It’s scary, but totally worth it if you can make it happen. Find out why working abroad can be a savvy choice for your CV, wallet and personal development…
1. It’s a cheap way to travel
Travel. Cheap. Two words you rarely see together, but if you work abroad and get a decent wage, you can make it happen. Of course, with a steady job you won’t be able to move from place to place, spending a couple of nights here and a week or two there, but you’ll be able to experience a country a culture completely different to your own. If you go for somewhere central with strong public transport links (such as Germany), you’ll also be able hop on the train or bus at weekends and see what’s next door.
2. It’ll impress future employers
Evidence of working abroad will make your future job applications stand out, and for all the right reasons. Why? Someone who’s managed to successfully work abroad has shown independence, the ability to adapt, and some killer organization skills. The benefits don’t stop there – a 2010 study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulleting https://journals.sagepub.com/home/psp supports the idea that learning the practices of another culture helps to produce more creativity, as you’ll be placed in situations that wouldn’t present themselves at home. For example, having to learn a new set of business customs and acceptable forms of communication gives you a new perspective on how other people in the world live, and view your own country. Because of this, you may more readily conjure up fresh, innovative ideas. Savvy employers are well in the know about this, so it could open some excellent doors for you in the future.
3. Return home bilingual
Hitting the books, watching YouTube tutorials and religiously working through Duolingo are all excellent ways to learn a new language, but nothing quite does it like throwing yourself in the deep end. Even if the company you work for uses English, you’ll need to develop your language skills if you’re to immerse yourself in the culture fully and make new friends. This might seem pretty scary, but you’d be surprised at how quickly people can quickly become semi-fluent in a language when they encounter it every day. So if you’ve always wanted to become bilingual, you know what to do!
4. Expand your network
While you work abroad, you’ll be collaborating with locals and expats from other countries, and probably getting out and about as much as possible – this can expose you to new job opportunities (or opportunities in genera!) and a solid list of contacts to draw on in future. Which is great, because an email recommendation from a professional contact you met abroad will pack just as much punch with future employers (if not more) as one from a local employer.
5. A chance to reflect
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the fact that you’re expected to know exactly what to do with your life by the age of 17, you’re not alone. So if that sounds like you, don’t let yourself be rushed – taking a few months or even years out to work abroad can help you to take a step back and figure things out. What’s more, it’s is a great way to try out different jobs and new roles so that, when you do commit yourself to a degree, course or career (and the potential expense that comes with it), you’ll be confident that it’s the right direction for you.
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