We recently asked the members of Danger Zone Jobs to participate in a report about overseas contracting. Results are compiled below, including comments as submitted.
1. Are you currently working overseas as a contractor?
2. If yes, what country?
Africa . Djibouti . England . EUCOM . Honduras . Iraq . Israel . Jordan . Korea . Kosovo . Kuwait . Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of The Marshall Islands . Nassau Bahamas . Niger . Poland . Qatar . Russia . Rwanda . Saudi Arabia . Somalia . South Korea . Spain . UAE . Ukraine
3. If you returned back to the U. S. because of Covid or the Afghanistan draw down, are you still employed in a contracting or defense related job/company?
4. If you are still working in contracting, has your (contracting) company instituted a Covid 19 vaccination requirement?
5. If you returned back to the U. S., are you looking to go back overseas in a contracting position in the future?
6. What areas of the world would you prefer to work as contractor given the opportunity? choose all the apply
Middle East 64%
Pacific Region 63%
7. Do you have a LinkedIn profile?
Yes, set up basics but not used 38%
Yes, build out a detailed profile 40%
No, never set one up 21%
8. Do you use LinkedIn as part of your job search process?
9. If no, could you please share a few thoughts on why not?
(written as submitted)
- I use contacts and militaryhire and other websites
- LinkedIn is a security risk.
- Too much false info to trust
- Linkedln always wants you to upgrade for a cost
- I was with LinkedIn, but it got to be like Facebook so I deleted my account.
- I have not applied for contracting jobs for some time. My current job is making me think about trying contracting again.
- Employed now
- Linkedin is a proven and reliable tool for both contractor and recruiter.
- Don’t like social networking
- Will someday maybe look into it!
- Too much nonsense as opposed to being a job hunting/professional career social media platform.
- For some reason it’s hard to know the reality of who you are dealing with, although we all have our own way of doing things.
- LinkedIn was/is operated by China and as such it was determined by someone that putting information, including personal, work, and security, on their site could jeopardize the applicant and possibly security status.
- I might
- My wife does all my resume information
- I just never took the time to figure out how to navigate the job search process
- Causes conflict with security issue/ clearance
- never needed it
- It’s won’t work for me
- Jsfirm and zip recruiter gave better results
Several years back I joined their premium, it did nothing for me a total waste of money.
- It’s not user-friendly.
- Ex co-workers that are worthless
- Privacy I guess
- Currently satisfied with what I am doing but always open to new opportunities.
- Never got round to it
- Just haven’t taken the time to set it up. Usually working alot.
- I do not like LinkedIn.
- Haven’t been able to navigate it
- Just never took the time
- Every job I have ever achieved was through someone recommending me.
- Prefer to go direct to the companies I know provide opportunities overseas. LinkedIn is quickly becoming a Facebook type site.
- No particular reason
- No recruiters have contacted me from LinkedIn
- Too much spam
- Get job offers by word of mouth.
- never gave it any thought.
- It is like Facebook light.
- Indeed is my primary search website
- I have good luck with finding jobs on Clearancejobs.com or by applying directly with the company based on Dangerzonejobs.com emails.
10. Do you have any thoughts on the future of overseas contracting jobs?
(written as submitted)
- getting smaller and harder to find work
- The happy days are gone. The program that I’ve been associated with for 10 years started the race to the bottom in 2016. DOS wants excellence at flea market prices and the Beltway bandits are delivering by slashing pay along with a much reduced per diem, which should not be legal.
- Opportunities are shrinking, particularly for Americans. In 2004, probably half or better were Americans on LC. Then there was an influx of Yugoslavians to replace the Americans and to a lesser extent, Brits. The Filippono number stayed fairly constant until management realized they could get cheaper labor from Indians and Sri Lankans. Now, Indians and Sri Landans are being replaced with Africans, who will work cheaper still. The number of open positions for US or western European citizens is smaller than I have ever seen because of one, the search for cheaper labor and two, the simple reduction in the number of jobs from the Afghan and Iraq drawdonws. I suspect the goal is to have expat managers with maybe Indian supervisors and African laborors.
