This Page

has been moved to new address

Ask VMW: Is it easy to get a job overseas?

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): Ask VMW: Is it easy to get a job overseas?

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

My Photo
Location: United States

After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ask VMW: Is it easy to get a job overseas?

Here's a question I recently received:

I have been reading the blogs about Germany and I appreciate all of the insight! I am a newly married military wife, and we just found out our next assignment will be to Germany.  We are ecstatic to say the least but besides the bagillion questions, I have one really important for spouses, are there any? I am beginning to feel that knot in my stomach known as "anxiety" so any insight you might have would be greatly appreciated.

 Jobs....not as easy as in the US, but if you are persistent, you'll find something...eventually...the easiest to get are AAFES retail and commissary baggers/cashiers and jobs are a bit harder.  Your first stop should be Army Community Service (ACS) at your new post, as they have the leads for all kinds of jobs in your area, to include contractor jobs and those obscure jobs that aren't really listed anywhere that you would find them.  Since you will fall under the SOFA agreement, which was made between the US and Germany after the war, there will only be certain jobs on post you are eligible for and no jobs off post if you are a US citizen (unless you get hired by a company from stateside).  I did have a friend who worked under the table in a German restaurant, working back in the kitchen.  She loved it, because she learned how to cook German dishes, except for the special sauces they made...they made those before the hired help came in!  Another friend who had a horse taught lessons to American kids at a local stable.  ACS will also help you with your resume and get you in the system to look for jobs...many people think there are just government jobs, but you'd be surprised what you'll see offered.  I know the government is trying to get rid of some of these contractor jobs, as many get paid beaucoup bucks when they could pay a government worker much less.  Good for the country, not so good for the worker....but, I still see a lot of them out there, and if you have a security clearance, you will move to the head of the line.  As a sidenote, I got a job once by volunteering.  I always volunteer anyway, but had I not volunteered, I would not even have been offered this job.  The amazing thing is that the agency went through the process of doing other interviews, but since they were so happy with my work and I was known entity, I got the job in the end....right or wrong, it pays off to volunteer and network I think.  Good luck in your search!

Labels: , ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was really disappointed when coming here and trying to find a job. I'm in the medical field and thought with the huge LRMC complex and all the clinics there would be plenty of opportunities. Sadly, I was mistaken. It is like Ft. Knox trying to get thru the red tape and become a contracted employee, but my career field is never posted anyway. Volunteering would be great but with 3 little ones, the cost of childcare makes it impossible. Unfortunately all my years of schooling are going to waste.

April 5, 2011 at 10:25 AM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

Just wanted to post that I got an email from someone today who got a job overseas as a dental hygienist. She volunteered for a few months and was a it does work:-)

Anonymous, do you think you could get your foot in the door by going the above route?

April 6, 2011 at 9:48 AM  
Blogger Catherine said...

In Italy, we are only allowed to work as baggers at the Commissary. Is it that same in Germany? Just curious really. Also, volunteering does help! In fact, a friend in South Korea was recently offered a job based on her volunteering in that same office.

April 6, 2011 at 2:56 PM  
Blogger Chaston said...

I am a new military husband and we are also being stationed in Germany. I am not sure what this SOFA agreement is. I have been planning on finding a job with a German company, as I have a German Diplom in Electrical Engineering and am legally allowed to work in the country, but does the SOFA agreement bar me from obtaining a job with a German company even though I have a German degree?

April 6, 2011 at 7:25 PM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

Chaston, I am no expert in that area really and don't want to steer you will need a work permit...I know that much. Let me direct you to message boards. Then go to the Baden-Wuerttemberg message board, as there are a lot of threads on Americans finding work overseas, specifically in Germany, and the different ways you can try to accomplish that. I know there can be lots of red tape and certain rules. For example, I worked for an American company operating in Germany that would not hire any local nationals or ANYONE who ever worked in the German system...please don't ask me why, other than maybe they didn't want to have to pay into the social system?

