Coaching By Karin

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Jobs for Expats;

The 2 Most Common;

And How to Find them.

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View The YouTube video about this topic.

There are several reasons why someone decides to work in another country:
- He/she was not able to find a job in his/her home country;
- He/she has a relationship with someone from another country;
- He/she want to travel into several countries and for that is going to work in several countries;
- Better salary(?);
- Experience;
- Etc.

The 2 most common Expat jobs:

1) Hostess/Representative/Guide for a Travel Agency;
2) Customer Service, Call Center related work.

Although not everyone will agree with the fact that working for a Travel Agency can be considered as Expat work, it surely is.
Many hostesses will do this work for 1 season, stop completely or for the holiday season, or go on to another destination.
It for sure is an Expat job.

1) Hostess/Representative/Guide:

Depending on for which company you are going to work for, the conditions often are not very good:
- 6 Days workweek;
- Broken Shifts;
- Low salary;
- Apartment sharing (when lucky);
- Small hotel room (when less lucky);
- Mandatory parties (sometimes in your free time, depending on the company);
- Some organizations want you to sell advertisement space in their brochure. Most of them have specific targets for this. When not being able to achieve these targets there will be a cut of the commission or other punishments.

There are of course a few benefits also:
- Highly independent work;
- Often you can eat for free in the hotels you are working in (although this is changing);
- Free excursions (because you have to sell them, and for that knew them);
- Working in another country;
- Parties (when you are in to it).

Low Salary:

This is highly depending on the company.
In Europe, it is common that the employees get a contract with OSP AG.
OSP AG is a Swiss-based company.
Switzerland does not have a minimum wage. This means that the salary can go low as the employer wants.
This has nothing to do with OSP AG, but everything with the Tour Operators not wanting to pay more money for a hostess.
It is completely normal for a new employee to earn as less as € 450-550 net. At lease with many companies.
Although there are few exceptions.
Keep in mind that for you this (in my opinion an insult) low salary you have to work often more than 40 hours, and you have only 1 day off during the week.
Often have 24/7 hours emergency telephone with you.
Depending on your employer you will get a shared apartment or a hotel room.
Some companies offer commission when selling excursions and car rental. Others don't (but normally have a higher salary).
A few offer also a bonus for every extra language you speak. Depending on the language (some are more requested than others).

Keep in mind that most companies tell you not to worry about work permits, "as we all work/live in Europe".
This is not true. Different countries have different rules/laws for foreign people working in their country.
For some, this means you have to register within 30 days of arrival. For others, within 3 months you need to apply for certain documents.
Others request you to register within 6 months. Others need you to leave the country for at least 1 night every 3 months.
As said, highly depending on the country you are working in.

Some Hostess Activities:

- Receiving guest at the Airport;
- Helping departing guest with check-in at Airport;
- Holding Welcome Meetings in Hotels;
- Solve issues/problems (everything) for the customers;
- Selling excursions & car rentals;
- Inform guest about pick up time for departure;
- Administration tasks.
- Etc.

Do I advice a jobs as Hostess/Representative/Guide?
Yes, I do. When you are young, want to travel the world.
For sure, go ahead. Work a few years for a Tour Operator.
You will learn a lot.
The Benefits of working Abroad are many. I will talk about this later in another Blog.

My experience with Tour Operators from different countries is that the German Tour Operators are the best to work for.
I also worked for a few Spanish with a foreign management which were great to work for.
The Dutch... Go ahead and try, although I do not recommend them.
Everything for the money. Not yours, not the guests, but the bonus they (Operations Responsible, CEO company etc.) receive when YOU work your butt off.

2) Customer Service Call Center:

Many Northern European companies have their Customer Support in low wage countries.
Not wanting to pay a salary which is a "normal" standard for their country.
Their excuse often is that these companies are experienced in Customer Support.
Which might be the truth, but on the other hand, it is completely (excuse the word) bull shit.
When the companies started with outsourcing this was not the case. It was only the amount of salary they needed to pay that was the issue.
In the Northern European Countries, these companies, very good in Customer Support, exist also.
Yet, indeed, the salary of the employees is higher, so more costs (less profit) for the company.
But do not be mistaken. In many countries, you can live like a king/queen from a fraction of the salary you will earn in a Northern European Country.

Working is a Call Center requires specific knowledge & expertise. The knowledge you normally will learn during the training.
- Often high pressure to reach KPI's;
- Working in shifts;
- Working on weekends;
- Working on holidays;
- High amounts of calls;
- High administrative pressure;
- Salary is low (companies will often say "the country is cheap to live in" etc.);
- Un-polite customers;
- High employee turnover;
- Bonus hard, or even not, to achieve;
- Bonus rules changing every other day;
- Highly over the top "Clean Desk Policy" at several companies;
- Many companies say they offer the possibility of growth. Most of the time only words and no deeds;
- Etc.