- I hope the overseas job market improves in the fire emergency services areas
- If you want to know the truth about any contractor company, the govt requires annually they file a SEC-10K which presents an accurate statement of present and future goals including financials, pending litigation, etc. It must be truthful or CFO is going to jail! Google SEC-10K for any company and you will learn all you want to know about any firm.
- They may move toward containing China?
- The workforce will grow and become more specialized while individuals will be inheriting more risk and less compensation and benefits. At present the workforce is fractured and does not assemble nor attempted to give organization to itself for professional recognition and representation by state or federal legislators.
- Would love to but to many employers discrimination on age
- Great employment opportunity! Less age discrimination.
- War is business. The calm won’t last.
- Uncertainty and insecure
- Seeing a lot of guys with no experience starting to move into mid-senior positions and it may be time to switch to smaller security projects for NGOs/
- It will always be there as long as there is military around the world.
- Less logistics/BOSS, more IT/Cyber/Intel.
- They seem to be harder to get
- If the same thing happens in Iraq that happened in Afghanistan, the jobs will be harder to come by
- I would’ve remained working as a contractor a few more years. But because of the COVID and the Army dictates on those aged 60 or older being sent home or not being allowed to return to theater. I thought it was time to call it a day.
- Wish there were ways to up grade clearance
- More stable than staying conus
- pay and benefits keep going down
- Not sure. But for now. It’s on limbo
- Not really, at my age I’ll be lucky if I can land another.
- Don’t go while the current administration is in office
- The pay isn’t good especially in Kosovo, my employer only forks out 12 an hour.
- Well…. company shit-canned everyone working the — program, as did –. I jumped ship after being stuck in Kabul for 10 months in 2020.
- I think with the continued exploitation of African resources there will be more positions available but the pay will be low due to the devaluation of Africa and Africans in general.
- There will always be Overseas contracting work available.
- I believe that US contracting firms should rely less on the use of local and third-country nationals and instead offer those positions to unemployed Americans; after all, it’s our tax money that funds the contracting firms and it would be nice to see that money injected into our economy via American employees sending money home to their families.
- Opportunities continue despite the US draw downs.
- $200,000 or no
- I believe as the covid virus is curtailed as more people get vaccinated more countries will open their gates to US contractual agreements.Thus giving way to more jobs.
- Yes, always open to a new adventure.
- It’s nothing compared to what it was. Unless another war where us deploys troops…
- It’s pretty bare now and it seems that most want specops background
- I think our current government has created a much more hostile and riskier environment for Americans abroad.
- As it pertains to Veterans, if a contracting company receives benefits for hiring Veterans, they should be held to a standard of facilitating an employment opportunity upon return to the U.S. (if available). In my opinion, the DVA and DOL should work in tandem to make it happen. I believe it would mitigate unemployed/underemployed Veteran numbers.
- Logistics or transportation in Africa is my first choice
- More people will be competing for the available positions.
- DOS contracts are the way to go. Biden is killing life for the DOD.
- Not until the current Admin publicly states their position and how they propose to operate the desert/global wars.
- I see a draw down in good contracts overseas. I have been overseas for just over 20 years all through Europe and the Middle East and it is becoming less profitable.
- Companies continually reducing salaries and packages.
- It’s promising as long as the military is here
- Soon there wont be many companies to pick from.
- Less money for expats and work will probably be outsourced to cheap labor third country nationals. It is a business after all.
- MOD 15 age restrictions need to be lifted.
- Due to the requirement of US service members being COVID vaccinated, it was only a matter of time before the mandate would equally apply to deployed contractors. Other than the age restrictions for hostile or remote areas, I don’t foresee this being an issue with contracting overseas. Covid vaccinations would simply be another Fit For Duty requirement prior to deployment.
- I think it will be decreasing.
- Number of contracting jobs are getting reduced, so competition for those jobs will increase.
- As a Firefighter and Paramedic (overseas contractor 20 plus years) I see each year using companies using cheaper OCN personal. This was not common 10 years ago but they are cheaper and the DoD doesn’t seem to care about limited or no security clearances with OCN’s, just the lowest bid. That makes things very competitive now.
