6 Ways Working Abroad Will End Up Expanding Your Whole Worldview
As Millennials, we are constantly surrounded by stories of individuals trading in their 9-to-5 routines for unbelievable adventures.
I have read countless articles about fellow adventurers who promise your wildest travel dreams can come true if you build an exciting blog or convince people to pledge money to your GoFundMe account.
But what if you aren't a popular blogger, or you struggle to find the money to travel?
Perhaps it's time to think about working abroad. You will make the money necessary to sustain yourself and be traveling simultaneously. Plus, you'll constantly be learning.
Here are eight reasons that you should make the leap to work abroad:
1. You'll build a global network.
It's critical for Millennials to build relationships that span borders. It's incredibly easy to become close-minded in our society because every time you turn the news on, you are struck by alarming, tragic and disheartening images.
It becomes more challenging to be judgmental of others' backgrounds when your closest friends are diverse in their upbringings, religions and cultures. If we want to build a world where peace and understanding are common goals, we must encourage positive international relationships.
Working abroad is a great place to start.
2. You'll appreciate what it's like to be a foreigner.
Imagine being in an entirely new place where you are unable to recognize the scenery or understand the conversations flowing through your ears.
You are waiting to order what you believe is something similar to a danish at a bakery, but you are stuttering as you attempt to find the correct words on the menu that is spelled in unfamiliar letters.
It's a challenging experience to understand until you are placed in a similar environment.
It becomes much more personal when you are the individual who waited hours to plead for an extension on your visa, only be shut down by an irritated immigration officer. I've heard the same stories from many people who were asked to provide paperwork they simply could not supply, or they returned with the paperwork to only be turned away.
It's easy to take your citizenship for granted until the permanency of your home comes into question.
3. You'll be grateful for your home.
I am the complete opposite of a homebody. In fact, the only time I have ever experienced true homesickness was when I returned from working abroad.
I am terrified of the idea of being stuck in one place for the long term, and I daydream incessantly of my future adventures.
With that said, there are definitely days as an expat when you miss the small things at home that I now appreciate more than ever.
You'll probably miss the ability to turn your television on and actually understand the plot, the freshly baked waffle cones from your favorite ice cream shop or even the comfort of your favorite hometown view.
There's nothing like being thousands of miles from home to help you appreciate the small things.
4. You'll understand how professionalism changes across borders.
In a world that is so connected, it is essential we understand professionalism abroad if we want to be successful at home.
For instance, in the States, it's not uncommon to expect a quick email response from a colleague during the weekend. Not all cultures operate this way.
When I worked in Europe, this was definitely not the case. Being back in the States now, I know that if I need something from someone I work with in Europe before Monday, I should reach out to them on Thursday.
It seems simple enough, but if you didn't know, you might show up on Monday and find yourself in trouble.
5. You'll consider how decisions at home impact people around the world.
Remember when I mentioned making friends with people from other countries? This is a prime example of how that comes into play.
Think about this: Your home country is considering going to war with another country it is currently in disagreement with. It is much simpler to agree with going to war if you and your loved ones suffer no repercussions.
But let's now say that some old colleagues and a few of your closest friends live there. Is the declaration of war a more challenging call to make?
I'd say so.
6. You'll gain confidence, but you'll also be humbled.
Being in a new place can be intimidating, but it's so worth it. There's nothing like working in a new country and being successful in what you add to the team to help build confidence in yourself.
With that said, you will also be surrounded by a whole new group of individuals who are likely great at what they do. If you humble yourself and are open to learning, they will teach you incredible things.
So, what are you waiting for? I think it's time to start looking for positions abroad.