Self Love

Looking for Work: Why is it so Hard to Get a Job Overseas?

job search

Women have a difficult time getting a good job no matter where she is. But living abroad in Europe can make things even more difficult, if not downright impossible. You may be able to get a service job for minimum wage but if you have thousands of dollars in student loans for that big degree, you want to start paying them back. You cannot do that with a minimum wage service job. 

Looking for Love

According to the University of Helsinki, 28% of women who move overseas to Europe do it for love rather than money. This can be a good thing, because you definitely are not going to be happy about it if you are moving there for more money – in fact, only 25% of women overseas are able to find jobs, and it can take up to seven or eight years to find a job that is capable of supporting anyone, let alone paying back any debts like student loans that you may have. So, what can you do if you earned an awesome degree, but cannot do a thing with it overseas?

Try a Transfer

Check to see if the company you work for (or worked for) in the country that you’re emigrating from has a branch that you can transfer to in the country where you are going. Even if they do not have a branch of their own in your intended destination, chances are that they could have connections there in the same industry. What if you have been living abroad and looking for work for a long time? Contact your old company to see if they will give you a recommendation. If you’re not comfortable reaching out to a representative from the company directly, if you have former colleagues that are working there, see if you can reach out to them on LinkedIn, or other social media connections that you may have with them.

Educational Transfers

Some degrees may not transfer to other countries – it all depends on the university that it was earned from, the type and specialty of degree, and the country you reside in now. However, if your university was accredited, most other countries will recognize the degree conferred to you. You may have to take a class or two to make up for specific regional prerequisites (which can vary from country to country, and concentration to concentration), but you would do well to have your degree or any educational experience you have transferred to wherever you are living now to help you bolster your resume in your new country. 

Get Some Referrals

No matter what kind of career you are looking for, a few good referrals are a big step in getting the job you want. If you do not have any work experience for a referral, you can get referrals from your university that you attended. Professors and academic advisors can be a big help in this type of referral. They may even be able to connect you with people in your new country, or know of some positions or career paths that you maybe hadn’t considered previously. Many universities and professors have contacts overseas that can meet with you and give you a hand in researching the work that you are looking for. 

Start at the Bottom

Whatever career path you are on, consider that starting at the “bottom” isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Working in a service-level job such as a restaurant or in retail may not seem entirely appealing, but think of all the influential people you can meet and interact with on a daily basis. The more people you know and converse with, the better your chances are of finding that perfect job. If you are having trouble finding a job, or are anxious or depressed about your job hunt, try talking to a counselor about what you can do to improve your chances. There are many at BetterHelp who can help you at your own pace, on your own schedule, from the convenience of your new home. 

This is a guest post.

Guest post by Marie Miguel.

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

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