The latest job numbers produced by government statisticians have been showing an improved environment for jobs seekers. But not so fast.
The problem is, the numbers that the government emphasizes overlook the tens of millions of people who are permanently unemployed or are holding down three part-time jobs just to make ends meet.
It’s likely that someone in your family or circle of friends has been slammed by America’s deep unemployment crisis. In some cases, it may be wise to at least consider some of the amazing and lucrative employment opportunities overseas, at least until things improve state-side. In the right places, in the right industries, even blue-collar workers are commanding six-figure salaries. The State Department estimates that 6.3 million Americans are studying or working overseas, which is the highest number on record.
Young People Increasingly Find
Promising Careers outside of the U.S.
The top three countries for Americans to move to are the UK, France, and China. However, according to a report by CNBC, young entrepreneurs are also choosing places like Brazil, Russia, and Latin America.
Many are looking for better opportunities, while business owners, both small and large, are attracted to better business environments, growing markets, lower taxes, less regulation, and less expensive and harder working workers. It’s important to mention that moving, working, and living in another country is not a simple task for many. The Americans who do so tend to have a strong entrepreneurial, self-reliant, and risk-taking spirit.
It doesn’t necessarily take an advanced degree or entrepreneurial bent to make a great living overseas. In fact, some of the brightest career opportunities are in blue-collar industries. For instance, mining is a significant growth area…
For example, Australia has a shortage of mine workers and very high demand. In 2010, the average salary in the mining industry was about $110,000 a year! Two case studies: 25-year-old high-school dropout James Dinnison earns $200,000 a year drilling holes underground, and 47-year-old Ricky Ruffell, a New Zealander attracted by Australia’s high-wage mining industry, earns $120,000 a year driving a grader.
In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Rio Tinto PLC CEO Tom Albanese says mining wages are rising around the world, especially in mining areas like Australia, Africa, and Chile, “You’re seeing double-digit wage growth in a lot of regions.”
Dinnison has already earned well over $1 million, and his next career move is to get a promotion to another underground job that pays $1,400 a day instead of just $800. “I’m qualified enough now that I’ll always have a job,” he says. “Without mining, I’d be an auto mechanic making $600 a week. I love mining, mate.”
If you are an executive and don’t wish to become a miner (I don’t blame you), other opportunities in mining may be found in the comfort of the corporate offices.
China, for instance, is hungry for skilled talent. Banking, finance, engineering, IT, managerial executives, and even teaching English are all in demand by both Chinese and foreign corporations inside China, such as General Electric. “All over China, wages are climbing at 15% to 20% a year because of the supply-and-demand imbalance for skilled labor,” says Boston Consulting Group senior partner Harold Sirkin, in a The Street article.
International mover of household goods UniGroup worldwide, found a 46.7% increase in the number of Americans moving to China for work in the past three years.
Back Here State-Side, Scammers Are
Taking Advantage of the Unemployed…
Meanwhile, with so many people out of work in the U.S., a rising number of criminals have been perfecting new ways to exploit the unemployed while they’re in their most vulnerable state.
“What makes job scams particularly insidious… is that these scams most often exploit honest consumers who are trying to make an honest living… Instead of making money, victims end up losing hundreds if not thousands of dollars,” says Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray.
Here are a few defensive steps for those looking for a job:
Trust your gut above all else. When it comes to scams, you want to keep your antennae perked. If it sounds too good to be true, or your gut is telling you there’s something fishy, you’re probably right.
Do your job research on the Internet. Take the time to research any company that you are interested in pursuing. This is good advice to land the job. But it’s also good advice if something doesn’t seem right to you. You can try RipoffReports.com to start your research on the company in question. Also, if a company doesn’t have a website, that should give you a clue who you may be dealing with.
Protect your identity. Your name, e-mail address, and perhaps a phone number are the minimum information you need to give out initially.
For instance, if you’re filling out applications in person, do not include your social security number, drivers’ license number, etc. You could write in something similar to “available upon request.” You don’t want to have applications with your personal information floating around town.
The same can be said with your career profile online. You never know who will access your information or for what purpose.
As you become more comfortable with the company and have met them or interviewed with them, you can offer more information when appropriate. Consider using a ghost address and an online phone number, which you can get from Skype or Google.
Do not send sensitive documents or information. There should not be any instance where a company needs your Social Security number, drivers’ license, date of birth, marital status, etc., before you meet or talk directly. These are things you give after you’ve been offered a position. The same can be said if you’re looking for a job overseas where a “recruiter” asks for a copy of your passport before any job offer is given.
Do not send money. If you’re looking for a job, don’t send money to apply for that job. Do not send money to pay for a background check, do not pay a “recruiter” upfront to help you secure an interview or a job, or for any other excuse. If you’re looking for a job, the employer typically pays for these steps.
Perhaps, you’re looking for a work at home opportunity. In this case, do your due diligence before sending money for inventory, member fee, or anything similar.
Guard your e-mail. If you’re active in the job market, you probably made a lot of contacts and are hoping to hear back from them. But, be careful with email phishing scams. In these scams, artists send deceptive e-mails with links that lead to fake websites asking for personal details including your bank account information, or these links, when clicked, download dangerous virus software into your computer.
So before you open an e-mail or click on any link that comes from a potential employer, slow down and take a moment to think. Do you know this company? Does the e-mail feel fishy in anyway? If you’re not sure, research the company online or go through your database of potential employers you contacted in the past.
If you or someone you know is looking for new opportunities, remember the whole world is your oyster, but stay alert to avoid job scams!