How to plan to live and successfully find work in another country

Our article last week focused on how to find work in another country:
When you have to find a new job fast! Tips for finding a new job
has produced a lot of questions from engineers who are considering moving countries for their next job and next stage in their career. Most of the questions focused on how to decide whether it was the right thing to do now. Other questions asked how to start the process of searching, applying, winning a job offer, accepting, and relocating for a new job. So, this article is going to look at how to start the process and to decide whether it is the right decision for you.

Deciding to find work in another country – when you have time to plan

departures and arrivals sign for find work in another country

The balance

Moving countries to start a new job is a challenge and a process. There are positives but there are negatives particularly in terms of being away from family and friends. There will also be adjustments to make in terms of climate, food, and working conditions. So, spend some time thinking through your options and your reasons for moving.

Locations when finding work in another country

The world is a big place with a lot of countries, so begin by narrowing your geographical area. Do you want a specific country perhaps because you already have friends, family or contacts there? Or are you focusing on a particular region? If you don’t have a particular target area, then focus on the industry you have experience in and look at the best countries for that industry. Once you have narrowed your search area, check that you are not rejecting any countries which are complementary to your main search. For example, if you are looking for a job in Germany, consider Austria and parts of Switzerland as well. If you are considering Australia look at New Zealand too.


Many jobs will ask for a good level of language either in English or the country’s native language. You will need to show the level you have reached and can do this using the Common European Framework for Reference for Languages (CEFR). The CEFR gives certification from A1 (basic users) to C2 (proficient users).
If you are considering working in the USA, then use the Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR).

There are lots of ways to learn language online. Some of them are free and a good place to start. For example:
Our Founder, Tim Robertson uses Lingoda to learn German.
Lingoda has live online classes 24/7 to learn English, French, German and Spanish.

The Duolingo phone App is well known and an easy place to start.

Other resources:
British Council gives a list of accredited organisations who provide English lessons.
Goethe Institut gives a list of accredited organisations who provide German lessons.

blackboard with different languages saying hello

Shortage occupations to find work in another country

There are countries with labour shortages at present. If your skills fit into a shortage occupation, then work permits and visas are going to be much easier to obtain. For example:
Germany shortage occupations

Austria shortage occupations

Canada Skilled Worker Program Eligible Occupations

UK Skilled worker visa: shortage occupations

Planning and networking to find work in another country

Once you know where you are targeting, take your up-to-date CV/Resume and make sure it is in the style of the country you are targeting. For example, do you need to include all your work experience? The answer will be ‘yes’ for the UK but ‘no’ for the USA where only the most recent needs to be included. Check the legal requirements especially in terms of whether you have a photograph on your CV or not. Network with some people who are working in your target country and ask them to read your CV and comment on whether it is in the right style.
Start to network with people in your chosen country and include those who have lived there for a long time and those who have moved within the last year.
Get organised so that you have a good system to know who you have applied to and when, and what the response was.

Further reading

If you have carried out initial research and decided that to find work in another country is the right thing for you to do, then there is further information in our previous blogs.

man at airport with passport and ticket

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