5 Useful Skills for Getting Work Abroad & Traveling Longer

August 22, 2017

This is a guest post brought to you by Maximo Nivel.

If you want to travel and stay abroad for longer periods of time, it definitely helps to have skills that let you to easily find work or generate your own income.

In today’s interconnected and globalized world, there are certain skills that are valuable no matter where you might find yourself.

I’m always learning something new on the road, whether it’s about culture, history, lifestyle, or a sweet life hack. Perhaps you also travel with a sense of curiosity and a desire to learn, in which case you can use this attitude to expand your opportunities to their furthest reaches.

Here are the top skills needed if you’re looking for a longer stay abroad…

Language

If you’re traveling through countries that speak a language other than your native tongue, it’s a perfect chance to learn it. Not knowing the local language will make it that much harder to adapt or to connect with the locals while you travel.

If you want to stay abroad for a longer period of time, you can use that time to develop your language skills. Traveling through Latin America? Maximo Nivel has a great program to accelerate your Spanish as quickly as you need to. Or maybe you’re more interested in strolling the great wall? Try That’s Mandarin in Beijing.

The best part is that unlike a regular classroom course, you’ll leave the classroom ready to use those new language skills in the real world. Strike up a conversation with a stranger who can turn out to be a lifelong friend, or make a new business contact; the possibilities are endless.

Customer Service

You know how I mentioned the global interconnectedness? That’s where this skill comes in. The global business language is English and international businesses are eager to snatch native English speakers for a variety of customer service positions.

Whether at a call center, hotel, or tour agency, you’re sure to get noticed. However, keep in mind that more English speakers are looking to travel and stay abroad so businesses can be picky, and the chances of you landing a job aren’t as easy as they were a few years back.

So, whip out that million dollar smile, brush your hair (and teeth), and bring out your best hospitality because customers come first. Your ability to interact, act professionally, and engage clients will get you noticed above your competitors.

TEFL Certificate

Knowing English, even as a native speaker, usually isn’t enough to snag a decent paying job to teach it. You need a TEFL Certificate.

With a Bachelor’s Degree and a TEFL certification, you’re pretty much qualified to teach English for 98% of the institutions hiring anywhere in the world.

While traditional school teachers look forward to holidays and summer breaks for time off, your TEFL allows you to take summer vacation whenever you want. ESL (English as Second Language) teaching contracts are an easy 3-6 month commitment which leaves you enough time to get acquainted with your new environment, without having to settle long-term.

Every few months, you’re free to get up and travel to your next desired destination, without having to dip into your savings to do so. This makes a TEFL certificate the ultimate tool for making money on the road.

Writing

If you have a knack for writing, you’re in a good position to work from wherever there’s internet access. And if you don’t, you can take a course to improve your writing skills!

Believe it or not, good writers are hard to find, and companies pay a decent wage to those who can. Copywriting is one of the most sought after freelance jobs you can find. Oftentimes, copywriters are asked to rewrite website content, mission statements, email templates, articles, and more.

Average pay for copywriters is in the $15/hour range. In countries with a low cost of living, this pay can go a long way. Copywriting as a freelancer also allows you to create your own hours so you can decide when to work and when to explore.

Gaining a good reputation as a copywriter may take time, but once the ball gets rolling, there’s no telling how many jobs you can pull.

Travel Photography

Travel allows you to see and experience what most others don’t. People who are unable to travel are still interested in seeing those beautiful sights, cultures, and people, so why not be the one to share it?

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then photographers share more with one photo than I can say before my morning coffee.

Photography is one of the most difficult industries to tap into, but when you’re traveling, you do have an advantage. The photos you share can be so unique that they gain traction and attention more quickly than the average photographer.

So, while you’re getting the best shot for your Instagram following, why not start an online portfolio and pitch your shots to different companies? After all, there’s no shortage of magazines, calendars, websites, ad agencies, and others who are willing to pay top dollar for just one photo. And once you sell to one established company, others are sure to follow suit.

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