Work Overseas

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Fab

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Hi all, I am currently working in railway Operations and plan on using this experience to explore opportunities abroad somewhere in a not so distant future. For those who have taken this step in the past, where did you start your journey? What went well and what did you wish you had known before you moved abroad? Just trying to figure out where to start and what to look out for. Thanks all!
 
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Gloster

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A thorough knowledge of the language is vital if you are intending to seek anything but a very low level job. You might be able to get away with a little if you are just doing something very basic, but as soon as you get to anything that involves paperwork, you must be able to understand the forms properly. This will also be necessary for the various forms needed for residence permits, as it is probable that for a good job everything must be in order. The days when I used to wing it are past.
 

Fab

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Fully agree with this, having full control of the local language is a must. English is not my first language and its clear to me that throughout my career I always had to convince employers that it would not be problem. Although I’d be willing to pick up another language, I am likely to prioritise opportunities in English speaking countries.
 

Fab

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Australia / New Zealand / North America would be my first choice. Staying permanently would be an option but I have got no strong feelings about the length of stay. From 1 year to indefinitely I will consider each case on its own merits.
 

DriverEight

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Many countries will only grant work permits to people with skills that they need. For instance, I'm a truck driver and I know from experience that it's relatively easy to get a work permit in Canada but practically impossible to get one for the USA. This is because Canada has a shortage of truck drivers, and the USA doesn't. Some Canadian provinces narrow the criteria even further by only allowing drivers that will do long distance work. So, if I were you, I'd start by trying to find a country that wants your skills and experience on the railway. Another question is are your skills transferable? For example, Doctors can move fairly easily because disease, illness and treatment are pretty much the same where ever you go. Lawyers, however, can't move at all because most legal systems are different and very complex. They'd have to start again from scratch.

You should also consider your personal circumstances. If you're married, there's no guarantee that your partner will get a work permit. Your health is relevant too, for instance Canada has government funded health insurance, and places restrictions on immigrants with pre-existing health conditions. A criminal record will almost certainly rule you out, as will any history of drug or alcohol addiction

And, sadly, many qualifications and certificates you may have could be worthless in another country. Some are recognised (medical qualifications, for instance) but most are not. They will have their own standards and practices and will definitely require you to adhere to them so you could have to start again from scratch. Again using personal experience as an example, countries will recognise each others driving license, so these can be "flipped" easily. Simply go to the local equivalent of the DVLA and hand in your UK licence to get a new local one. Vocational licences like HGV are different, you have to have training and take a driving test for the class of vehicle you wish to drive. I also had an ADR certificate which meant I could carry chemical products anywhere in Europe, but it was worthless in Canada
 
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Simon11

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I spent 6 months in Singapore and over 2 years in America for a transport company. Easiest way is to have a well respected position senior position and transfer within the organisation to a country which doesnt have enough talent.

A good skill to gain is working on bids and thus can open many doors. Colleagues supported a bid in Dubai and then become director if they win.
 

Robcuk

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Australia / New Zealand / North America would be my first choice. Staying permanently would be an option but I have got no strong feelings about the length of stay. From 1 year to indefinitely I will consider each case on its own merits.
You’d have to have the right to work in Australia and NZ so would need the appropriate visa/residencey rights. You could then apply for any roles that come up.

Sydney or NSW trains do not sponsor and i’d be amazed if any of the other states would so your only option is to apply for a visa which is a lengthy process.

When i applied for a trainee driver role i waited for around 18 months so not only is the visa application a lengthy procedure the wait once in is.

There are some metro networks in NZ but guessing the opportunities there do not come up as frequently as they would in Australia.

As to the US - not a clue but again the sticking point is the right to live and work there.
 

LSWR Cavalier

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I worked for a few days for the Deutsche Bahn as a luggage porter, not bad, plenty of exercise, we were allowed to accept cash tips. Saw some interesting summer jobs advertised, helping cyclists load and unload their machines at busy stations.

DB is a huge organisation and employs IT specialists and the like who presumably work mostly in English.

One interesting job is as a Servicekraft on the platform giving timetable information and the like. But one starts at a big city station on shift work. People nearing retirement may be moved to a quiet station (Bad Oldesloe!) If one can get residence and speaks a bit of German, DB would be a good organisation to get into.
 
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