How To Find Seasonal Jobs Abroad
Looking to kick-start a new career, or just fancy a few months working in an exciting new location? Seasonal jobs have long been seen as the perfect way to try out a new life or gain valuable skills, and as the cost of foreign travel has fallen over the years and technology such as the internet keeps us connected with loved ones at home whenever we want, the popularity of seasonal jobs continues to rise.
It’s not just those on a Gap Year or post-university students seeking seasonal positions either - many applications are now from those taking a mid-career break or trying a new path following redundancy, so whatever your age you’ll be in good company.
While the majority of seasonal work abroad can be categorized into teaching, agriculture or tourism, the range of opportunities and places in which to try them is endless. Everything from escaping your daily drudgery for a winter cooking in an Austrian ski chalet to mucking in at a remote Australian ranch can be found if you know where to look. So whether it’s to enjoy an incredible summer, try out a potential new line of work or just enjoy another life overseas, we’ve got all the tips you need to find that perfect seasonal job abroad.
Decide on the kind of work you want to do
It’s all very well wanting a seasonal job abroad, but with a wide range of opportunities including teaching English in Asia, working as a holiday rep in Spain and even helping out at an American summer camp on offer, it’s vital to decide what kind of work you want and where you want to do it before beginning your research. Certain jobs are only available in very specific areas, such as ranch work and ski work, while others can be found almost everywhere. Narrow down your options to either a specific line of work or a specific country, and start from there.
Depending on the type of work you choose, deadlines for certain seasonal jobs can close extremely far in advance - even up to a year in some cases, and six months in many. While it is possible to get last-minute work, you’re much more likely to find an enjoyable and fulfilling position if you’ve got time to choose rather than making a panicked decision.
Start thinking about the kind of seasonal work abroad that you want to do as early as possible, and use your time to fully research things such as visas, living costs abroad, and essential details such as what kind of work you are legally allowed to do with your status and age. Being organized also gives you the best chance of getting cheap travel to your destination, as well as saving up some money to give you a head-start before your first pay check comes in.
Establish your skills and get the necessary training
Once you’ve decided on the type of work you want, it’s time to be realistic about your skills. Although it is possible to do a ski season with little real-life experience on the mountains or help out on a farm after a life spent in the city, you’ll find it much easier to get a job with some relevant prior experience on your CV. You’re also much more likely to enjoy your seasonal job abroad if you have a true idea of what the work entails.
If you have decided to go for a job you’ve got little experience in, why not do some training while you’re still at home? This could be in the form of a formal course, such as TEFL for teaching English or cookery courses for catering in a ski resort or a yacht, or even more casual work such as volunteering to help out on a WWOOF farm.
You’ve decided on your line of work and sorted your CV, so now it’s time to start the job hunt! It’s best to start your search online with sites such as Movinhand, or those dedicated to a specific form of work such as WWOOF, Ski Jobs, Camp America or the official TEFL site.
Don’t just limit yourself to online research though - job boards at colleges and universities can be a great place to look, and reach out to friends and colleagues for recommendations too - you never know when someone might give you a tip about a great place they worked at the summer before!
Apply for jobs and contact individual establishments
Once you’ve found a job you like the sound of, it’s time to start the application process. This varies wildly across industries and companies, with some favouring online applications through third-party sites and others preferring more a more personal approach.
If you’re really interested in a particular position, why not get in touch with the company directly about the job? You might find that they’ll later remember you in your application, and it’s a great way to instantly get information about the position - particularly if it’s already been filled.