Send me away.
September 8, 2010 10:52 AM   Subscribe

I'd love to work abroad somewhere and I'm in a position in my life where I am free to do so - now how do I get started?

I'd like to get away from here (here being Germany) for a while and work abroad for a year or two or three, preferably somewhere in SE-Asia. Given my situation (male/30/web developer/just divorced) I guess now is the time to do something like that before trying the whole settling down thing again - but I have completely no clue how I'd even get started with that. And sadly my current employer has no plans, ever, to go outside of Germany or allow remote work.

I've tried the mighty Google and mostly I found pages and advice for people already working in those countries or potential jobs - but only for people who already have a work visa there.

Are there some good resources to get started? Any typical paths to this kind of life?

I do know some expats in my town here and they all went the corporate route - started in big international companies and then got transfered to Germany, which is actually something I'd like to avoid.

This is anonymous because some people who aren't supposed to know my plans, yet, are active MeFi members. If there are any further questions, my throw-away address is
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Singapore is a good entry point to south east asia with a pretty good web agency density. It's also safe, well organised, English-speaking and fun to live in. And it does have job listings on the interwebs. Memail me if you want to know more and/or get contacts.
posted by oxit at 10:58 AM on September 8, 2010

If SE Asia is not the only option, there are plenty of web developer jobs in Buenos Aires. The money is not fantastic, but enough to live here relatively comfortably, and you could survive with no Spanish.

If you have some savings you could spend some time off travelling round Argentina pretty cheaply then make your way here to look for work.

If you would like any more details, memail me.
posted by jontyjago at 12:05 PM on September 8, 2010

We just met up with a friend's boyfriend who was in the US for work. He was originally from France, quit his job to go to Australia to look for a job. Stopped over in Singapore and found a job (systems engineer) within 30 days by going through the classifieds. So nthing oxit about Singapore (where I am from) as a great entry point. I know many qualified expats who found jobs easily - what they had in common was that they were committed to move. If you don't want to quit your job before having a new job at hand, I'd suggest going to Singapore for a holiday and set-up a few meetings while you are there. Good luck!
posted by serunding at 12:30 PM on September 8, 2010

FWIW, the entire Singapore office of the company I work for is populated by non-residents who checked the "willing to work abroad" box on their resume. Singapore is super-easy to get a work visa for, and many companies seem to take advantage of that.

So... post your resume, say you're willing to relocate, and problem solved.
posted by jrockway at 2:22 PM on September 8, 2010

Have you thought about which country you would like to move to?

Don't forget that if you go to Singapore (which is not a place for everyone, BTW, two of my friends went and one got bored out of his mind after a few months and the other couldn't adapt to the expat culture) and for any reason you don't like it, you take the risk of getting stuck. Then you would need a visa to go pretty much any other country around that part of the world.

Serunding gives good advice - best to go check the place first. Why don't you go on a backpacking tour around a few places in SE Asia before making a decision?

And do you need to go with a formal job as a web developer? Couldn't you take a job as, say, a German or English teacher if what you are looking for is just a couple of years of adventures? After that you would probably know enough people to get a job in your area of expertise and plus, you can always do the odd freelance job here and there - just an idea.
posted by heartofglass at 4:55 PM on September 8, 2010

Any interest in the developing sector? See here.
posted by allkindsoftime at 4:23 AM on September 9, 2010

Singapore is super-easy to get a work visa for

IIRC, it is also one of those lovely rarities where you can file for a "looking for work" visa, which gives you the right to be there for six months or a year looking for work. Of course, that does mean having the funds to pull yourself through that time period, but just putting it out there.

Places to check for contacts:
-German expat groups already in those countries
-Alums of your university - German or local - who have got there
-German equivalent of Chamber of Commerce or the Embassies/Consulates

Other suggestions to narrow the focus on where are spot-on, in my opinion. Start learning a target language (Mandarin? Vietnamese?) as an additional resume point, survival skill, and demonstration of commitment.

Given your career so far, you might also look into what is available for non-profit work: either teaching web development there or dealing with network infrastructure... A stipend is not an expat salary, but it can be an easier route and a different lifestyle.
posted by whatzit at 10:35 AM on September 9, 2010

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