3 Reasons Moving Abroad Will Help You Professionally

Move Abroad Can Help You Professionally“Wow, so you lived in Taiwan for a while?” “Actually sir, it’s Thailand. It’s a beautiful country located in Southeast Asia, formally known as Siam.”

That was how the majority of my job interviews started, regardless of whether I was seated across from the head of HR at Merrill Lynch, or the manager of the local Starbucks. Studying, and subsequently living abroad is a great conversation starter in an interview ,as it usually breaks the ice and shows the employer your not simply a 9-5 clock puncher. Here are some other advantages of living abroad.

1. Currency Leverage

When I was living in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, I lived like a king on what would be a very modest salary back home. Including rent, food etc, I rarely spent over 30$US a day. Many careers paths allow the possibility of earning a strong currency (like the Euro or US Dollar) while living in a country with low cost of living. NGO workers, employees of multinational corporations and embassy employees all enjoy this luxury. What if you’re not fortunate enough to land one of these posh positions? Telecommuting from US employers, be it as a writer, website creator or graphic designer, is an option. More on this idea in future blog posts..

2. Distraction Free

You would be amazed at how your productivity increases without the distraction of reality TV and countless hours playing Xbox. Instead of aimlessly drifting on Facebook and Skype, limit your time to 30-45 minutes each day to stay connected with friends and family back home. Use the increase in time to network with real people living in your new home. I met my first business partner walking around a weekend market because I was bored sitting around in my apartment reading people’s Twitter feeds.

3. An Excuse To Be The New Guy

When we are in our home country we feel entrenched in our social, and subsequently, professional circle. Moving to a new country, everyone is on the same page…they know few people if any. Under the veil of “social networking” many new professional opportunities can arise from attending events sponsored by organizations such as Couch Surfing and Meet Up. Just go on the website and browse the organization’s meetings. Most are frequented by highly successful expats and locals who will introduce you into their social circle, which ultimately leads to opportunities to advance your career. Remember, everyone at these functions are looking to meet people. Why else would they be at such a function? So don’t be afraid to mingle!

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