Work Abroad but earn in USD

Monday, February 27, 2006

New York Times: Working Abroad Helps Your Career

The New York Times had a great article on Saturday about how many young people are now working abroad after graduating before starting their careers back home. Last May I found myself in the same exact situation. I didn't feel like going to work for one of the many corporations that were recruiting at my university. So, I set off to Argentina. Apparently, and according to this article, this sentiment is shared by 35,000 other young Americans.

Interestingly enough, this doesn't seem to have any negative effect on one's career. On the contrary, the article mentions that many companies are looking for people who've traveled, lived, and worked abroad. In fact, "Foreign experience demonstrates entrepreneurship, resourcefulness and independence, according to recruiters." Of course, I'd have to agree with them. Living abroad gives you a perspective on the world that you wouldn't have otherwise.

So, I'm going to contradict my post from yesterday -- just do it! Of course, it is a lot easier for someone who's college-aged to pack-up and leave the world behind than someone who has a family to support and an on-going career. Just make sure you have enough money for a plane ticket back home and parents who can bail you out if things don't work out.

And if you're the parent, then you better be reading my post from yesterday about planning well before moving. Because there's no safety net for you folks. My own parents have quite the libertarian streak, so I made sure to plan well before coming here. I'd give them a 50% chance of telling me to go and collect cartón until I could afford my own plane ticket back. If you have parents like me, then maybe its not such a good idea unless you already have work lined up.

Labels: , ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

check out this article about expats living in Ba that was in last week's New york magazine

2/28/2006 03:59:00 PM  
Blogger ABA said...

Actually I can be thanked for that article appearing. Ha, ha. I gave the author, Ian, my friend, Dominic to contact to do that story. It's a really great article. That guy is living the dream life. Hot models, partying...oh well..... The rest of us are stuck working...

2/28/2006 10:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good for LoTempio, but bad for the rest of us - to me the last thing BA needs culturally is for a bunch of New York Magazine readers to descend upon it looking to do what the article describes.

3/01/2006 12:51:00 PM  
Blogger ABA said...

Reality is that the typical reader of that magazine from what I understand is younger, less affluent, etc. Lo Tempio is young but made enough to retire a while ago. Almost no one his age is in the same position. He can afford to kind of just fluff around...99.9% of other people can't....

3/01/2006 02:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're probably right, although I think the raw number of youngish people in New York who could afford to do it is probably fairly sizeable.

The article does seem pretty accurate to me as regards BA (I don't live there but know it quite well). In my experience, though, you don't find "bikini-clad women [who] will chat with anyone who might be able to get them into a magazine or, better yet, on television" everywhere, even "[i]n fame-struck Buenos Aires"; you generally have to at least go to a beach for that. Maybe I've just looked in the wrong places.

3/01/2006 04:08:00 PM  
Blogger johnny said...

Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places, but I have not seen any long term, snazzy apartments in the price range quoted in the article. I did find a $1,000 semi shoebox in a great block of Rodriguez Pena. So far that's it and the locals tell me that is vastly overpriced. Still looking !

3/01/2006 08:59:00 PM  
Blogger familiaoconnell said...

I agree with Ted, the article was a bummer. It could be preceived that this new influx of expats are carpetbagging and looking for a convenient "european-like culture". Argentina is much more than a cheap lifestyle. I think expats need to be sensitive that its not cheap for most people living here. And more importantly, the culture is rich with latin, immigrant and indigenous influences. There is more to Argentina than the Recoleta and Palermo Viejo (but fine eatin' there!).

3/02/2006 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

That article describes a type of American that is truly hated by 99% of Europeans and i should imagine a large percentage of other Americans. They give all Americans a bad name which makes life difficult for your average, normal American who just wants to get along in life and not get harangued about US arrogance blah blah blah. If they insist on flaunting their wealth in that way then they'll soon find themselves hated by 99% of Argentines. People who flaunt their wealth here also tend to become targets for nasty bastards who enjoy cutting off fingers if they don't get their ransom payment on time...good luck...

3/02/2006 08:08:00 PM  
Blogger ABA said...

Actually Realbuenosaires,

You couldn't be more wrong about this guy. Personaly, I don't hang out with him or other Americans. My close friends here are all Portenos. This guy is low key. He doesn't flaunt his wealth so you couldn't be more wrong.

He isn't arrogant either. Actually if you didn't know he was set you would probably think he was some college drop out. Never judge a book by it's cover.

