Many people are drawn to the idea of working abroad, mainly because of the travel opportunities it affords. Working in a foreign country can have many benefits, but before you rush out and apply for a job miles away from home consider some of the drawbacks as well as the advantages.
If you’re the kind of person that has a large network of friends and enjoys the close proximity of family, then working abroad may not be a good idea. Although there’s always the phone and internet, not seeing your loved ones for months at a time can be very challenging.
Potential upsides to working abroad
Of course, being exposed to a whole new culture can be an uplifting and inspiring experience, when compared to the somewhat humdrum life on home soil – same routine, same friends, same old, same old. Research supports the view that travel broadens the mind and makes us more willing to try new things, which is good.
You may find that working overseas presents the perfect opportunity to earn more than you could at home by way of the exchange rate or as a result of a lower cost of living in your adopted country. You may also be able to earn more in your particular field overseas than at home. It’s as well to do some thorough research before making a final decision.
Possible downsides that may need to be considered
Of course, the problem exists that you may not like living overseas and find it hard to adapt to the lifestyle. Before considering a job overseas, make sure you can cope with things like the living conditions, weather, language, food, politics, entertainment opportunities and the people who you’ll be mixing and working with. You might think you can easily adapt, but after a few months you could find that the food, language, living conditions, or the weather drive you up the wall.
Short term contracts – ‘Try before you buy’
Many of the jobs offered overseas are short-term contracts – one to two years – after which time you have to return home. This can make the moving experience a lot easier, as you’re not stuck in another country permanently and can go back home to see relatives and friends. Short-term assignments are the perfect opportunity to experience working life in a foreign country and if you like it, you can then decide whether to work overseas on a permanent basis. In this case, you should make sure you know exactly when your current work visa expires and whether it can be extended. If you do decide to relocate, plan your move and visa situation a good few months in advance.
The article was written by Adria Solutions, an IT Recruitment Agency based in Cheshire.