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There are lots of jobs for Americans in Europe, but you have to know where to look. If you’ve decided that you’re moving to Europe in hopes of starting a new life, then you’re going to need to secure a good job. Whatever your reasons for moving may be, you’re going to need three things: your stuff, a home, and a job. All of that can seem daunting at first, but it’s doable – no need to worry.

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Is it Hard to Get a Job in Europe as an American?

Whether or not you’re able to secure a job abroad right away is something most US expats come to worry about. It’s completely understandable since you’re moving across the world. So, how do you land a job in Europe? The general answer to that question is research, patience, and good timing. But for further understanding, we’ll break it down for you.

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Finding a job in Europe can be challenging, but achievable

What Countries Can US Citizens Work In?

We can all admit that 2020 has brought significant changes and challenges to the entire world. The workforce isn’t what it used to be for many nations, and a lot is weighed against you as a US citizen. There’s still hope as there are some nations that will welcome and hire a US citizen with open arms, so long as they follow the right steps and precautions. You get to practice the first two elements of how to get a job in Europe as an American – research and patience.

Work in Southern Europe

For a little bit of geographical reference, the southern region is the southernmost region of the continent. It includes Italy, Malta, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Serbia, and more. Because this region spans many countries, there are lots of chances to find employment in any one of them. It’s just a matter of knowing what work is most available in the region. A big go-to is digital freelancing, whether it’s in marketing, design, content, etc. The job you’re most likely to get quickly is teaching English online. Many people from these countries don’t speak English, but there are a few where English is spoken fluently – like Serbia, for instance. Teaching is a great way to get a decent income if you do it full time in 2020.

Jobs in Eastern European Countries

The Eastern region includes Belarus, Romania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, and Ukraine. This region is a bit more complicated than most other areas because the language barrier is much thicker, so you’ll have to find tips for learning a new language. The job market here holds career opportunities geared toward sales and data management, analysis, and accounting. Teaching English is also an option, but isn’t as sought after as other fields.

Working in Northern European Countries

Compared to other regions, working abroad in the northern region is probably the easiest because there’s much less of a language barrier. These countries include Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Norway, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. You can find many career fields to work in and plenty of expat communities to help you if you need guidance. You can find career opportunities like digital marketing, software engineering, data management, web development, tech, management, sales, content production, etc.

Career Opportunities in The West

The Western region includes, among others, Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, and Switzerland. This region also doesn’t have a high volume of English speakers, so finding a teaching job is also possible. You’re more likely to find digital marketing and management jobs as well as web development and design. Though, if you’ve learned enough for breaking the language barrier, you can easily break into other markets.

A pinned map of Europe
You can refine your search to different parts of the continent

What Jobs Are in High Demand in Europe?

Now would be a perfect time to get a pad and pen and start jotting some things down while searching for a job. Because you’re soon to be a foreigner, you’ll have significantly fewer career opportunities in 2020. You have to get smart and know what to look for and what the qualifications are. Getting familiar with the markets that are good for American citizens will set you far above your competition.

Digital Marketing and Technology Jobs and Careers

2020 is a digital age, and many European nations are well developed and adapted to the digital working sphere, and other nations aren’t too far behind. Many countries welcome US citizens with a decent level of digital skills. You can easily find work as a graphic designer, video editor, web developer, software engineer, etc. You also have plenty of online resources at your disposal to help you search the digital and tech markets.

English Teaching Jobs

As we’ve mentioned earlier, teaching English in Europe is a big go-to for many US expats. There are a lot of benefits to it, but there are some drawbacks as well. Here is a list of pros and cons so you can decide if that’s the route you’re choosing to go with:

Pros of teaching ESL courses

  • You’ll have a flexible schedule that you dictate each week.
  • The lesson plans are straightforward, and you’re given a little bit of creative control.
  • Payment is seldom late.
  • You can work from virtually anywhere.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to set your rates for lessons.

Cons of teaching ESL courses

  • You’re reliant on a stable internet connection.
  • Some programs require an ESL certification.
  • Lesson bookings aren’t guaranteed.
  • You’ll have to hustle hard in the beginning.
Most work can be found in the digital field

What Americans Need to Get a Work Visa

Obtaining a working visa depends heavily on whether or not the country is a part of the EU, varies from country to country, and can take a considerable amount of time. Most often, you’ll have to have the necessary information regarding your career, how long you plan to stay, and how much you are expected to earn yearly. On top of that, you’ll need to have a home address, bank account, and insurance. Be sure to check with the ministry of foreign affairs office or the US embassy for more information regarding your working visa.

For a more in-depth list of necessities for getting a work visa, you’ll typically see a list of items during the visa process:

  • The first thing is to fill out an application that typically comes with a fee.
  • Two identical photos
  • A valid passport
  • A round trip flight reservation to check the dates of entry and re-entry into the country.
  • Proof of accommodation
  • An employee contract
  • Proof of academic qualifications
  • Proof of language knowledge (sometimes not required)

Should you have any other concerns, worries, or if you require further help, you can always save your relocation questions to ask the employer. That way, you can clear up most problems in case you run into some.

Start Planning and Preparing Your Resume When You Decide on Where You’re Going

When preparing your resume, you’re going to have to make sure it stands out and lists all outstanding qualifications you have for the company you’re applying to. Remember that chances are you’re going up against very stiff competition from people who already live there. Being a US citizen can give a little bonus, but only if you understand the language well and contribute more than a native citizen. You’ll also have to properly structure your CV. Most employers won’t look at a CV if it’s poorly put together.

Copies of resumes
There is a process and several requirements in order to find work and obtain a visa

Get Started on Your Job Hunt

Now that you’ve gotten a good idea of how to go career hunting, you can officially start to make your way there. Moving and figuring out how to live in another country is an extensive process, and you’ll need all the resources and help you can get. Help like hiring a reputable international shipping company. There are many shipping services to choose from, like shipping by air, or more frequent, international moving services. There are even overseas vehicle shipping services so that you can have your car with you. 2020 may be a tough year for work and travel, but you can do it with enough research, patience, and the right timing.