The Best Jobs for English-Speaking Expats Abroad

The Best Jobs for English-Speaking Expats Abroad

Mario Vitanelli is a freelance writer and blogger who specializes in international politics and finance, retirement and investment. His areas of expertise include European, Asian and Latin/South American economic policy and he currently works with QROPS Group. When away from his keyboard, he enjoys photography and appreciates the rest of the Vitanelli family’s endless patience with his football dependence.

So you’ve finally done it. You’re retired overseas, living the dream in some exotic locale.You’ve done a good bit of kicking back, perhaps indulged in your hobby or hobbies, maybe made some new friends. Things are going well (although who couldn’t use a little bit of extra cash). Then, you are hit by a realization that’s been slowly creeping up on you: you’re bored.

It turns out that you miss the purpose and paycheck that accompany employment. Well, in my humble opinion, this is one of those good problems, because as an English speaker you probably have more employment options than you’d realized. That and the presumption of wisdom-accumulation that accompanies age have made you uniquely employable for many positions. Even, and arguably particularly, in non-English speaking places.

Teaching English

This one’s pretty obvious (not to mention that international internet law demands I include it in this sort of article). English is the international language, particularly for business. Knowing English is a huge business-boost for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of businesspeople and prospective businesspeople around the world. If you have a sturdy grasp of the language and decent people skills, there are people where you are who want to learn from you. In fact, if you live in Japan, China, South Korea, much of the rest of Asia there’s a good chance you’ll be approached on the street to give lessons. The same goes for many parts of Africa, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and Brazil, Chile, Mexico and likewise rapidly-developing South and Central American countries.


That’s probably not an option you’d expected to encounter here, but if you’re an exquisitely beautiful retiree, look into modeling! Just kidding, in any number of the above mentioned Asian and Latin/South American nations, as well as many in Africa or South Asia, local advertisers and businesspeople are on the prowl for individuals of varying ethnicity (and age) for ads, brochures, etc. Virtually everyone I know who’s spent a fair amount of time in Asia particularly has been approached to do modeling work.

Government Work

This a particularly attractive option if you’re good with a pistol, laser watch, plastic explosives disguised as toothpaste and so forth. However, if international espionage isn’t exactly your forte, check government job listings for your area. There are undoubtedly a number of government agencies stationed in your retirement locale- and they love hiring citizens.

Etsy, eBay and Etcetera

This is one I personally love. As is the case at home, internet selling can be either a sideline or a full-time moneymaker. Plus, you now have access to a whole world of foreign clothing, arts, crafts, antiques, you name it. The net has done a lot to shrink the world but not so much that people back home can walk into a local store, market, etc. and find what you can. Is there a local art style or output that you’d never heard of before your move but now can’t get enough of? If so, it’s a guarantee you’re not alone. Maybe even consider setting up your own e-business.


As I said before- one of your greatest assets is the assumption of wisdom you’ve collected in your years here (on Earth)… sometimes it feels like a lot of them. That age and wisdom (or presumption of it- I won’t tell anyone if you don’t) is in high demand. That’s definitely true if the business in question is trying to nurture an American/British/Canadian feel, theme or atmosphere (depending on your nationality). Which leads me to…


You’ll find that foreign business will try to nurture an American/British/Canadian feel, theme or atmosphere. As a former resident of one of those places (presumably) you’d prove an excellent addition for them. Hotels, restaurants, pubs and other hospitality places that draw a lot of English-speaking tourists are also great options.


Obviously this one covers a lot of space and depends a great deal on experience, style, interest and activity level, training, time, habits and inclination. However, there are always bureaus from a home-country newspaper, local English-language papers and magazines, plus travel sites and any number of other ‘net outlets looking for ‘What’s it like to live in…” and other exotic content. And once again, perhaps consider firing up your own site. Maybe it could do sales and local color.

Tour Guide

If you’re one of those people who moved to Japan because of your infatuation with the Tokugawa Shogunate’s history or settled in China after writing your dissertation of how underrated and understated Sung Dynasty tea bowls are, this one’s for you. Even if you just have a general interest in local history, check in with some local tour agencies. Once again, your age and its attendant wisdom will help you out here.

Do What You Did

Whatever you did back home, chances are excellent people do the same thing where you are now. You have experience, obviously, and as technology, computer and telecommunications is making transnational business so much easier, once again your facility to speak the international language of business and experience in your home country have very likely rendered you a much-sought commodity. Good luck.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Maria

    You just created a great resource with this post for anyone looking to work abroad. 🙂

  2. Nicole

    I would have never thought of modeling. Very interesting.

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