There are benefits also of course.
- Working abroad;
- Fully paid training (inform yourself about this during the interviews);
- Relocation packages offered by many companies;
- Shared apartment opportunity offered by some companies (check the salary in this case);

Bonus & KPI's

For the Call Centers/Customer Service Companies I have worked for, in different countries, it was the same everywhere.
They promise you, for example, 5% bonus if you achieve all the KPI's.
Then they change first the KPI's, Not decreasing them of course, but increasing them.
This is completely my personal opinion due to my experience: When the amount of the Bonus they need to pay out stays the same or lowers, nothing happens further.
Yet, when there are too many people achieving the KPI's, there comes another Bonus regulation change.
Decreasing the percentage of the Bonus you can earn.

This happens all the time. Not only with the companies, I have worked for, but I have also spoken with many ex-colleagues about this and tit happens over and over again.
The companies do not care about the employees, or hardly, (and sometimes neither with their customers) but they only worry about their profit.

Some Call Center Activities:

- Answering questions of the customer;
- Answering complaints of the customer;
- Solving questions customer;
- Administrative tasks;
- Chatting with the customer about inquiries customer has;
- Escalating issues you cannot solve;
- Achieving KPI's

Do I advise working in a Call Center?
No, preferable try to get a job as hostess/guide. On the other hand, when you like chatting with customers the whole day, go ahead.
The job itself is normally low paid, and most of the customers sometimes aren't polite at all.
If it is possible chose a B2B Customer Service job. I have learned the customers from B2B are so much more polite than the consumers.
When you do not like to be on the telephone the whole day with complaining customers, this is no job for you.
The fact that many Call Center companies do not give a dam about their employees (almost all have a very, very high turnover rate of employees), but so much more about the KPI's doesn't make it better.
On the other hand, it is very easy to get a job like this, as the companies have huge difficulties to find employees.

Be Aware Of:

- Some companies require the relocation package to be paid back when leaving within 6-9 months. Or even 1 year;
- There are companies who offer Health Insure only after the probation time. This can be up 6 months!;
- When not offering a relocation package, try to negotiate. It is hard to do everything on your own in a new country. Or hire an Expat Coach;
- Some companies never give you a permanent contract, you will get a renewal for example from Randstad, then Vedior, then the company itself. Then another job agency to start again with the first one.
- Most of the time this is very negative for you retirement. Even when you are still young, do not forget that. Time flies really!
- Recruiters sometimes are not completely honest (or telling plain lies) about the price of the rent of an apartment etc.. Before you accept a job remember that the rent often is 50% more or even 75% than the recruiter is telling you.
It is hard to find employees for the Call Center in whole Europe and the salary normally is not good enough to live a normal life.
Although the salaries are raising at the moment, due to tight market.

Rent Prices Studio Europe:

Prices without water, electricity, gas etc.

- Dublin (Ireland): Min. € 1100,= per month.
- Barcelona (Spain): Min. € 700,= per month.
- Prague (Czech Republic): Min. € 600,= per month.
- Athens (Greece): Min. € 350,= per month.
- Gzira (Malta): Min. € 950,= per month.
- Lisbon (Portugal): Min. € 700,= per month.

Remember that most Call Centers offer between € 750,= & € 850,= net. Or less.
On Malta about € 1000,= net.
Everything without Bonus. As the Bonus is extra, and subject of change whenever the company wants to, DO NOT count this in your salary.
It is extra thus should not be counted.

Where to Find these Vacancies:

Hostess/Representative/Guide for a Travel Agency:
Below a few links where you can apply for a job as Hostess.
All Cruise Jobs
alltours (German)
Thomas Cook Neckermann (German)
Olympic Holidays

Apply at vacancy for Call Centers here:
European Language Jobs
Multilingual Vacancies
Good Call
Top Language Jobs


After being an Expat over 10 years myself I know this for sure:
- Makes you stronger (you need to find out many things by yourself);
- Gives you the opportunity to learn a different culture;
- Gives you the opportunity to learn a different language;
- Living abroad makes you more humble;
- Lets you appreciate what you have more;
- Enriches your life due to all the cultures you are getting to know;
- Etc.

When you want more info about being an Expat, or need help with your move abroad Contact Me.
And please join my Newsletter to keep yourself updated with important information.

I am looking forward to your email or telephone call!

BE SOMEONE who makes YOU happy.

"Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, You are right". Henry Ford