Whether you have been dreaming of it for years, or the opportunity has only just presented itself, moving to a different country can be a daunting process. With people spending a great deal of time and money investing in a career at home, it is not surprising that one of the biggest concerns is whether working in a different country will impact your career at home. There are plenty of advantages and disadvantages of living abroad and each person’s situation, goals and ambitions will impact these. However, when it comes to careers, there are plenty of industries, and specific roles, where international experience is beneficial both for professional and personal growth.
What professional benefits are there to working in a different country?
Develop your hidden value
Landing a new role, either overseas or at home, isn’t just about demonstrating you have the skills and experience that are directly relevant to the role. Demonstrating your hidden value is also a key component in the application process. Applicants who have spent time living and working in a foreign country prove themselves to be adaptable, able to embrace change and adjust to different cultures. So, not only is moving to a different country a life-changing experience in itself, it also demonstrates your ability to cope with different situations and challenges – what employer doesn’t want someone with those skills on their team?
Get one foot on the career ladder
You know that old vicious cycle; you don’t have the experience but no one will give you the chance to get the experience?
Going overseas, where sometimes hiring requirements are less stringent, can give you that all-important first experience to get on the career ladder. This is especially true for the teaching industry in which doors open up once you have 1-2 years of classroom experience under your belt.
Expand your professional experience
Maybe you’re considering spending two years in the Middle East working in exactly the same role as you are at home and are worried you might miss out on promotions while you’re gone. Fret no more. Gaining experience in the same industry that operates differently, could make you more likely to land a more senior role on your return. Who knows, you might end up on a plane somewhere else as a direct result of your time in a foreign country – the world is your oyster!
A lot of industries focus on professional development; training courses, INSET days, workshops and even the odd online course thrown in. However, there are some Hiring Managers and Recruiting Officers who also care about an applicant’s personal development.Moving to a different country will challenge you. Click To Tweet
It will be hard and it will be stressful but, you’ll come out the other side with a whole new mindset. You had a dream, were curious about the world and so you took a chance – that’s got to be a great feeling, right? It also demonstrates to potential employers that you’re determined.
Increase your cultural awareness
In today’s world, most industries are global, with companies operating across various countries and therefore cultures. Having had hands-on experience in your chosen profession, in a foreign country, will make working with people overseas easier once you’re back in your home country.
Have a better chance of high-level positions sooner
The US job market is competitive. Gaining a high-level position can take years of average level experience (and therefore income). However, there are plenty of cities with bustling startup and tech scenes as well as countries that are engaged in large education reforms. In these locations, you’re far more likely to secure a higher level position, in a shorter space of time, due to limited competition and the fact many employers like to recruit native English speakers.
Develop a network of global contacts
“The world is becoming smaller and more accessible”
Working abroad gives you the opportunity to create relationships with people from all corners of the globe. When you return home, these contacts and your extended network can be bought into your new workplace; you’ll be seen as someone with a global network and valuable contacts.
These are just a few of the benefits that come from working in a different country. In addition to career benefits, there are plenty of personal reasons to live and work overseas too! With a world of opportunities on your doorstep, what have you got to lose?
Lottie has been traveling since the age of 4 with family, friends and on solo adventures, throughout 6 continents. She has been lucky enough to live on 4 continents. Despite being an avid tourist in new places, she likes to see the road less traveled, to meet local people, to immerse herself in communities and to experience the real side of a country. A few years ago she left the bright lights of inner city classrooms and headed off to explore the world armed with her laptop.
As an ex-Primary School Teacher, Lottie has moved abroad both on a whim and for a specific job; she is well experienced in visas, teaching overseas and living the Digital Nomad life.
You can find out more on her site, Princess In A Caravan