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The 6 Best Jobs for Millennials Abroad (And How to Land Them)

The number of millennials embracing expat living is increasing every year. Not surprisingly, the Latin Tropics have become a top destination for these young Americans seeking a path less traveled beyond the borders of the U.S.

Unlike retirees, or older expats, millennials often have to remain more focused on how to earn a living while exploring their new country. Whether the stay is just for a year or two, or a more permanent relocation, finding a job that can finance the tropical dream can be a challenging part of the expat experience.

millenials embracing expat living

Andreas Klinke Johannsen

Know the Rules

Working in a foreign country is not just a matter of getting hired. Many countries have rules and regulations governing employment for those who are not citizens or residents of the country. This may be a factor in the types of employment that millennials looking to work abroad can apply for.

While researching job opportunities, it is important to also look into any limitations that may exist for prospective foreign workers. The information for work permits, residency requirements, and other matters concerning employment are easily found on the internet.

What Jobs Are Most Available for Millennials Embracing Expat Living?

The types of jobs best suited, and most easily obtained, for millennials living abroad are different than those available to college graduates in the United States. Whether looking for something to pay the bills for a year or two, or as a transition to becoming a permanent resident, being able to look at some non-traditional roles can open up opportunities that you may not have considered before. Here are a few.

Freelance Work

As the interest in life outside of the U.S. continues to expand, freelance writers and photographers are becoming more in demand. The plus side is that you are your own boss in terms of what projects you work on and when. The obvious downside is that there is no guarantee of a regular income.


If you have language skills, finding work as a translator may be a way to fund your expat experience. This type of work can be found in both public and private settings.

Many local schools look for individuals who can teach basic English to their students. On the other side of the language coin, international schools are seeking native English speakers to teach Spanish to new arrivals to their Central and South American homes.


For millennials who want to immerse themselves in the local culture while sharing their knowledge and experience, working in the growing tourism industry is another possibility. Whether arranging tours, making reservations, or actually working as a guide, the opportunities and potential for income is certainly growing.

Volunteer/Humanitarian Work

For some millennials, working to better the lives of those in need in a foreign setting is the ideal expat position. While the pay is often minimal, many organizations often trade room and board in exchange for the work you would do. Though not for everyone, positions of this sort can offer life changing experiences that cannot be measured in dollars and cents.

Employment with a U.S. Company

There are a limited number of openings abroad for employees of companies based in the U.S. Generally, these positions require some specific skill or training that local residents may not have. As globalization continues, however, the number of positions for those interested in living and working abroad can be expected to increase as well.

millenials embracing expat living

Real Estate: The Unexpected Option

One type of work that may not immediately come to mind is the field of real estate. Many older expats looking to rent or purchase property in the Latin Tropics often find that they’re more comfortable dealing with someone who comes from their same background or frame of reference.

Expats know the kinds of areas and properties that might appeal to other expats like themselves. They’re also familiar with the way real estate transactions work in both the U.S. and their new country and can better explain the ins and outs to newcomers.

As a result, many local realty companies actively seek individuals who are excited about sharing the expat experience and who can spread that excitement to others considering the same choice. These positions can involve rentals, buying and selling, or even managing properties for absentee owners.

Where Do You Look for Expat Jobs?

After identifying the kinds of jobs that may translate well to the expat lifestyle, the next step is to discover where these positions can be found. Personal connections, such as friends and family are good places to start your search.

Alumni associations, fraternities and sororities, or professional organizations (if you belong to one) may provide unexpected connections beyond the U.S. borders. Even if none of these options is available, there is still one other trusty tool you can use for job hunting: the Internet.

A simple search for terms such as “international jobs” or “telecommuting” or “teaching English abroad” can yield a great deal of information about positions that are available and how to apply for them. Even a search for U.S. companies that are located in your chosen destination could reveal a potential source of opportunity.

Social media is another great place to get ideas. There is an ever increasing number of groups on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram dedicated to living and working abroad.

What Is the First Step in Embracing Expat Living?

But before you start sending out resumes, it’s important to make sure you’ve pinned down a location where you’ll be happy and fulfilled, whether for a few years or forever. Set aside some time to visit the areas you’re considering. Get a feel for the culture and the pace of life. And don’t forget to check out the job boards and see what’s posted!

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