College Graudation 2013: Don't Have a Job? Try Outsourcing Yourself


You've graduated, you've applied at a dozen companies, and the job fairs that you've attended have proved to you that there are people in their thirties with a master's degree willing to take entry-level positions. You haven't been able to turn in your notice yet at your part-time college job. Your parents want answers and so do you. You have a couple of options, and one you may not have considered.

Your uncle Bob told you tales about his days in the Navy. That's a viable option, but if your heart isn't in military service, do us all a favor and don't go down that path. You could also look for unpaid internships, but this isn't an option I'm fond of. The positions are often highly competitive, short-lived, and ultimately "unpaid." Another option, and one that you may not have considered, is to "outsource yourself."

College graduates are commonly recruited to teach and perform all manner of services, in all manner of countries. Nursing and teaching English seem to be the two most common entry-level international jobs, but many types exist. Japan, Korea, China, Africa, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia — all of these countries and many more recruit native English speakers with Western credentials.

Benefits of outsourcing yourself, also known as becoming "an expat," include an often tax-free salary and benefit package. You'll be paid in accordance with your education and experience, but you'll also be paid for being away from home. Insurance coverage is almost always mandated by the labor board in the country in which you work. And housing is always part of the package.

The real benefits however come in the form of real-world experience. Real experience not just working, but surviving, adapting, and learning a new culture from within. Your language skills will improve, your worldview will get rocked, your politics will change. When you get off the plane after a year, you'll be a noticeably stronger and more confident person. You'll also have some money and some experiences to bolster your new job search, often in a completely different field from the one you originally intended.

If you decide you want to explore this option, just Google it. Try "teach English overseas" or "work overseas." You also might notice that more than one PolicyMic pundit has gone down this path and loved it. If you want to chat with me about it, send me a message or check out my blog, or just wait until I'm home on my 45-day paid vacation in July...