A Guide to Working Abroad After Graduation
So you’ve written your last exam, handed in your last essay, worn one of those silly square hats and a long flowing gown and finally have a fancy framed degree with your name on it. Now what?
Most people will be telling you to dive headfirst into the workforce by looking for a local job in your field, but why not expand your sights a little bit further? What about opening up your job search to include the entire world and embarking on an adventure working overseas?
There are so many ways working abroad will benefit you as a graduate. It will allow you to gain international work experience which looks amazing on any resume, it will help you make important connections, it will give you a better sense of what you want to do with your degree, it will grant you a better understanding of different cultures and it will give you a travel experience that you will never forget.
If you have any curiosity or interest in working abroad, just go for it because 20 years from now you won’t want to wonder what opportunities you missed.

A Guide to Working Abroad After Graduation

The Steps You Need to Take For Working Abroad

Step 1 – Research

The first part of working abroad involves gathering as much information as possible to plan your trip. It starts with deciding which country you want to go to. Perhaps you have always dreamed of hanging out on the beaches of Australia on weekends or working amidst the historical castles and beautiful rolling hills of Ireland. If a country appeals to you, check out what types of working visas it offers and what their requirements are.
The research stage also includes finding out about your destination. What do flights cost? How much is rent for the average apartment? What sorts of jobs are available? All of this information can be found online and reading up on your destination can be a very exciting part of the planning stage because it will help you to envision the journey you are embarking on.
To keep yourself organized, create a folder of bookmarks with all of the most important pages, such as the visa requirements and any other very helpful travel guides you have found.

Step 2 – Applying For the Visa

Your next step is to begin the process of applying for a working visa in your country of choice. Many countries around the world offer a youth working holiday visa which is perfect for young graduates who want to work abroad for one year. For example, the Canada work permit allows you to work and travel throughout Canada for 12 months and there are similar working holiday visas in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the UK, Spain, France, Germany, Chile and Japan. If you want to stay longer than a year, there are also options for longer-term working permits in many of these countries (although these might be a little bit more complicated.)
The requirements for a 12-month work visa are different for each country, but they usually include proof that you have enough funds to support yourself and a criminal record check to make sure your background is clean. You also might have to have your fingerprints taken and send in passport photos of yourself. Give yourself at least a few months to go through this process because it can sometimes take a while to obtain the required documents.

Step 3 – Find a Job

Once your visa in on the way, you can start looking for a job in your new country. You don’t have to wait until you arrive, you can start looking before you have even set off so that you already have contacts established when you land.
Use online job websites to search for vacancies in your target destination. If you are not picky about which city you live in, you will have more options for a job in your field which suits your talents. Make sure that you craft a killer covering letter and CV, because it will be the first impression of you that these foreign employers receive. Highlight your degree as well as your experience and explain how long you will be working in that country and what you hope to achieve.
You might even want to create your own website or online portfolio to show off your previous work, as this is another way to impress potential employers from afar.

Step 4 – Book a Flight

So your working visa just arrived in the mail and you have a few interested employers who want to meet you when you arrive? Now it’s time to book and flight and get over there! Look online for the best deals and try to get a flexible flight so that you can change your return date if you decide to come back earlier or stay longer. Sometimes you can book a one-way flight, but many countries require that working visa holders have an onward flight booked upon arrival.
You can also book accommodation for the first few days so that you have somewhere to crash when you land. After that, you can leave it open ended because you will be able to find something cheaper when you are there and you will likely end up renting a flat or a house over the year.

Step 5 – Prepare for Departure

If you are renting, give up or sublet your flat. Stop your magazine subscriptions and newspapers. Sell all of the stuff you don’t need or put it in storage. Say goodbye to your friends and family and promise to update them frequently with all of your great stories. Pack your best interview outfit so that you can look smart when you arrive.
Board your flight with a little lump of excitement in your throat. You are heading well outside of the familiar to test your skills working abroad in a foreign land. Keep your head held high, have a firm handshake and show them what you’ve got. You’re ready to take on the world.

Do you want to work abroad?  Where do you want to go?

Today’s post is written by Kelly Dunning.  Kelly is a writer for Global Visas, the world’s leading authority on immigration and working visas. If you are interested in working abroad, contact them for more information about applying for a work permit.

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