Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Working Abroad

I write this as it's come to the end of summer. Working abroad is something I've now managed to organise on 3 different occasions and it's something I'm forever being asked about. Hopefully this will answer some of those questions and offer some advice to those thinking about it.

Disclaimer : I'm not an expert. I'm not being paid to promote a working abroad company. These are my own personal views and mine alone.

I'm a proper Cornish girl, I've lived here since birth and to be honest have always loved my home comforts. Back packing, busy places, strange food even sleepovers with the girls, sorry it's just never been my thing.

January 2013 that all changed, I hated my job, my living situation wasn't working, single. What was I gonna do ? Reading everybody's New Years resolutions on Facebook every day wasn't really helping the matter. I hated the rain and the cold and casually found myself hunting jobs abroad.

On a whim I took a risk and booked 4 weeks accommodation and job hunting through a specialist company. The enormity of what I'd just done didn't really sink in untill a month or so later when they called to confirm my flight details....Shit !!! I guess it's really happening. Can I really do this? I've never even been to London alone let alone got on a plane?


Obviously I could and I did ..... And then went back to do it again and again, twice through a company and then again arranging it totally myself.

One of the most asked questions I get is on the company vs doing it all yourself and honestly that is probably the biggest decision to make. Working abroad companies are great for first timers or those that aren't so confident. They sort your accommodation, find you a flight, pick you up from the airport, pretty much guarantee you new friends and a great time... But they're expensive and ultimately it's up to you to find a job, they make introductions, but don't expect them to do all the work.


Going solo means sorting everything yourself, if you know roughly what you're doing it can workout a lot cheaper. There's workers groups all over the internet and people that've already done it are often happy to help. Social media is a great way to try and make friends before you arrive. 




Here are my top tips for making the most of you're working abroad experience..

1) Do your research, talk to other workers or if you're going with a company, talk to your rep, use the internet, ask questions.

2) Save, save and save some more. Then budget. Those that do last the whole season. Depending on when you're going jobs maybe harder to find. The first week is all about finding your bearings and making friends, expect to be drunk. You need money to cover you untill your working, food, partying etc it's also a good idea to save the cost of a flight home incase of an emergency. Remember you're not on holiday. You're not a tourist, you're there to live and work.

3) Be confident, put yourself out there, be friendly to everyone, introduce yourself to other workers.. People employ confident staff and all workers were first timers once.

4) expect hard times and stick them out.. My first few weeks I really struggled with medical problems and how the heat, amount of alcohol etc affected them, I ended up flying home after 5 weeks and massively regretted it. Before trying again. Homesickness, feeling ill, blowing all your money. Common worker problems that see you jump on a plane back to the UK... Stick them out, I doubt your the only one finding it tough. 

5) Enjoy yourself, you yes you were brave enough to jet off to a different country and that's a massive thing. Make the most of it. It's better to regret the things you do rather than the things you don't. However use a condom and don't drive drunk on a quad bike. Going abroad was the best life decision I ever made and I can't wait to do it all again.



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