Thinking About Working Overseas? Read These Pros And Cons Before You Pack Your Bags

The United Nations reported that over 3% of the world’s population is now living and working abroad, and the numbers continue to grow. As finding a job in one’s own country becomes more difficult due to the lack of work and rising competition for each post, it’s little wonder that finding work overseas has become quite fashionable. Chances are, you already know somebody within your family or friendship group that has already left your fair isles, and jetted off to another country to begin a new life, on a short-term or a lifelong basis.

The question you may be asking yourself, however, is this. Is working abroad right for you? On this site we have shown you it is possible to move abroad, but you should take a step back before getting on the plane. To help you make the right decision, we have listed some of the pro’s and cons that you might find helpful. So before you pack your bags, read on to find out more.

Pros

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Transferable job skills

While there are some jobs that are exclusive to working abroad, it is also relatively easy to continue your career in another country. Whatever your destination, have a look online and check out their job boards. For example, this is the best Jobs site for IT professionals in France, though you will need to speak the language to read the postings. Whatever your career path, you don’t need to stick around in your own country to pursue it.

New experiences

The reason people visit other countries on holiday is to gain new experiences from the culture on offer. If this is something that appeals to you, working and living abroad may be a life changing opportunity you don’t want to miss out on. You will gain knowledge from different working practices that you could take back to your own country. There will also be the chance to explore the place you are living in, take part in local customs, try new foods, and enjoy a different style of living.

Learning a new language

English isn’t the only language in the world, though it is spoken in many foreign countries. However, you can’t guarantee that everybody will speak your lingo so you should make an effort to learn the languages predominant in the country you intend to work in. This will make your life much easier when you arrive, as you will need to communicate with your colleagues, as well as the local populace. This will take effort on your part, but you will improve your employability in the long-term and learn something new to boot.

Foreign currencies

You may be able to earn more money in your job when working in away from home. If you are currently deciding on a possible destination for employment, we recommend you use this currency converter to help you understand how the value of your money will change in another country. If you are driven by money, it makes sense to go where you are likely to earn more. Of course, the value will revert back to your current currency if you return home, but you may be able to make a substantial difference to your bank balance in the meantime.

Meet new people

By moving abroad, you will automatically expand your social circle. You will understandably be overwhelmed at first by the sea of new faces that surround you, but provided you have bothered to learn the language, you will strike up new personal and professional relationships. As in most social situations, it will take time to get yourself known, but you won’t always be a stranger in a strange land if you take the time to meet the people around you. You will gain some valuable life and work lessons as a result.

Work-life balance

Are you dragged down by long hours, with little time to relax and enjoy life? Then moving to another country may be just what you need. There are countries that may have a better work-life balance than your own, with shorter working weeks, and a better priority for personal and family time. Life is too short to always be at work, so escape the daily grind by taking time to enjoy life’s other pleasures by choosing the right place to live.

Add to your resume

It doesn’t matter if you work abroad for a short or a long time, you will still add weight to your resume. Future employers will be impressed by your international travels and may be keen to learn from your experiences in another country and workplace. Should you return to your own country, you will surely stand out from the crowd of other job applicants when you can evidence a broader mind and understanding of the international job market.

Learn new skills

Whatever job you are involved in, you will gain new skills in the way you work. Methods of working may also be different, and it may be that you learn better ways to be productive in your chosen field. Learning new skills is invaluable for all aspects of life, but especially when it comes to your career. By developing in your chosen field abroad, you will not only improve your employability, as you will stand a greater chance of promotion if you return to a company you have already worked for should you head back home.

Cons

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Loneliness

Moving to a foreign land has many advantages as we have seen, but for a while, you may feel out of place. Yes, you will make some new friendships, but you will still miss your friends back home. While you can keep in touch through phone calls and Skype, it just isn’t the same as popping over to their house for a chat or having a shoulder to cry on. Should you be moving alone, with no family to support you, it will be an even lonelier experience. Eventually, you will start to feel positive, but the first few months will be the hardest.

Culture shock

Learning a new culture is a great experience, but it will take time to become accustomed to your new surroundings. Every culture has its own belief system, values, and attitudes. You are going to have to accept this, as people won’t necessarily bend to your western lifestyle. By entering another country, you need to be prepared to change aspects of your life that have been comfortable for you in the past. You should also be aware of countries with strict laws, as what is acceptable behaviour in your own country, may be severely frowned upon somewhere else. The clue here is to do your research. Entering a country blindly and with ignorance is not going to serve you well.

Communication barrier

It isn’t easy to learn a new language, so if you struggle to know the lingo, you are going to have major difficulties with communication. Over time, and with a lot of effort on your part, this will get easier. However, if learning a new language is a struggle for you, it will make your day to day life in another country very difficult, both in and out of work.

Financial problems

For starters, you should have some money saved up before you move abroad. Even if you already have a job lined up, you are still going to need to find somewhere to live. There is also no guarantee that the job will pay more than your current salary, so you really should check those exchange rates first. You may also have to start lower down the career ladder, no matter your professional standing back home, so be prepared to prove yourself to your new employers.

Personal safety

Not all countries are safe to live in, on a small and global scale. For starters, unless your career dictates it, you probably shouldn’t move to a country that is stricken by war and violence. Then consider your position in a new land. You will be unfamiliar with the location at first, and you will stand out like a sore thumb to anybody interested in fleecing a newcomer. We recommend you read these safety tips before you head out on your journey, as it is better to be safe than sorry.

Decision time

So, we hope we have given you enough information to help you make the right decision. Moving and working abroad is not something to be taken lightly, and you should think carefully before uprooting your life completely and heading off to a new country, climate, and culture. Remember too, that there are people who love you. They also need to be prepared for your possible move, and you should consider whether you are willing to leave them behind. However, those who do care for you should also support you in your decision, and working abroad, even for a short term, may be a fantastic opportunity for you. Ultimately, this is your life, and we wish you every success in whatever you decide to do.

We are always eager to hear from our readers. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions regarding CareerAlley content.

Good luck in your search,
Joey

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Joey@careeralley.com
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