People need to live their life how they see fit. I'm not defending him..just know him....i don't hang out with him but actually he doesn't flaunt his money.

3/02/2006 08:52:00 PM  
Blogger SaltShaker said...

Though I don't know LoTiempo, I do know Heather who was one of the other people featured in the article. And in person, she's not at all the sort of insensitive, shallow type that kind of comes across in the article. She's also a friend of the author's and he'd never make her out to be that. I think the editors at NYM just decided to go with that sort of approach and made all four people in the article look like, as realbuenosaires said, the type of Americans that make life difficult for the rest of us average types. My sense is, it isn't the way any one of the four really is.

3/03/2006 08:53:00 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

Well that's fair enough but if i were one of those featured in the article then i'd be majorly pissed off with either the writer or the magazine for portaying me in that light. They really do come across as that horrible stereotype of arrogant, obnoxious Yanks that is held to be 'true' of all Americans by people of pretty much every other country.

I received the article by email from 2 friends. One Irish, whose subject line was "Look at this load of tools..." and the other American, with a subject line of "Waiting for the backlash".

The article has done no one any favours.

3/03/2006 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger Dr. Pancrácio said...

Luckily, I'm not sure a lot of people read New York Magazine other than folks in and around New York, most of whom I'd guess probably thought that article was pretty cool. Maybe also some folks looking for a reason to resent New Yorkers, but there can't be too many of those, can there?

3/03/2006 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger rickulivi said...

Some of the replies to the posting give me the impression that some Americans may want to move to Argentina because it is cheaper. For me, it should not be an economic decision. The reason you should want to live in any Latin country, in my opinion, is because of its people and their attitude towards life. It's the culture, not the economy.
If you want to make money, it is hard to beat the US. But like most anglo-saxon society's, the human factor is less warm than in the Latin countries.
So, I recommend that before you move you decide the real reason for moving: do you want a less expensive lifestyle or do you want more human warmth?

3/03/2006 07:35:00 PM  
Blogger ABA said...

In any media there is always "spin". Ted made an excellent point. I don't think many people read this magazine besides other New Yorkers. Personally, I never read it or bought it besides seing that article.

The author initially contacted me and was going to do a story but I wasn't from New York and they wanted only New Yorkers. That should kind of tell you what their target audience is.

The article was amusing but it makes it sound like anyone can come to BA and totally change their life. That isn't really the case. Those with cash to burn can do well but the rest need to work really really really hard. I work harder here than I ever worked in the USA.

Really in the USA my life was cake. After I made Partner (the first 4 years was a *?&!) I really never worked more than 8 hours a day, I had 4 or 5 months of vacation a year (more than a school teacher)! I made tons of cash, I had a HUGE 4 bedroom two level house, driving a Beemer.

Now I work like 12-16 hours a day, have maybe 1 month of vacation a year, live in a 1,600 sq. feet apartment and have no car.......

Now that would be an interesting article!! Ha, ha.

3/03/2006 10:59:00 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

You'd be surprised who's read the Irish friend was sent it by an Australian living in Santiago. My American friend was sent it by his mother living in North Carolina. They both sent it me separately in group emails. I went out to dinner last night with a couple of Argentine friends (IT support and public school english teacher- not international bankers) and guess what came up...?

But, to agree with a couple of the responses, people do think it's easy here-they come with a few grand in savings, everything's cheap and they think they can change the world and make a fortune just because they're foreign. They generally leave, chastened, with a couple of hundred left. Life can be horribly tough here if you're not sure of what you're doing. The nasty side of me enjoys watching the failures. The (very slightly larger!) nice side of me understands the on-off nightmare that can be Argentine life and feels nothing but sympathy.

And, completely unrelated to this topic i'd like to recommend as a fantastic and great value place to eat. You really can't beat a Uruguayan chivito.

3/04/2006 01:43:00 AM  
Blogger ABA said...


You do have a point that a lot of people have seen the article. Part of it might be because it ranks high on Google for a number of searches on Argentina.

I was sent the link by about 5 people and I was laughing when they sent it because I told the author to contact the main dude the story was on.

I don't enjoy watching people fail. I always feel sorry for them because I know how difficult it is to make it. Like I said, most of the people that move here will move back to their home country after their savings dwindle. The really sad thing is most of the ones I met weren't here to study Spanish or improve their resumes. Most of them come here, party, have fun and then go back home.

