When people tell me they’d like to work overseas – just like I do – I ask them why they aren’t already doing it. Predictably, they give me a list of almost scripted reasons why they can’t go. The obvious ones. Lack of money, career progression, and so on. I know these reasons well. I heard them rattling around in my mind, only a few years ago. However after some deep thought and self-analysis, I realized that they weren’t reasons at all. They were excuses. Excuses that my subconscious had created to keep me from stepping out of my safe, financially stable and predictable world. Yet had I known the reality of working overseas, and how rewarding it would be, I’d have left years ago.
The problem wasn’t the excuses. The problem was that I’d only heard one side of the story. I never knew the positives. I never understood the impact it could have on my life. I never knew what I was missing out on. If I could go back in time and give my younger-self a clue, I would tell myself what I’m about to tell you now. Here are 14 Reasons Why You Should Work Overseas.
1. Because Work is Work, Wherever You Are
If you’re going to work a 9-5 job and spend most of your days in the workplace, what difference does it make where you are? Whether you’re in Paris, New York or Sydney – you are still working and making money. How then, can ‘lack of money’ be an excuse?
2. Because You Can Build Your Career As You Travel
Who said that you can only work at a pub or ski field when you work overseas? You wouldn’t quit your job to become a bartender in your home country, so why would you do it anywhere else!? Your industry exists beyond your home country, and if you want to play it safe – research the countries that your industry booms in, and choose between those.
3. Because Your Dream Job Might Exist There
If you want to be a Hollywood Screen Actor, does it make sense to keep auditioning for roles elsewhere? Or perhaps you want to work for the United Nations, does living in a country far from its headquarters do you any favors? Don’t waste valuable years of your life chasing a dream that is better chased in a different country. Get moving, and get moving now!
4. Because You Can Make More Money
Let’s face it – you’re not going to earn the same salary in Greece, that you might, performing the same role in Australia. Work smarter, not harder. If you know that your home country is economically crashing, unemployment is becoming an issue, or even if it’s just an issue of wages being low – why not use it to your advantage and work somewhere with better opportunities, even just for the short-term?
5. Because It Makes Your Resume Look Awesome
Only certain types of people can work abroad, and Employers know that. You are a risk-taker. You are adaptable. You thrive in challenging situations. Imagine mentioning in an interview that you worked overseas. Straight away it sets you apart from the rest. It demonstrates your commitment to career growth within your industry, and that you are qualified to a level that you didn’t even need to rely on your networks to find work. Your work spoke for itself. Employers will come knocking – they’ll know you’re the real deal.
6. Because It Means Free Accommodation Overseas!
When you move abroad, you will meet other expats that are struggling the same struggle, and adjusting to the same culture shock. The uncertainty of the experience allows you to bond with other foreign travelers in a unique way. One huge perk to making International friends is that the next time you decide to visit their home country, guess who you can drop in on and visit! You will be able to stay overseas for free! That means you save on future travel costs, and gain the unique experience of visiting your friends abroad and seeing their country through their eyes, like a local. It’s a win-win!
7. Because It Opens Your Eyes
When you live abroad, you experience another way of life. Sometimes, it’s better than where you call home. Sometimes, its worse. Either way, it’s a lesson learned. Drawing comparisons between health care systems, general access to education, political and religious freedoms from country to country, is an important part of understanding the world we live in. It forces you to see things as they are, and not as the media might tell you they are.
8. Because You Learn About Other Cultures
The more you travel, the more you learn about people, places and things. It helps you understand why people do things the way they do (customs), and why they interact with their environment in the way they do (culture). Immersing yourself in another culture forces you into a new way of thinking. You will soon find yourself doing ‘as locals do’.
9. Because It’s Easier Than You Think
Filling out visa forms, booking a flight, and finding a job – these aren’t the most difficult tasks in the world. In fact, you’ve likely performed some, if not all, of these tasks at some point in your life. So what makes you think this will be any harder?
10. Because You Can Explore A New Part Of The World!
Even if you are working full-time hours, you are still going to have vacation time to spend somewhere. If you’re on the other side of the planet – far away from your home country – there is a whole new region of the world to explore! First you’ve got the neighboring states or countries that you can drive to, perhaps some exotic Islands that you could fly to – and suddenly your weekends are looking a lot more exciting than back home! Hello Facebook envy!
11. Because You Can Learn A New Language
Have you always wanted to learn a new language? Well, this is THE best way to do it. Speak it where the locals speak it. Enroll in an intensive language course in your destination country. You’ll be surprised how fast you can learn a language when you need it to order your next meal! (If your fear of working abroad is foreign language-related, try out a country in your native tongue first.)
12. Because You Make Life-long Friends
When you move overseas, you will become friends with people who you never knew existed. People you never would have otherwise met, had you not taken on the challenge of moving abroad. As an Aussie expat living and working in Canada for the past 2 years, I’ve made friends and built bonds that distance cannot break. I’m already writing my Wedding guest list, and it looks like I’ll be sending half of my invitations overseas!
13. Because You’ll Learn More About Yourself
Oddly enough, the friends you make when you are abroad come to know you better than the friends you’ve known your whole life. With new friends, I find their overall assessment of you is so much more current, than the opinions of your life-long friends. Your friends at home – the ones that have known you forever – they see how you’ve always been. One reaction to something, and they’ll pick up on the patterns and mention something about how you always do that.
The awesome thing about new friends, is that they don’t know what you always do. In fact, they have no clue. They only know what you do now, and they see it for what it is – in the present moment. They see you for who you are – right now. And this forces you to see yourself in a new way. Suddenly you’ll start to see yourself, as others see you. You’ll see habits in your own behavior, and you’ll question how or why they evolved. You’ll notice flaws in your character, and where improvements need to be made. But most importantly, you’ll see the person you want to be, and you’ll have a clearer idea of what you need to do to get closer to that ideal version of yourself.
14. Because You Only Live Once (YOLO)
If not now, when?
Latest posts by Danielle Steller | DanielleSteller.com (see all)
- Date Ideas for Expecting Couples, written by an Actual Pregnant Woman! - June 22, 2017
- Getting Married in Koh Samui: A Couple’s Guide - March 4, 2017
- Wilderness Walks: Hiking the Kalalau Trail to Hanakapiai Beach - March 2, 2017