How to Turn Your Passion into a Career Abroad
Don’t Go Out on a Whim
If you find your current life dissatisfying, it can be easy to fantasize about leaving life behind and moving to some far-off corner of the world to pursue your passion. But before you throw your alarm clock in the bin, it might be a good idea to make sure you’re clear on what your passion actually is and, if you don’t know, how to find out.
If you go by the simple definition of passion — “an extreme interest in or wish for doing something” — it seems pretty easy to think of various things you enjoy doing more than usual, but when it comes to finding something you’re so passionate about that it could be a possible career, that is a whole other ball park.
It’s important to really try and think about how you feel when you do what you love. Could you actually see yourself pursuing this as a career? Looking at how you can merge the skills you already have with the passion you want to pursue is also a great way to figure out how to kickstart your new vocation.
Rule of Three
Another good place to start when trying to find your passion is to ask yourself these three questions:
- What subject could you learn about endlessly without getting bored?
- Would you willingly do a job related to that subject for five years, without being paid?
- If money was no object, what would you spend your time on
If one activity or hobby stands out above all others, you may just have found your passion!
Bridging the Gap Before Taking the Leap
So, you’ve found your passion and have decided to take the steps to turn that passion into a career abroad, the next thing to think about is how to bridge the gap between your passion and your career.
Before you make any changes, do your research. Can your skills be used in any other field? For example, you might love drawing but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to become an artist. Lots of skills are transferable to various job markets, so keep your mind open and consider your options rather than taking the first opportunity.
Another thing to consider, especially when thinking about moving abroad for your career, is whether the job you want to pursue is in high demand. Not necessarily for purposes such as salary and benefits, but if there is little to no demand for what you're planning to live off then it may be worth re-evaluating the job you have in mind.
If you’re struggling, firstly don’t give up! Turning your passion into a career abroad is no easy ride and you have to be prepared for some trial and error. Think about your passion and then ask yourself who it would benefit, if there are any gaps in the market you feel that you could fill, and where it would be best suited? For example, if surfing is your passion then landlocked Czechia may not be the best place to consider. On the other hand, if you want to combine your surfing passion with innovation, then the fairly new introduction of river wave surfing in Czechia could be something to consider.
Plan, Plan, Plan!
Finally, one of the most important steps overall is planning. Assess your skills and prepare to go back to school. For most atypical careers, some kind of qualification is required. From being a professional dog groomer to being a life coach, having proof that you can do what you claim to be able to do can be very helpful and make it easier for you to find customers.
Secondly, always keep in mind that pursuing your passion abroad is no mean feat. It requires quite some time and planning, as well as a lot of patience. For example, you might not be in the situation where you can afford to uproot your entire life and start fresh in another country right away but looking at your monthly and yearly spending will allow you to plan your move abroad or your career change.
Even if you can afford to leave your current job and do what you love, you should ask yourself if your current financial status will hold in the event of something going wrong. No matter what situation you’re in, try and plan for the unexpected; chances are that something — no matter how big or small — will go wrong, and having a rainy-day fund will help enormously then.
Top Tip! Studies suggest that setting specific, short term goals can actually help take control of your financial life and to prepare for your future while also benefitting your current life.
So, Where Do You Go from Here?
With 195 countries in the world, there are definitely more than enough to choose from when it comes to deciding on the best place for you to follow your passion. There are lots of things you should consider before making your choice, and here are just a few.
First, take a look at yourself and where you are in your life! Think about what you want from life; do you want the hustle and bustle of a big city or do you prefer the quiet life in a small village? Either way, if you don’t know where you want to be in the near future, it will be difficult to know where you would be best suited.
It might seem obvious but another thing to bear in mind is who will be moving with you. From your pet to your entire family, it is important to factor your loved ones into your plans and decisions. Consider their needs: will the rooftop apartment in Bali accept your pet cat? Does that sweet Devonshire village have adequate transport services and good schools nearby? You are looking to pursue your passion but don’t let that cloud your better judgement!
Schools, transportation, healthcare, cost of living, and safety are just some of the things you need to consider when looking at moving abroad. Depending on your current lifestyle, availability of schools or cost of living may not be important to you at the moment, but there will always be things you need to consider.
For example, if you are looking to move to Asia but won’t have a disposable income while you are building up your new career, it might be worth noting that the cost of living in both Hong Kong and Singapore is very high, whereas Vietnam, in fact, has one of the lowest costs of living.
These small necessities that we overlook in our home countries, because we are so used to having them, are the things to pay special attention to. The last thing you want is to overlook the availability of medical care in your new home country and then not being able to get help for the smallest of ailments.
Consider the Culture Clash
One more small thing to think about is the culture of the country you’re thinking of moving to. Culture varies from country to country and even within countries, affecting our daily lives without us even thinking about it.
When you think about starting a new career, cultural traditions are incredibly important to acknowledge and respect. Choosing not to shake someone’s hand before or after a meeting, for instance, could have a huge effect on the growth of your business or career. By failing to research things like business etiquette (among other cultural differences) in your new home country, you may be shooting yourself in the foot.
So, think about the type of person you are and what you want, but also what type of career you want to turn your passion into. Then ask yourself if the country you have in mind really is the best place to start.