- Jobs will always be around overseas. However my position was impacted due to gov budget cuts so I was let go by — supporting US SOUTHCOM. I have gained employment in my hometown of SATX with another defense contract company.
- I know there will be changes; I am waiting to see what they will be.
- The pay has declined,its almost not worth working abroad
- I hope more open soon
- I hope it continues to be honest
- I think they are not going away and are even expanding to Europe and Africa
- Until the current U.S. political situation, hopefully by 2024, I do not feel safe going back overseas.
- It seems with the new administration and COVID overseas work are harder to find.
- Will the pay keep dropping?
11. When it comes to your contracting job search, what is the most significant problem/issue you have not been able to find a solution or answer for?
(written as submitted)
- lately it has been finding locations that i would prefer to work in
- Finding regional work, ie: Asia. I need to input a specific country each time rather than a search engine picking the key word.
- Nothing comes to mind. It just takes time. Or, if you know someone at a project it helps. But I can’t think of any particular problem.
- I’m not willing to take the covid vaccine.
- no reply when you send in your resume
- My age, CENTCOM stated anyone over 65 cannot work on contracts with CENTCOM.
- I was on a contract where the company I worked for was corrupt. None of the contractors were, nor did we know what stunts they were pulling, but I was immediately rejected when someone saw —- on my resume. That kept me from staying overseas.
- Health of the current contract.
- None published contract information regarding requirements or a knowledgeable on-boarding staff coupled with a lack of transparency from recruiters or nativity the client and sponsor. Has left employee candidates the subject of abuse and burden from the weight of vulnerabilities within any given agency, department or companies hiring process.
- Security Clearance personnel are not to friendly or helpful sometimes
- Consistent dedicated job platform with ease of search
- Am not American but have worked as US contractor in Afghanistan and most annoying thing is my foreman couldn’t express himself with English which was a language barrier and time consuming and sometime misunderstanding.
- People are less experienced and they are unable to answer moreover people don’t want to learn.
- Finding the right timing to put your resume
- Time of security clearances.
- I think everyone struggles with getting thru the quagmire of the companies’ hiring processes.
- My wife does my searches
- Clearance issues
- In country logistics
- my age.
- Recruiter rarely respond. A lot of job posting are outdated.
- Unable to get hired.
- I can have a position right now, and in fact multiple positions. Usual trouble is someone to care for home while away.
- Finding the opportunities themselves can be difficult.
- Long duration with guaranteed placement of contract goes South!
- Pay ranges being listed – It is very tiresome to apply for a position just to find out the pay is not commensurate rate to experience/requirements
- The Buddy System, so many have been hired by their Buddy’s only trying to learn what they were hired to do, especially when you believe the recruiters are involved.
- It’s difficult to find out which MOD is being used and/or where to find it. Lots of people get a significant way into the hiring process before being told that they don’t meet this or that MOD requirement. In some cases, a potential employee has given up their apartment and traveled to a company’s processing center in anticipation of deployment; only to be sent home for failure to meet a MOD requirement. If the latest version of the MOD and where to find it was made more transparent, fewer people would be sent home and companies would see an associated cost savings in not processing someone who isn’t eligible for deployment.
- Ole boy network
- Most positions abroad have not been awarded – vendors collect our resumes to present a compete workforce. However, doesn’t followup with the candidates when the contracts are rejected. Another problem, when you apply for positions – the company fails to notify the candidate whether or not the contract was awarded but after several months later you see the same position advertised on their websites.
- No specops background
- Obtaining a secret clearance
- If anything, it would be finding that irresistible opportunity.
- Insufficient resume data to attract prospective firms
- Why people will not respond back
- Too many companies post jobs that are just contingent on being awarded.
- Recruiters continually over selling positions or just telling blatant lies to get positions filled.
- the status of your applications, it’s hard to know if you should start a clearance then you are locked in, so if someone else is ready you have to wait, making it hard to apply to more then one place or multiple BIO’s.
- Not getting any hits even with a secret clearance.
- MOD 15
- Being over 65 years old and healthy