Outline Of The Advantages and Issues Of Taking A Year Working Abroad

I am writing this to help anyone else who finds themselves needing to decide whether to take an overseas placement. This article aims to help people understand the benefits and problem of working abroad, which will assist them in making the decision. Hopefully, my example will give them the opportunity to make a better informed decision.

In December 2010, I was offered the opportunity to work abroad, for 18 months. I will detail the research and evaluation that I carried out being deciding whether I would accept the offer.

I sought advice from a wide range of people. Everyone should do this and try to get people with relevant experience, as they can provide you with a greater insight. They can explain issues that you have not yet considered.

I was advised by many different sources that it was a good career move. Nevertheless, I was apprehensive because it meant being away from my family and friends. Most people with relevant experience told me that it was hard being away from your dear ones, but you need to decide how much you want to get on with your career. After a lot of contemplation, I accepted the transfer.

When I arrived, I realised that my social status and lifestyle had taken a major upgrade. I was living on a different level to my life at home. This is a benefit for many expats, your company will often finance a much better living standard and this is something that you should be aware of when choosing whether to work abroad.

At work, the office was still developing, so I was directly exposed to high level clients and management. This gave me a great deal more responsibility and exposure. My roles and responsibilities increased and after 6 months I was promoted by a grade. This is often the case for expats, where you work in developing environments, because you gain more exposure and opportunities for progression.

Overall, this opportunity has given my career a boost that was greatly needed. There is no doubt that my career has completely changed while I was abroad.

However, there were significant negative aspects to my experience abroad which should be considered by anyone who is contemplating this move. I did become homesick many times.

Nevertheless, in my experience the positives that I have outlined outweighed the problems. My promotion would have taken far longer if I were not willing to make the move. However, I would have been unwilling to continue to live abroad. I hope my experiences and the lessons I have learnt will help other people who are contemplating moving away with work


By Jennifer Hugsworthy