April 6, 2011 at 8:31 PM  
Blogger Nina said...

The challenge with finding a job outside the post is work permit. Without it there is no chance to get hired by any trustworthy, legal business; people without proper permits are putting themselves into a seriously bad position if/when get caught.

The SOFA agreement covers people who are in a foreign country without work permit sponsorship, and as far as I know, SOFA prevents or at least limits companies from sponsoring work permits for foreigners. And on the other hand, companies are not very willing to spend time&money to go through the work permit bureaucracy unless a person holds some special skills. Also, in case a person gets the work permit, (s)he is considered as local workforce, and will have to pay the local taxes.

So that being said, if a person is legally able to work in the country (e.g., being a dual citizen or something), (s)he is allowed to work there while stationed. Otherwise it is rather difficult to find a local job.

April 19, 2011 at 8:00 AM  
Blogger Holly said...

Not all contractors make big bucks overseas husband is a contractor here in Sicily - we're both retired Navy. He makes less than $50K per year - out of that $50K we pay $1500 a month rent (no BAQ or OHA), average $150 a month electric (expensive here and the house is still either overly warm or cold depending on the season and 4 times a year, we have to re-fill the heating oil tank (about $1000 each time) ...that's nearly $24K we spend just on those three items ...half of what he earns. And we get no COLA. Contractors don't always have the easy life you may think... even though I am a disabled Vet (65%),I'm ineligible to get any job onbase since we can't get no-fee passports. We are seriously considering my returning to the states and he remains here until he retires from this job - financially we are hurting. I don't have a problem with military spouses given priority - but they know that they will PCS and return to the states where they can apply for jobs again..contractor spouses have no such assurance. I really enjoy your posts and have gotten a lot from them ... but thought you should hear from the other side of the street.

April 24, 2011 at 9:15 PM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

Holly, you are definitely correct...the belief is that ALL contractors get paid very well. I can only say, in Germany, for the most part, they get paid very well. I unfortunately have no experience with Italy, but I am thinking it may be because the Italian civilian counterparts are paid lower than the German ones (I'm talking regular workers in that field on the economy and not with the US military).

Yes, that is a tight squeeze you mentioned....thanks for sharing it is not all peaches and cream in the contractor world...I have friends making $150-200k in Iraq and Afghanistan..and most of them, honestly, are doing it for the money only. I worry about their lives being in danger honestly, plus they don't have the back up that military units do and don't even carry weapons.

I am getting off on a tangent. Thank you for adding to the discussion and sharing more on the subject!

April 24, 2011 at 9:22 PM  
Blogger ExotiqBeautii said...

I know this post is pretty old, but hopefully someone can read this and answer. We're currently stationed in the UK and I'm the MS. I want to take a makeup artistry class in London that lasts for 10 weeks. I was wondering if I would have to get a student visa, or what are the exact requirements being a MS for me to attend classes overseas in the UK? Is there something that I am supposed to look for on my passport or visa giving me permission to work/ study overseas? Thanks in advance...

June 12, 2011 at 7:37 PM  
Blogger Nina said...

It depends on the school that is offering the makeup artistry class. If it is "unofficial" non-credit class that is open for everyone, you don't need a student visa. But if the class is offered by the college/university, then you need to get together with their foreign student office.

A US citizen planning to study in the UK for less than 6 months, and not working, does not need a student visa. However, I am not sure if the case is different when you are stationed in UK already.
Chances are that you don't need a student visa for such a short class but the best thing is to talk to the institution providing the class.

June 13, 2011 at 6:13 PM  
Blogger HennyM said...

we just moved back to German. I quit my job for the second time due to a military move within 15 months.
I am 6 months pregnant now, so no company is willing to hire me (I'm a German citizen, so i could legally work off post). As i understand it, i am not entitled to the German unemployment benefits, since my husband earns too much, nor have i worked in the US system long enough to get any financial help from there.

June 27, 2011 at 1:49 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home