Working abroad

18 Jul 2013

Working abroad can be a rewarding experience at any point in your career and can open up new opportunities and extend your network of contacts.


Travel and overseas job postings can provide you with an excellent chance to raise your profile within your company and more widely in your industry.

The ability to live and work overseas shows a committment to an employer, as well as the ability to be adaptable in changing situations. Working abroad, however briefly, also hones your negotiation and communication skills as you will be working with people who have different priorities, assumptions and experiences from you. All of this can add to the fun, but also makes you a stronger person.

It is also worth considering learning a foreign language, depending on where your industry is growing. For example, within the energy industry Russian and Arabic could be considered useful for business and social settings in the few years.

Working internationally can be undertaken as part of structured graduate schemes, as a short secondment or a permanent move. If foreign experience is something many of your senior colleagues have, it is definitely something you many wish to consider as part of your personal depelopment plan, so that a lack of overseas experience cannot be held against you later on. However, while overseas placements can provide access to opportunities you may not have at home, they are not without their share of problems or compromises. Obtaining international experience is something many people attain early on before having a partner or children, as it is much harder to move later in your career when you have more personal committments.

Working abroad demonstrates adaptability, tolerance and in many cases an ability to think laterally that is prized by employers, even if you don't learn another language. Foreign travel can be used to enhance your profile, skill set and provide a solid foundation to progress and aid your career.