As radio jobs become tougher to find in the US, I’m often asked about opportunities overseas.
They can be very exciting, but hard to find.
I spent time as Group PD in Australia. It was terrific, though at times it was a frustrating experience.
And I wouldn’t change one minute of it.
My first piece of advice is make sure you have a way home.
In other words, be sure your overseas job pays for you to move there and back.
The cost of an overseas move can be prohibitive.
I’ve met more than one ex-pat who was stranded after a foreign assignment because they didn’t get the company to pay for their return up front.
In the excitement of getting the job, they forgot the most important part, they’d have to return home one day.
Almost all foreign jobs will have a time limit. The work permit or visa will expire leaving you in a foreign country without a way to make a living.
The cost of living can be very high overseas.
A furnished two bedroom apartment in Sydney can run $500 to $600 a week. Be prepared to spend more than you expect.
Depending on the country you might find taxes and other costs to be prohibitive as well.
The currency exchange rate can either work in your favor or against you.
Also work out who will pay for your trips to and from the US and how often you can make them.
You will want to come home from time to time.
Health care should also be discussed and outlined in your written agreement.
It is very difficult to return to the US work force after a stint overseas.
You’d think that companies would be excited to hire someone with foreign experience. But that isn’t always the case.
Being overseas can be a case of “out of sight, out of mind”.
Many people from a wide range of fields tell me finding work on their return was extremely frustrating.
So while overseas, it is a good idea to continue networking here with the idea you’ll need to return home one day.
Although the language might seem to be the same like in Australia, the culture, food, television, shopping and all can be very different.
There will be days you’ll want a real American hamburger.
Make sure this is something you really want to do before taking the assignment.