Working as an Expat
First may I point out that this kind of life is not for everyone, as you could be months away from seeing your loved one and family? This can put a great strain on relationship with temptations for both partners. However on the plus side, is the fact you can earn more money working outside of your own country than in it. As an expat worker, you could find yourself living in a company paid apartment, and depending on your position may have a company car as well. From personal experience, on a number of contracts I have worked on in various countries, I found myself having either a food allowance or free meals. As a result, I did not have to spend any of my own money on general living expenses. In some cases my meal allowance money even covered the costs of my drinks as well. Also, by working as an expat, you are liable to have the chance to visit a variety of countries at no financial expense to yourself. Just think for a moment, can you think of a better way to travel.
If considering seeking an overseas contract, be-aware that you do not have to pay to obtain such a contract. However, this rule unfortunately does not apply to many workers in the Far East. From talking with a variety of workers from this part of the world, it seems it is normally the only way they can obtain work is via an agent. The cost can be considerable, with some men informing me they had to work at least six months just to obtain the money needed to pay an agent.
From my own experience, I advise joining an organization that deals with overseas contracts. There are a number of these, with one I recommend being ExpatNetwork, a UK based company. The cost of joining one such company is a mere pittance, compared to the advantages of joining one. It should be noted that although these types of companies are not recruitment companies; they publish lists of jobs worldwide. Once you join one of these companies, if you find a suitable job on their lists, you contact the company advertising the contract direct. You do not have to pay the company where you found the job. If it is a recruitment agency, they get paid by the company advertising the position. At one time I had two offers for a position I applied for, one was from a recruitment company and one from the company offering the position. The latter said as I had applied to them direct, I would be dealing with them and not the recruitment company.
If you are successful in obtaining an interview always ensure you have an updated copy of your CV with you, as this shows you are to be taken seriously. Also always dress smart and turn up early for your interview. This may seem obvious, but one company told me about a man who turned up for his interview wearing a pair of shorts, as he had been on the beach. Needless to say, he was not offered the position. At an interview, be honest in what you say and what is on your CV. I once read about a case where a man obtained a contract in Hong Kong by falsifying his CV. When a few months later the company realised the man could not do what it said on his CV, he was sacked. Not only did he have to pay his own fare home, the company intended suing him for fraudulently obtaining money from them.
A big advantage of using a company like ExpatNetwork, they only advertise jobs from genuine companies, with most keeping black lists of companies who have been found unreliable in some way or another. Another case I read about, involved a man offered a contract in Thailand. After accepting the contract and flying out there, he was invited out for a celebration drink by someone from the company who had employed him. When he later came to feeling very ill and taken to hospital, it was found one of his kidneys had been removed. The poor man had been drugged, and later left alone to recover after its removal. As for the company, they did not exist. The whole thing was just a scam in order to steal body parts, which fetch vast sums of money in the Far East. Instances like this may be few and far apart, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Remember, when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
However, I once obtained what turned out to be one of my best contracts ever, when via a recruitment company, I obtained the contract without either seeing or being interviewed by the company who employed me As a result of this contract in Turkey, my wife and I bought some land and had a house built, with our moving from England to live permanently in Turkey. After twenty-five years, I still live there. It just goes to show that by working overseas, your whole life can change for the better.
I can only say that the nineteen years I spent working in fifteen countries, were so full of adventures and incidents, I think readers of my memoir “Follow in the Tigerman’s Footsteps, (not yet published) will see what kind of life there is by being an expat.