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Looking for work abroad: options and resources

marzo 31, 2021
Looking for work abroad: options and resources

Working outside the country is an opportunity both to improve personal skills and to grow professionally, although most do so because they do not find a job in Spain or want to improve their salary and quality of life

More and more people are going abroad in search of job opportunities. In January 2019, there were 2,545,729 citizens of Spanish nationality living in another countryAccording to data from the Register of Spaniards Residing Abroad (PERE), 62,921 more people than in January 2018 and a million more since 2009.

Those who decide to go to work abroad do so above all because they do not get a job in their country or because they want a better salary and quality of life, according to the report EU Mobile Workers: A Challenge to Public Finances (2019), prepared by the Center for European Policy Studies (CEPS). The study also reveals that, at the European level, the best-trained people in Italy and Spain are those who tend to leave their countries of origin in search of a better future job.

Under this panorama, in Educaweb we launched this new monograph on Work abroad, in which different experts and people who have lived the experience share information and advice to be able to go to another country in search of a job that helps you improve your personal and professional skills.

Options for working abroad

The options for working abroad are varied, from professional practices until job mobility opportunities promoted by the worker or by the company of the country of origin. Taking advantage of any of them depends on the motivations and objectives that are sought with the experience.

In general, all present the opportunity to be able live an international experience, learn or perfect a language or acquire transversal competences valuable for the professional future. On the contrary, the challenges are usually more personal and social, being away from family and loved ones, adapting to a new culture, changing lifestyle, having to work longer hours in some cases and difficulties in adapting and rooting.

Without being exhaustive and by way of example, we present below some of the different formulas for working abroad:

Professional practices

If you have just finished a vocational training or university degree, or are studying your last year, you can choose to do professional practices abroad that you find through various programs and / or portals. Some of them are EURES or ErasmusIntern at European level, or AIESEC, an organization that offers and manages internship offers in more than 80 countries. You can also find internships through the international mobility services of your own center or university, or by informing yourself at the local and / or regional employment offices.

Likewise, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has a list of foreign organizations seeking applicants for internships, ranging from 2 to 12 months in duration, as well as information on the procedures necessary to obtain a place.

Temporary jobs

If you want to live the experience of working abroad, but for less than 2 years, you have other options at your fingertips. One of them is the Work and Holiday visa. It is a permit to work and travel in a country for 12 months, but it can be renewed up to 24. Australia, New Zealand and Japan are some of the countries that offer it.

You can also get a temporary job abroad through programs like Au Pair, in which you work taking care of children of a family while you live with it and learn the language of the country. Another alternative is to apply to a position in tourism, whether on a cruise ship, hotel or theme park Foreign. In the latter case, you can find offers on specialized job portals such as SummerJobs, Turijobs and WindRoseNetwork, or in the shipping companies or hotel groups themselves, but it is necessary that you master another language.

Another option is the international volunteering. “It is a non-formal education commitment that allows those who experience it to integrate transversal skills, so in vogue today,” he explains in his article for Educaweb Hilda Pérez Rodríguez, Marketing & Communication Manager at AIPC Pandora, an NGO that offers different international volunteer programs for all ages. “International volunteering is one of the most rewarding experiences due to the positive impact it generates, both in the local host environment and in the people who embark on the adventure”, he adds.

Fixed jobs, expatriation and entrepreneurship

Among the alternatives to work abroad are also the international transfers that companies offer to their employees; or the jobs that are offered in different international job portals and that on many occasions look for foreign profiles. You also have the option of looking for work in international organizations or European institutions.

Another alternative is to go abroad with the idea of start a business. This is the case of Natalia Ribas, who upon arriving in London worked as a clerk to later start her own business of Spanish and Catalan classes for companies. “The United Kingdom encourages entrepreneurship and makes it easy for you to start your own business, regardless of how old you are or where you come from,” explains Ribas, who has returned to Spain after 10 years abroad.

What jobs are most in demand abroad and which countries offer them?

The sectors that offer the most opportunities for Spaniards for positions abroad are consulting, real estate, computing and internet, telecommunications, services and the health sector. This demand is mainly located in Europe, according to the Infoempleo-Adecco report Social Networks and the Labor Market (2016).

The four European countries with the most job vacancies in the first quarter of 2019 are Germany, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic and the NetherlandsAccording to data from Eurostat, which also indicates that 1.4 million jobs are offered in Germany.

Seven resources to get a job in another country

Looking for work abroad

exist multiple tools to find work abroad: use job seekers, go to embassies, follow “your favorite companies to work for and not miss any vacancies, or contact people who are already working abroad, to find out their vision,” he advises Christopher Dottie, CEO of Hays in Spain, in his article for Educaweb.

Next, we present the seven resources that, according to the sources consulted, are essential when looking for work outside of Spain.

1. EURES Network

The EURES network, with its more than 850 advisers, and the EURES Internet portal, which publishes job vacancies and practical advice, are useful for finding a job in Europe and preparing for your move abroad. In addition, it offers detailed information on the labor market situation in each European country and on living and working conditions.

As part of the EURES network, aid programs such as “Your first EURES job”, for recent graduates, or “Reactivate”, aimed at people aged 35 and over who are looking to join a job, an internship or a professional learning opportunity.

EURES also organizes the European Job Days, which are informative events in online and face-to-face format to contact employers in other countries and find both job opportunities and practical information and guidance on how to work in the EU.

2. Human resources consultants and job portals

To seek employment abroad it is essential to have your CV updated and translated to put it in portals that have international job offers, such as Infojobs or Eurojobs, among others, as well as on the websites of employment consultants or organizations with global reach such as Hays, ManPower or Randstad.

3. Contact the companies of interest

It is also recommended find the best international companies to work in the sector that you are passionate about. To find out, you have resources such as Glassdoor, which in addition to including job offers from around the world allows you to search for companies that exist in the sector that you are interested in working for and find out their salaries, work environment, etc.

Once you have located the companies that interest you, send your resume to the human resources department or enter it in your own job portal, if that is the case.

4. Professional social networks and networking

Do networking and personal contacts with acquaintances who work abroad it is, without a doubt, the most direct and fastest way to find interesting options “, points out in his article Antonio Pérez Castro, director of the department of professional careers at the University of Nebrija.

For this, it is essential to have a profile on professional networks such as LinkedIn or Xing, as well as establish contacts with people from the country where you want to go. Also exist specialized expat networks that can be helpful in this sense, such as or Spaniards, which in addition to publishing job offers offer “first-hand” advice from compatriots who already work abroad.

Networking to find work abroad

5. Professional associations and specialized portals by sector

Professional associations are also a good source of information on employment abroad..

If you are dedicated to research, the Euraxess portal is a source of information for jobs related to this area throughout Europe.

6. Local and / or regional occupation services

The occupancy services at the local and / or regional level they are also a good source of information for looking for work abroad. For example, the JovesCat portal, in Catalonia, has a special section on working abroad and also offers international mobility workshops for young people interested in working outside the country. The Community of Madrid, for its part, has a specialized website that provides guidance on the necessary procedures to be able to go to work outside of Spain and also on job portals to seek employment in other countries.

7. Job portals and employment offices of the country of destination

Some countries have specialized portals to attract workers from other parts of the world. One of them is Make it in Germany, created by the Federal Government of Germany and aimed at foreign and qualified people seeking to go to this country to work

The employment offices of the country to which you have emigrated, if you are within the European Union, they are also a good option to find work in case you want to leave without having found a job since …