1. The internet has had an enormous impact and those prepared to surf can make their way through the deluge of information to specific job and volunteer listings overseas. For example try anyworkanywhere.com and seasonworkers.com.
2. Gather character/job references, a short CV, any potentially relevant qualifications (sailing, cooking, computing, first aid) or even do an evening course in your target language or in teaching English as a foreign language. Email copies to yourself so that you can access them anywhere.
3. Pack a smart outfit for interviews, black and whites if you are planning to try for restaurant jobs.
4. Since contacts are often the key to success, broadcast your intentions to third cousins, visiting professors or in relevant chatrooms like Lonely Planet's Thorntree and be prepared to follow up leads you are given.
5. On arrival, seek advice from expats and fellow travellers. If looking for casual work on farms or trying to fix up a passage on a transatlantic yacht, for example, a visit to a village pub frequented by farmers, yachties or the local expatriate community is usually worth dozens of speculative applications and emails from home.
Susan Griffith is a freelance editor and writer who has been writing about travel for over 25 years. Her books include the best-selling classic Work Your Way Around the World, as well as Teaching English Abroad, Taking a Gap Year, and—most recently—Gap Years for Grown Ups. Originally from Canada, Susan is currently based in the UK.
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