Finding temporary work as an expat: Where to look?

Published on 2020-08-05 at 10:24 by Anne-Lise Mty
During these trying times, a lot of people have lost their jobs. In an attempt to find anything to support themselves, people are turning to temporary jobs. But what are your options as an expat living in a different country?

Hotels and restaurants

With border restrictions and strict health regulations in most countries, hotels and restaurants are the most affected sectors during the COVID-19 crisis. However, as the lockdown has been lifted almost everywhere, they are reopening gradually. People are eating out again, having afterworks and hanging out at bars with friends, so many restaurants are currently hiring staff. It might be an option if you've recently lost your job and are desperate to earn your living. Many of them also have home delivery services, so why don't you give it a try if you have a valid driver's licence or you don't mind riding a scooter.


Unemployment is on the rise in many countries, such as the USA and in Europe. At the same time, grocery stores and supermarkets are hiring temporary workers. These businesses did not close down during the lockdown, given the growing demand. Positions range from cashier to delivery staff. Whether you have prior experience or not, do not hesitate to apply for these jobs, and even if you don't come across any ad, consider sending spontaneous job applications.

Home-delivery services

Online shopping boomed since the start of the COVID-19 crisis. Online businesses are thus expanding and hiring, especially in terms of home-delivery staff. Also, many delivery companies are partnering with businesses, ranging from restaurants to pharmacies, so you can try your luck.


With the COVID-19 crisis that's not likely to fade anytime soon, remote working has become the new norm in most countries. So there's no need to panic if you have just lost your job. With a computer and a good internet connection, you can benefit from a wide range of freelancing opportunities. Aside from developer and designer positions, you can apply for positions such as community manager, digital or marketing consultant, etc. Keep an eye on websites like Freelancer, Truelancer, and Upwork, and feel free to apply to ads posted by companies and individuals. When the crisis comes to an end, freelance work can still be your alternative source of income.

Teaching English

Teaching English is a popular job worldwide, whether in Europe, Asia or Africa. So if you're an English-speaking expat who has just lost their job, consider teaching English to the locals or other expats. All you have to do is post an ad on social networks or classified ads website, and you're good to go. Today, most language classes are being held online, so you just need a good internet connection and a webcam. What's more, you can even teach English to people all around the world.

Temp agencies

If you're still struggling to find a job that meets your expectations, don't despair. Temp agencies can help you find a temporary job that matches your profile. Start by registering with a temp agency and providing them with details relating to your skills and professional background. You will be contacted once there are job vacancies you might be interested in. The agency will even get you in touch with the prospective employer.


Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, hospitals and health centres have been overcrowded in most countries. Moreover, many of them are currently facing a labour shortage and are looking for volunteers. Even retirees are encouraged to call on duty temporarily in order to fight the pandemic. Consider applying if you have experience in healthcare or are currently a medical student.