Nobody else. And I literally knew NOTHING about building, running and designing websites.
PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEOGRAPHY
I’m delving further into photography now. I didn’t know what aperture, shutter speed or ISO meant not that long ago. Now I’m teaching myself how to take pictures properly. SO much goes into it, you’d be shocked.
I want to eventually get paid for my pictures. Which I have dabbled in already! But I didn’t sell them for much because they weren’t very professional.
Oh, and I saved up some money to upgrade my gear to capture those better shots. I’m investing in my future both in terms of learning and equipment to get where I want to go.
My boyfriend, Garrett, has taught himself everything he knows about photography and videography. He didn’t have any experience at all, he just loved it and wanted to do it. Now, just a couple of years after dedicating his everything into this, his awesome videos are getting him sponsored trips, awesome travel opportunities and even recently got a sponsored 2-week trip and got paid cash for his videography skills.
He now carries about $15,000 worth of equipment and is literally a backpack producer. He can create essentially anything you could want with his equipment and his skills are getting better every day, which means more paid work abroad is coming.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND DIGITAL MARKETING, WEBSITE EDITOR
Uhm what? How did I end up here? I’m helping others run their website and social media now and helping them up their blogging game… And I’m getting PAID to do this…
Do I need to say it again? I had ZERO experience with any of this stuff!
How Did I Do All This on My Own?
Have we been paying attention? I taught myself. I tirelessly Googled my ass off and taught myself everything I know now.
I fought for the jobs I’ve got, grew balls and applied even when I thought I wasn’t good enough.
I vehemently read and researched every day and I crave learning more. I’m still teaching myself! Learning is a never-ending and beautiful process.
When I look back and remember my old website and how I used to write… I laugh. It was horrid! But now? I’m getting sponsored travel, making money through my blog, and working with other amazing people in this field and GROWING every day and SEEING that growth and what it’s getting me! And I’ve found my way to save money abroad while doing all the things I love… Oh, yeah, and this is ALL PAID work abroad.
It’s infectious and there’s never a day where I will say, OK I’m done learning and growing. I’m fine here… Because complacency will never get you anywhere in life.
The whole point of this? I now LOVE what I do and I’m getting paid for it.
Getting a job abroad without experience is possible if you’re willing to gain the experience and to work towards it. Once the ball starts rolling, it really starts rolling!
For getting paid work abroad without experience, it all comes down to how dedicated you are to doing something. Go after it…
It’s literally what changed my life. If it wasn’t for getting on a plane to teach English in Thailand, I wouldn’t be where I am today, this blog wouldn’t exist, and I’d likely still be miserable behind a desk in Tampa, Florida.
You Could Be Skilled and Not Even Know It…
Hells yeah, my friend! I bet you’re skilled already!
Did I even in a million years think that my waitressing experience from back in the day would come in handy again? Nope, Or my ancient experience working in retail? Not at all! But guess what? I just saved over $17,000 living and working in Australia waitressing and working at a retail store. That’s not a typo and no, it wasn’t in Rupees. That’s $17,000 USD doing “whatever jobs” in another country. And I SAVED that in ten months.
>>> What skills do you have already? Can these be used to your advantage to start getting a job abroad or remote friendly work?
What’s up with Remote Jobs Abroad?
There are SO MANY! Like I can’t even name them all. Remember, I wrote a pretty detail blog post on some of those jobs, so here it is again to check out.
Think about all the jobs that just require a computer and wifi.
Can you obtain the job you’re currently working right now but with a company that offers it as a remote position? Look into it!
More and more companies are realizing they don’t need to house people in offices. It saves the company money and makes the worker feel like they have more of a life when they can work from anywhere. It’s something to think about!
Questions You Should Be Asking Yourself to Get Paid Work Abroad Without Experience:
- What do I have experience doing?
- What do I really want to do?
- Can I do something that is remote or mobile?
- Is it relatively easy for me to do? (I don’t mean easy as in you can do it tomorrow, or with little effort, I mean easy as in you can take a relatively inexpensive course or can do a free online learning course or it’s something that’s really needed and you can learn on site – like teaching English… That kind of “easy”)
- Do I have experience with a specialty that is needed in another country? Think very niche subjects here. For example, I met a radiologist from Ireland who was getting paid MAD MONEY living and working in Australia because her specialty was very much needed. She had a special work visa provided as well and was saving money. What about if you’ve had experience being a secretary? Do you know how many people are hiring virtual assistants these days?
- What seasonal work can you do? This is HUGE. Maybe the job won’t last all year but more times than not seasonal work can pay more. So even if you’re only working a few months out the year, if you stockpile that money it can take you pretty far and it will be a job to have year after year at the same time of year which is easy to plan around.
- Skills that are needed that people will pay or exchange something for. An example of this is maybe you’re a handyman? Some people will give you free food and shelter for some work around the house. Maybe even some cash under the table. You won’t be rolling in the dough but you can maybe do it while working toward something else.
- Possibly the most important question — How much money do you need to save? Before hopping into new endeavors that won’t be paying you right away, make sure you have some cash stowed away.
Write these answers out. Brainstorm. It sounds dumb but I know it works.
Main Points for Finding Paid Work Abroad Without Experience:
- Make sure you have some cash saved.
- Google your face off educating yourself on the job.
- Take whatever courses or certifications needed to obtain the job. (Remember these can often be done abroad/online!)
- Start obtaining experience in some way. unpaid, internships, teaching yourself, doing side projects, working for less to build a portfolio… Whatever.
- Apply, apply, apply… Grow balls and gun for jobs you want and don’t be shy.
- Become a badass and achieve what you wanted – getting paid work abroad without experience that you worked really hard for. You may pat yourself on the back now.
I have lots of goals in mind and I’m going to work towards them day after day because nobody is going to hand me the life I want. I have to work for it. Complacency isn’t for me so I’ll take the dive into the unknown to find out what else is out there.
Are you willing to take the dive? To take risks? Are you willing to do something hard to find what you want out of life?
What life are you willing to work for? Are you not only willing to find work abroad without experience BUT are willing to work for that experience to get ahead?
I hope this was motivating and helpful!
Please comment, what do we think? Did I miss a point? Have something you want my advice on? Let me know!
Pins for my fellow pinners!
Nina Ragusa is an adventurer, messy bun master, breakfast fan, and full-time travel blogger. She’s been abroad and epically failing at the American Dream since 2011. Her sassy yet informative blog, Where in the World is Nina? is all about how to work abroad to live a more adventurous life. If you want to travel longer you have to work to wander.