You should really contemplate working abroad – here’s why

Written by: Georgina Bloomfield
Published On: 31 Oct 2016

For many of us, the idea of uprooting our lives at home and taking a huge risk by moving abroad to work can be really daunting. Just thinking about the premise of living elsewhere, having to learn the customs of a new country and possibly the language as well can be a huge turn off for a lot of job seekers. However, what if you haven’t quite realised the opportunities you’re missing out on? Here are some reasons for why working abroad could be just what you need.

working abroad

Employers can be more flexible than you think

A new job, new mode of transport and also accommodation are all things that we don’t want to think about having to sort out. Have you checked with your employer or prospective employer if they offer any moving benefits? Some employers need their talent moved overseas so desperately that they’ll sort you out with accommodation, flights and more to make your life a little bit easier. Don’t just assume it’ll be a hassle; look into what your options actually are. It might not even be set in stone. You may only be needed abroad for a year or so – and it could be the best year of your life.

Excellent experience for your CV

To have worked abroad for a few years can really make you stand out on your CV among competitors. It shows that you’re able to adapt to change and that you’re a flexible employee. You may get experiences abroad that you never got to have in your home country.

You have the chance to learn new things

You may need to learn a new language if you’re working abroad. The idea of this can be unsettling to most; but if you can successfully learn a new language it’ll be invaluable in your future career. It doesn’t just stop at languages either. Getting to know a culture and adapting to its customs is also a huge skill to have. If you return home, you’ll have a lot more strings on your bow than before you left the country. International experience can be hard to come by for recruiters and employers seeking new talent.

Open yourself up to new experiences

Getting over the fear of uprooting your entire life and moving abroad can open you up to a whole host of fantastic experiences, knowledges and skills. It may sound cliché, but working abroad will widen your horizons. After all, you’re not just on a holiday. You’re there to lengthen and broaden your career aspects. Working abroad is very different to visiting it. You’re a permanent member of that society rather than just a tourist – so you’ll really see how the other half live.

Your knowledge will expand

Working abroad will increase your knowledge of the international job market as well as how your industry works outside of your home country. This knowledge is really useful when it comes to gaining experience. It’s all well and good to read about your industry on the internet but to actually experience it in the world of work is something else entirely.

You’ll meet and learn from new people

When you stay where you are for years you may become a bit sheltered and not appreciate advice from others – especially if you’ve been at that company longer than they have. When you work abroad you’ll get to work with a completely new set of people, all of whom will have different advice and things for you to learn.

If you have kids it shouldn’t stop you

A main reason for not wanting to move abroad may be because you have children currently in school or even younger. Moving abroad gives children new opportunities and they adapt a lot faster than adults to new situations. When it comes to learning a new language there’s no better time to learn than when you’re a child – so moving them abroad when they’re younger could a lot more beneficial in the long run. It does however mean you need to extend your research a little further when it comes to schools.

I’m interested – where do I start?

Here are a few pointers to get you started if you’re interested in working abroad:

  • See if your employer has offices overseas. If you can move internally then the process will be a whole lot easier.
  • Research the country you’re moving to in as much detail as you can. Where are the skills gaps? What are the problems they face as a country?
  • If you know anyone who has lived or worked in your chosen country, get your networking hat on and find out as much as possible for them. Some things you can’t just find out on the internet.
  • What’s your industry/market/job market like in the chosen country? Are they making cuts or do they face any political issues like we have over here in the UK with Brexit?
  • Figure out your reasons for wanting to work abroad – your actual true reasons. If they’re negative (i.e. you’re simply just unhappy where you are) then you shouldn’t work abroad because that negativity will only travel with you.
  • Prioritise. Working abroad forces you to get rid of the things that don’t matter and keep the things that do. Think about what you’d realistically have to give up (your car, house/flat, possessions etc.)
  • Have a get out clause if you’re still unsure. Think about perhaps renting out your current accommodation for a year or two and seeing if you can lend your car to someone else. You could also put your possessions into storage if you don’t want to take them with you or leave them at your house. See if your current employer will hold your job open for you for when you return. This way it won’t be as much of a permanent change and an easier challenge to undertake.

There are always a million reasons not to do something – but if you can find just a few really good reasons to work abroad (even temporarily) then it’s certainly worth thinking about. You never know where the opportunities will take you – and you may even never want to come back. Working abroad is not always a good idea if your reasons for wanting to do so are negative or if your priorities are wrong. It’s not something you should jump into – but it’s definitely something you should seriously consider if you want to boost your career.

You can find jobs abroad here.