How to Get the Best Cash Paying Jobs Abroad

Photo by: Pete Barr-Watson

When your budget approaches the big “O” halfway across the world, everything becomes less peaches and sunshine and more hunger pangs and shit fits. Luckily, you don’t need a trunk of Portuguese gold to turn the situation around. As long as the motivation didn’t disappear with your cash (and you didn’t fry too many brain cells losing it) you're still employable, even in foreign lands. OTP’s here to help make your cash flow grow so you can last longer and go stronger abroad.

Photo by: Claudia R M Maia

The hospitality industry is very under-the-table friendly. Ski resorts are always looking for helping hands and housekeeping or gardening positions are also easy to come by. You have a leg-up if you can string together a sentence in English without a spelling error, especially in Asia. Resort jobs always come with the possibility that you’ll be paid in accommodation instead of cash. A nice room could be a good switch up; just don't get too cool for hostel grimery.

BAR & HOSTEL TENDING

Fuel the booze cycle by hopping the counter to make some extra cash for beer. An Irish pub is your best bet to becoming Sir Mix-A-Lot-of-Drinks—they’re everywhere, English is spoken and you don’t need a master’s degree to pour a Guinness. Hostel bars are good spots, too. You never know when that behind-the-counter charm could turn into on-the-counter action.

If liquerin’ people up isn’t what you’re looking for, try hostel-tending instead. You’ll often get a free bed in addition to cash-money for checking guests in and (creepily) checking them out. In addition to the HostelJobs website, check the PopularHostels site and send out applications accordingly.

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Not only will teaching people dirty words in English put some coins in your pocket, you can add “cultural exchange ambassador” to your resume. If you’re interested in teaching English, getting a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) or TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certification will make you seem legit and open doors to higher paying gigs. Both GoAbroad and ESLJobs are good sites to begin your search.

Your talents in dance, martial arts or photography can be equally as profitable. Just whip up some eye-catching flyers at the internet café and plaster the city with your offerings. Private lessons will be easier (and most of the time more profitable) unless you already have access to a venue for holding group classes. Use your status as the sexy “foreigner” to your advantage and get those lesson plans ready–because who hasn't wanted to bone a yoga instructor?

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Make that childhood Little House on the Prairie fantasy come true by getting a job shucking corn, grooming horses or assisting dog trainers. Not to be confused with WWOOFing, these paid positions can be found on sites such as Farmers Weekly Jobs and Transitions Abroad. If you’re still pissed at your parents for not stopping at a Pick-Your-Own roadside stand, Picking Jobs is a great resource, and is especially popular in Australia and New Zealand. And you never know—after a hot, sweaty, hard day at work, maybe your new ranch friends will show you some farm hand job secrets.

WAITING TABLES

Cleaning up after a crew of douchebags at the Applebee’s on Main Street might make you question your life choices. In a foreign country, however, waiting tables is a killer way to brush up on your language skills and an opportunity to taste some local flavor. The best way to start taking orders is to show up and inquire in person about an opening. While you can definitely bring home the under-the-table bacon as a server in Europe or Australia, it’s not likely to serve your wallet much in Asia.

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This isn’t a job for nomads, but if you’re planning on settling down for a while, you can make mad money watching rugrats. References will be essential, so it might be worth packing that Red Cross certification. If your only baby experience is playing peek-a-boo with your cousin’s kid at Thanksgiving, forget about it. Blubbery mini-humans expel shit (and other foul goo) that’s not worth the time unless you’re an experienced, cheek-pinching baby enthusiast and if you are, the juice is worth the squeeze. You can easily learn the basics of a language from a toddler and go places with the family you’d never be able to afford on your own. Europe and Singapore are popular destinations and the British Jobs Abroad Bulletin is your go-to site. Great Au Pair has listings for au pairs, babysitters, pet sitters, house sitters, senior caretakers and tutors.

While checking Craigslist is a good start, online classifieds will never be as fruitful as networking with locals and fellow travelers. If you think you’ll want to work, be sure to email your resume to yourself before you go. When dropping it off at a business or a café, always try to speak with the manager instead of leaving it with the staff. If you just get desperate, you can always try hawking that watch Grandma gave you.  Or your kidney–who needs two?