As EE said, if you come here and improve your CV you can come out smelling like roses to a potential employer. If you come down here and goof off oddes are (unless you are very young and just out of college) you will be at a disadvantage with people competing against you for a job.

People always say I have luck on my side. I tell them it has nothing to do with LUCK. In this country, it's hard work, who you know and capital investments that will make you successful. Of course a little luck doesn't hurt either.

Good luck all.

3/04/2006 11:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

New York Magazine is evil. I am a Native New Yorker with an apartment in B.A. and I found the article revolting. It shows the typical status-obsessed, real-estate-hungry, trend-chasing (usually WAY behind), materialistic (who cares about a plasma TV?), consumer monstrosity that is its typical reader. New York Magazine has always been the harbinger of neighborhoods invaded and zeitgeists destroyed.
I remember when they had a cover article about the new art scene in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (it must have been around 1991). It was EXACTLY the same tone and subject as this Buenos Aires article -- and look what happened: Williamsburg is now the most disgusting area in New York (Not that it's their fault, of course. They are just a horrible symbol.).

I'm sure Dominic LoTempio is a wonderful and beautiful person on the inside, but he should get run over by a cartonero-stampede of horse-driven carts.

3/07/2006 05:02:00 PM  
Blogger ABA said...

I just had dinner with Dominic tonight. Again, I'll stand by my comment that this dude is a low key good guy.

I don't know New York Magazine or if it's evil or good or whatever. I just know that the author probably had the story written before he even had anyone interviewed. I've done plenty of interviews in my career and usually I'll ask the writer what their focus or glimpse of the article as I've found that many authors have it written even before they do their first interview.

When I sat down with the author, I told him that I didn't move to BA for the money (I was leaving big money). I wasn't having a mid-life crises (I'm still fairly young), I didn't need to make a name for myself or be around cool people, etc. I was working with some of the wealthiest families in the USA. I just moved because I believe you should move and live in a city that you truly love.

The heck with money, or savings, whatever. That makes a boring story I guess. People (mostly from New York) ask me why I don't sell out my company (as I've received offers from big Wall Street firms). I can walk away never having to work again in my life. They don't get that I didn't come to BA for the money, to get famous, etc. I just moved here because I love it.

I've always believe in just living life to the fullest. Seeing where the adventure takes you. The key tenants to my way of thinking is this. (a) are you huring yourself? (b) are you hurting someone else? C) are you having fun. If you aren't hurting yourself or not hurting someone else and you are having fun.... so be it.

People should be judged not by one pre-written magazine article, how much money they make, etc. It should be how they treat someone. Dominic is one of the good guys just wanderlessly going around with no goal and having fun.

So be it. I did that for 3 years going all over the world and just seeing the world and not doing much.

As far as being materialistic....sometimes that is bad but I gotta tell you....many people are like that. I also like my plasma TV, Ipods and all that other stuff.

If a magazine story wrote some thing about your life I'm sure it would be spunn differently as well so don't be so hard on people.

Good luck.

3/08/2006 01:56:00 AM  
Blogger Dr. Pancrácio said...

For what it's worth, I dislike New York Magazine for reasons similar to those Anonymous mentions (though I feel quite a bit less strongly about it); this was what I had in mind with my first post above.

3/08/2006 04:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is WAY too much money in New York. LoTempio is most importantly doing the world a service by shifting at least some of that weath to a counrty that can use the support.

Just left New York to spend two months in Montevideo and BA. Very little money but livin´ the dream people. Bless all of your cotton socks.

(If anyone has a moment please email me with any advise or tips for BA. Will be there soon. )

3/21/2006 10:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Robberies are the most popular sport and way to get easy money in Buenos Aires Capital City. The robbery at Banco Provincia is just part of daily life here, and of course the city government turns a blind eye on everybody and spends public funds on new park benches, tourist attractions and the like, Here's some video footage from a robbery at my candy store that took place back in July 2010. Nice and quick and well planned as you can see, after reporting it to the police and almost every other store on our block being held up at gunpoint, of course we still NEVER see a police officer around here. The mayor, Mauricio Macri, just had a lovely wedding and loves to blame the president for everything that happens in the country, however he is the one in charge of the police, but of course does nothing to protect the people.......NOW YOU KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON IN BUENOS AIRES, CAPITAL FEDERAL!!

1/08/2011 04:59:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home