As you look for your next career outside the military, why not consider continuing your career overseas? While seeing new and exciting things, you will meet interesting people. However, at the end of the day, you will have to work to support your overseas exploration. Therefore, think carefully about your desires, your overseas location, and the work you will perform. You know the typical workday in England, Brussels, or Munich is very different from one in Baghdad or Warsaw.

Strategy for Getting Work Overseas

Typically, those who succeed in finding work abroad have a strategy to make it happen. A job overseas is not going to drop into your lap. As you might suspect, the competition can be tough. You will need a plan, and you will have to execute it. There is more than one way to land your dream job overseas. Here are a couple of methods that have been used.

1. Don’t Just Take Off

Some people find that when they are unencumbered and have wonder lust, they just get on the jet, and go. The concept: choose your country, move there, and hope for the best, AKA “Just Do It”. However, finding cleared OCONUS jobs takes more work than this method. It’s an adventuresome option, for sure, but one that won’t land you work that uses your security clearance. And if you ever want to put that clearance back to work when you return to the states, you’ll have a lot of questions to answer.

2. Move up the Ladder

Moving up the ladder is also known as: Work your way overseas. This more conservative approach requires you to find a company that sends its employees overseas. Just understand there are no guarantees you will make an international move. Establish this as a goal, let leadership know your desires, and you may work your way into an overseas job.

3. Use Your GI Bill and Go to School

You may think you’ve had enough of education, but learning opportunities abound in other countries. If you have GI Bill money, confirm the institution you want to attend is VA approved and apply for acceptance. Not only will the VA pay for your education, but you will also receive a stipend under the Post 911 Bill. While being immersed in the local language, you will be in a great position to make local contacts and find paid work.

4. Use Your Military Skills

You know how to plan, and you have some insight as to how things work overseas. Use the intelligence you’ve obtained and put together a solid plan, building upon what you know and the connections you have already made in the military.

Start your job search on ClearanceJobs.com. Currently ClearanceJobs has over 600 job listings in Europe, hundreds in the middle east and nearly 150 in far east. It helps to put in your desired country like Germany or Italy.

Once you find the right job, apply, and start trying to make connections at that location, using your current virtual network. You may be surprised how many people you know that have connections to people in the organizations and locations you desire. We live in a global communications era, so join online social media and discussion groups related to your profession. Find the email lists and other forums devoted to your profession, with members from other countries. Hiring officials desire to match the right people for overseas assignments. You may have the knowledge, but they also want candidates with a strong desire to work abroad.

Benefits of Overseas Work

As you dream about your next position overseas, know that there are some great benefits.

You’ll have the opportunity to see more of the world. The pay is typically very good. Often, there are additional funds to help with your movement overseas and allowances to assist covering the basic cost of living.

Other hidden gems are the associated resume enhancements. Having worked overseas, you will have professional experience that will change your perspective. Working with local nationals, you will gain personal experiences showing your future employers that you understand diverse cultures, ideas and people. When moving internationally, you will be faced with numerous challenges and determination is a prerequisite. Future employers will see all these qualities as highly desirable.

With the right qualifications, an optimistic attitude, good connections, and your valuable security clearance, you have a great opportunity to land your dream job, abroad.

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Jay Hicks is an author, instructor and consultant. With a special kinship for military personnel, Jay provides guidance on successful civilian career transition and has co-authored “The Transitioning Military Series”. He is the co-founder of Gr8Transitions4U, where advocating the value of hiring military personnel is the key focus. More about Jay and his passion can be found at Gr8Transitions4U.com.
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