Unless you have a trust fund or have saved extensively, you’ll need to work as you go to fund your travels. In this episode, we discuss a few ways of finding short-term work overseas, specifically looking at ESOL positions.

We got an email from Nathan, asking about how we find short-term work on the road, especially since most of the ESOL jobs out there require a nine or twelve-month commitment. We’re not the biggest fans of year-long contracts, and have found several ways to get shorter contracts.

To listen, hit play below or find episode 72 in iTunes, Stitcher or Soundcloud:

Our tips

1. Search online – subscribe to RSS feeds and return often to see new jobs.
2. Apply for jobs that advertise a long contract and negotiate for a shorter one.
3. Use the grapevine. Talk to previous employers, colleagues and friends for tips, and use forums to get an idea of good and bad places to work.
4. Send your CV to everyone you can find in the yellow pages.
5. Drop in, in person and leave a CV.
6. Be a bit cheeky. Think of new ways to advertise yourself.
7. Consider joining an agency.
8. Look for organisations which have centres around the country or around the world. Use the network.

Useful sites

Book deals

Don’t forget to investigate all the book deals we have on at the moment:

  • Lonely Planet is giving away a free book on their site when you make a minimum purchase – it works out to something like buy two, get one free.
  • Get 10% off the Unconventional Guide to Discount Airfare using the discount code “indietravel”.
  • Rough Guides and hostelbookers are giving away copies of their new guide called “Ultimate Adventures: A Rough Guide to Adventure Travels”.

Your thoughts on "Finding short-term work overseas podcast"

  • Very helpful podcast! But as I am currently a student studying in grad school abroad, do you know a way to find work opportunities that are free lance, or outside school hours?

    on September 15, 2008 at 12:34 am Reply
  • I would love to teach English, as I have done that in the past - but only through conversation. Taking someone to the intermediate level to fluent, or preparing them for the TOEFL. But I don't have an English degree or anything of the sort. Living in Eastern Europe, and not even in a major city, it is hard to just show up with CVs, because no one would understand what you wanted - might even be escorted off the premises! I can also bake really well, and give great massages. Should I just flyer the Uni with those kind of offers? Or I write free lance on the side - how possible is it to break into Travel writing? Once I finish my fourth year, I will probably teach anatomy and biochemisty and the like to lower year students. But that is two years from now, unfortunately. Sorry about the tons of Q's but my situation is different from most. Thanks guys!!

    on September 15, 2008 at 3:38 pm Reply
  • Sure...what kind of skills can you bring to the table? Are you thinking about writing, teaching, design work? It all depends. In many countries you ought to have a freelance or even a work visa, but often-times it passes under the radar.

    on September 15, 2008 at 2:21 pm Reply
  • Personally, I'd focus on services (tutoring and possibly massage) rather than products (baking). Generating a reasonable income through tutoring could be possible. Don't undersell your services but find a good balance. If your prices are too low you'll end up with bad clients and will begrudge the time rather than enjoying it. Some of the things we did to promote our English teaching business could help you out. When we started up we... * left fliers around local Universities, libraries and cafes. * put up A4 posters in the same places, plus church + community notice boards, etc. * left business cards (free ones from vistaprint.com) everywhere. * gave students who referred new people to us a free lesson after the new student had stayed for a month. * contacted local schools and told them about our tutoring services. (Only had one referral in three years, but it was only an hour's investment.) One person I know did free one hour conversation classes in a cafe once a fortnight and 'upsold' private lessons from there. We ran the business from our living room, but went to clients houses for lessons. We were often teaching immigrant high school children or the wives of foreign business people. Your situation is different; perhaps arrange first meetings (or perhaps all your lessons) in a public place, like a quiet cafe. I guess you can easily cross-promote your medical tutoring when the time comes.

    on September 15, 2008 at 4:22 pm Reply
  • And breaking into travel writing? I really have no idea. We're just scraping together a little freelancing here and there; not enough to live on that's for sure.

    on September 15, 2008 at 4:27 pm Reply
  • Thanks for the tips you two! You guys are great! I enlisted the help of a Hungarian friend, and we are this week advertising on the University campus, local high schools and classifieds. Already ordered my business cards. Too bad you are leaving Europe, but good luck on the next leg of your world tour. Looking forward to the next podcast and will keep you updated.

    on September 16, 2008 at 12:44 pm Reply
  • Sweet; glad to be of some help. We've been taking a bit of video around Kuala Lumpur, so hopefully we'll have some good stuff to share and few stories too. One thing I forgot to mention is to have a simple written contract which states if they cancel a lesson with less than 24 hours notice (or longer if you wish), they have to pay for it. I'd also recommend getting paid reasonably frequently. Each lesson, each week or each fortnight. No longer for this kind of small on-the-side tutoring. Good luck...and don't overspend on your first "marketing" attempts.

    on September 17, 2008 at 1:50 pm Reply
  • Julie's put together a compact but useful list of possible short jobs. It's well worth a read.

    on September 22, 2008 at 10:56 am Reply

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