CANOE Network

The Toronto Sun CareerConnection

How to find jobs abroad

By Diane Slawych Helms
Special to the Sun

When Toronto-based author Jean-Marc Hachey tells you he's written the most comprehensive international career reference in the world, it's hard to argue. The fourth edition of his just-released book The Big Guide to Living and Working Overseas, (Intercultural Systems) is 1,084 pages long, and includes a 518-page CD-ROM. Inside, according to the book's cover, are no fewer than 3,045 career building resources!

If you've ever wanted to work, study or volunteer abroad, this guide is a good place to begin your search. There are 41 chapters divided into five parts: Living Overseas, How to Gain Experience, The International Job Search, Professions and Career Directories.

Looking for opportunities in specific countries? Check the "countries and regions of the world" section of the index.

Interested in finding work abroad in your profession? Look under "job categories" which lists opportunities for anyone from accountants to writers.

Hachey is personally familiar with the experience of living and working overseas. He's held positions with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, World University Service of Canada, Canadian Crossroads International and others, and says he got the idea for the book when friends asked him for advice on overseas jobs. "I knew there was a need for a road map on international careers," he says.

The first book, called The Canadian Guide to Working and Living Overseas, was published in 1992. The 2004 edition is the first update in six years. And a lot has changed in that time.

Smaller world

"The Internet has revolutionized the whole world on job hunting," asserts Hachey. "Some NGO (non-governmental organization) based out of Boca Raton, Florida will post a job on a Monday with a closing on Friday and have 200 applicants from all over the world."

While the Internet may have increased competition for overseas positions, Canadians, says Hachey, are highly desirable on the international playing field. European and American NGO's, for example, are hiring more Canadians to work abroad for them.

Finding those NGO's, and a host of other international employers, is as simple as checking the individual listings which provide full contact details including website addresses.

The 4th edition of the Big Guide contains 41% more information and many new entries including 12 new or substantially rewritten "how-to" chapters; sections on selling your international skills and international resumes, and new writing about the career path, hiring process and job search.

There's also advice on internships as well as on health and international law careers, and a major expansion of U.S. information including 716 profiles on U.S. NGO's and private firms.

In the past, books on this subject were written in other countries and much of the information they contained didn't apply to Canadians. This guide is written specifically for the Canadian market, although Hachey adds about 80% is applicable to Americans as well.

"A lot of times parents buy the book for their children," he says, "and then they (the parents) end up going abroad."

The Big Guide to Living and Working Overseas by Jean-Marc Hachey (Intercultural Systems) is available at bookstores nation-wide and sells for $59.95 (20% discount if ordered online). An online subscription service, for one week, two months or three months is also available. For more info visit

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